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A Community Animal CARE Sub-Division


Black Indigenous and People of Color [BIPOC] AND their pets are on the frontlines of Global Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Rising Sea Levels. Millions are paying a price for policies they have little control over. CARE is determined to advocate for people of color and their pets facing Environmental Injustice.

Our Method For Change

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What is Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Following CARE’s Human and Animal Well-being framework, we’ve begun implementing vital Environmental Justice and Policy work in Kentucky. Unlike other organizations working within the Environmental Justice space, CARE centralizes people and their pet family in the work we do. We look forward to gaining lessons from Kentucky that will insight future projects around the country.

Some things to keep in mind:

• Approx. 44% of people who declined to evacuate during Katrina did so due to fear of abandoning their pets • Many human shelters do not accept companion pets – not even during natural disasters • Climate Change impacts pets and people alike, particularly people of color and those who are economically challenged


Take a moment to better understand how marginalized communities are vulnerable to global climate change.

More about Kentucky

December 2021 will be a month no Kentuckians will ever forget, especially those in Representative Patti Minter’s House District (D-Bowling Green). More than 80 people died, destroying thousands of homes and displacing thousands of residents. More on the victims here.  In Representative Minter’s district, the vast majority of fatalities were people of color.
After Hurricane Katrina, numerous states enacted laws to this effect, to supplement the federal PETS Act.While Kentucky does account for the needs of people pets in its state Emergency Operations Plan, these protections have not been enshrined into law.  SB bill 172, a bill CARE supports, would change this reality.  The bill also goes further to specify the importance of reunification and minimization of euthanasia of pets.  For the BIPOC community especially, policies such as the waiver of hefty reclaim fees to be reunited with pets and direct return to owner protocols would remove financial and transportation barriers and help ensure that people and their most treasured companions can stay together, while also reducing economic strain in general. We are grateful for Rep. Minter’s acknowledgment of CARE as an organization and our work on these issues.

Deeply affected, the Bowling Green legislator introduced a resolution to commemorate those that perished due to Mother Nature’s wrath. Representative Patti Minter introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives, which acknowledges the human and animal victims of the horrific tornado outbreaks, through the commemoration of “CARE” Day, which is named for Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE). CARE’s Chief of Policy and Environmental Justice Division, Akisha Townsend Eaton, who is a resident of Bowling Green, helped bring the plight of BIPOC residents and their pets to Minter’s attention, after seeing the devastating impact firsthand.


Summary of Bills, Projects, and Policy Measures currently underway

Bowling Green Human and Companion Animal Natural Disaster Impact Study

Study Description:

The study assesses the experiences, barriers, and issues of importance from companion animal owners of color living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who have been affected by December 2021 tornados. In partnership with CARE’s Environmental Justice Division, we seek to help identify how to prevent and combat the unwanted effects of natural disaster scenarios./span>

Kentucky Senate Bill 172 Sponsor: Julie Raque Adams

Summary This bill does the following:
  • Requires the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management to plan for the needs of people and pets in disasters.
  • Requires this plan to include methods to notify owners of lost pets, provide direct return-to-owner protocols, and minimizing euthanasia of owned pets.
In some of the worst hit areas of the recent natural disasters in Kentucky, members of BIPOC communities were disproportionately impacted, representing most or all of the casualties in the largest localities


Our nation faces countless environmental challenges. Few of those challenges are being met from the perspective of BIPOC Americans and their pets who bear the heavy weight of climate-driven disasters. Nevertheless, CARE is committed to making change and supporting communities where we can. We hope to inspire other organizations and communities to do the same.

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