Disaster Grants

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Federal lawmakers want to attach some strings, as well as leashes and cages, to federal disaster grants for state and local governments.

Specifically, lawmakers want to make sure pets are factored into the equation.

California Congressman Tom Lantos says a number of pet owners may have died during Hurricane Katrina because they wouldn't have been allowed to take their pets with them if they left.

Lantos and Congressmen Chris Shays of Connecticut and Barney Frank of Massachusetts are co-sponsoring a bill that would require provisions for household pets and service animals in order to get FEMA funding.

National Humane Society officials estimate that while more than six-thousand pets have been saved in Mississippi and Louisiana, tens of thousands may still be abandoned.

Meantime, Texas officials are credited with being more understanding about people taking their pets as they flee ahead of Hurricane Rita.