Pets on Trains Act would compel Amtrak to print tickets for cats, dogs

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CAPITOL HILL (WJLA) – Dozens of dogs descended on D.C. Wednesday and gave barks of approval for a bill being debated in the House of Representatives.

The Pets on Trains Act of 2013 would compel Amtrak to print out tickets for cats and dogs.

Celebrity dog trainer Laura Nativo says it’s about time pets became passengers.

“The whole reason that I have a career is because I have been traveling with Preston for 11 years sometimes legally [and] sometimes disguised as my scarf,” she admitted while holding her prized Pomeranian.

The duo may soon be able to ride the rails legally. The Pets on Trains Act would allow crated domesticated cats and dogs on Amtrak trips of less than 750 miles. Their owners would pay a fee and then hop aboard a pet-friendly car. Service animals are already permitted.

“During the holidays especially, it's a great time for people to travel with their pets, go home and see family and take their loved ones that happen to be animals with them along the way," said Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council CEO Mike Canning.

The bill will soon go up for vote in the House and then be taken up for debate in the Senate.

Some Amtrak passengers we spoke with at Union Station think it'll gain some bark, but no bite.

"Seven hours on a train so far and I think cats meowing and dogs barking would make it even longer," admitted Jerica Levy.

Jenny Bradbury of D.C. says so long as the rules for travel are crystal clear then the benefits will outweigh the costs.

“I used to have cats and it was always a big deal when we would travel trying to figure out what we would do with them so I think if we had have had the option to bring them along with us on the train, we might have considered it,” she said.