Dogs and cats are welcome on planes and many hotels, so why not on trains?
Well, it will take an act of Congress to make it happen.
A federal bill introduced last week would clear the way for pets to join their people on certain Amtrak passenger trains.
H.R. 2066, the Pets on Trains Act of 2013, introduced by U.S. Reps. Jeff Denham, (R-CA) and Steve Cohen, (D-TN), would require Amtrak, the national rail operator, to implement a pet policy to allow passengers to travel with domesticated cats and dogs on certain trains.
“My dog, Lily, is part of our family and travels with us to and from California all the time. If I can take her a on a plane, why can’t I travel with her on Amtrak, too?” said Rep. Denham. “Allowing families to bring their animals with them will facilitate transportation and efficiency while also providing a much-needed source of revenue for Amtrak.”
Under the legislation, Amtrak would be required to develop a policy for people to travel with their pets, and to designate, where feasible, at least one car of each passenger train in which a ticketed passenger may transport a dog or cat.
Currently only service animals are allowed on Amtrak trains.
There would be reasonable requirements for pet owners who want to take advantage of this policy, such as keeping the pet in a kennel or carrier, traveling less than 750 miles, and paying a fee that covers the cost of administering the policy.
Animal welfare advocates are praising the bill for easing the burden on pet owners who would otherwise have to put their animals in a boarding kennel or hire a pet sitter when they travel.
The bill will be revenue neutral to the federal government, but will that help it get through a divided Congress where roadblocks appear at every turn on so much legislation?
Or will the members continue to fight, well, like cats and dogs on this too?