The Humane Society of the United States sent out the warning to eager inauguration goers last week: leave your pets at home.
First, all pets, except service animals, are officially banned from all inaugural activities and anyone with a pet will be turned away at security check points, officials say. But regardless of the rules, with sub-freezing temperatures this morning and an expected record crowd on the national Mall, the presidential inauguration is a decidely non pet-friendly atmosphere.
But HSUS will have an emergency vehicle parked at the inauguration staging area just in case anyone feels the need to stuff Fluffy in their parka to witness the big event. The vehicle will be stocked with veterinary supplies, prepared to respond to any animal emergency. A back-up trailer capable of carrying up to 100 small animals will also be ready to roll if needed and HSUS volunteers will be stationed throughout the Mall to assist any animals in distress.
Of course, there will be plenty of animals on duty today - bomb -sniffing dogs, parade and police horses - working the streets of Washington who may need medical help. We hope all goes smooothly for two-legged and four-legged participants.