There is no SC law that forces hotels to take pets, SCEMD says

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – As people work out their plans for Hurricane Irma, many pet owners are looking into making preparations for their furry family members.

This week, several posts have been spreading on social media regarding a law that makes it illegal for a hotel or motel to turn you away if you are bringing a pet. The rumors are NOT true.

According to the SC Emergency Management Division, there is no law in South Carolina that says hotels have to take your pets during a disaster.

The SC Emergency Management Division website states most emergency shelters do not accept pets, (with the exception of service animals) due to health reasons. Evacuating pet owners must know which hotels allow pets or find a boarding facility or animal hospital near your shelter.

News13 sister station WCBD reports the Charleston Animal Society also confirms there are no laws requiring hotels to allow pets.

Much of the misinformation cycling on social media references the “PETS Act”, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which makes no mention to hotel policies. According to WCBD, the PETS Act means pets need to be included in emergency planning. Under the measure, public entities, like local governments, can be reimbursed for services they provide for pets in a disaster like a pet-friendly shelter or emergency veterinary care. Charleston County says they use this act and get reimbursed by FEMA for the pet-friendly shelter they open.

In a time of emergency, hotels can choose to lift their “no pets” policy as a courtesy, but they are not required to.

Many government sources recommend pet parents use a website like this to find places to stay that allow four-legged family members.

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