Denham Wants Train Pets Policy

Feb. 4, 2015
Jeff Denham
Jeff Denham Official Portrait 10983900

U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today re-introduced his bill, the Pets on Trains Act, which seeks to ease the stress of traveling for pet owners by requiring Amtrak to implement a pet policy that would allow passengers to bring their pets on board certain trains. U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) signed on as an original co-sponsor of the bill.

The Pets on Trains Act of 2015, or H.R. 674, would require Amtrak to establish a pet policy that permits train passengers to carry small domesticated cats and dogs in a pet kennel on board for a fee. The bill gives Amtrak the flexibility to develop the details of the policy to best fit the service and their customers.

“Last year I worked in collaboration with Amtrak, the Illinois Department of Transportation, and a small working group to launch a six-month pilot program to test the idea of having pets on trains,” said Denham. “This legislation builds on the success of that pilot program and would help families nationwide save money and time in traveling with their pets while bringing in much-needed revenue for Amtrak.”

Since the release of the Pets on Trains Act of 2013, Congressman Denham formed a working group with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), the Federal Railroad Administration, and Amtrak to further explore the issue. In April 2014, Amtrak agreed to run a pilot program in the State of Illinois and recently announced the expansion of that program for an additional year.

“For many Americans, pets are simply part of the family—and all of us lucky enough to have pets are incredibly blessed by the companionship they provide,” said Rep. Cohen. “I am proud to work with my friend, Congressman Denham, on this important legislation to ensure families can bring their pets when traveling on Amtrak and that pets aren’t left behind to fend for themselves.”

“The Pets on Trains Act would allow more pet owners to include their four-legged companions on family trips,” said Mike Bober, executive vice president of PIJAC, which represents pet owners and the businesses that cater to them. “We’re proud to support Congressman Denham’s efforts to introduce ‘pet parity’ to rail travel.”

“Millions of American families have beloved pets, and allowing them to travel by train will support the human-animal bond,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Congressmen Denham and Cohen for introducing this common-sense legislation to help pet owners.”