All Aboard! Law Allowing Dogs On Amtrak Trains Is On Track

Rachel Leavy
by Rachel Leavy
Congressman Jeff Denham gaining traction with bill that allows small pets on Amtrak trains.

I always feel guilty leaving my dog behind when I go on adventures, and this actually prevents me from travelling sometimes. It can be difficult to arrange proper care for them, and of course we miss them. How much more fun would it be to go on trips and bring your pet? Republican congressman Jeff Denham (California) feels the same way. He hates leaving his French Bulldog, Lily, behind, and he’s trying to do something about it.

Congressman Denham has travelled with Lily on planes in the past, but believes it would be much easier if he could bring her on a train with him. He proposes that Amtrak allow pets under 20 pounds to be allowed, and he has good reason. By allowing dogs on the train, it will free up some of the congestion on the highways, offer a quicker mode of transportation for pet parents and even encourage more people to travel. This is great incentive for local business hoping to profit from tourists.

Denham is gaining popularity with his idea – to the point of Amtrak trying it out nationally. Around 145 people have already ridden the train with their pets, and there are specifications in place to make travel safe and easy for all involved. Pets have to be less than 20lbs, release forms signed, contained in carriers and furry passengers must stay in a certain car. Amtrak is still working on the mile limit pets can ride at one time to prevent bathroom accidents from happening, and has the right to refuse service if a pet isn’t behaving or isn’t healthy enough to make the journey.

Hopefully Amtrak will decide that allowing pups on trains is a wonderful (and profitable) idea on their own. The holdup is opposition from lawmakers concerned about the government intervening in the company’s policy.

I know I would take the train more if my dog could ride with me. But unfortunately she’s a giant and well outweighs the limit. But I’m rooting for all of you out there with small dogs!

[Source: AP News]

Rachel Leavy
Rachel Leavy

Rachel Leavy lives in Rochester, New York with her dog, Maria, and her gecko, Nigel. She has loved animals all her life, and has owned her own dog training and walking company for five years. When she's not playing with puppies, she can usually be found writing short stories, riding horses or out at a play.

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