Cats and dogs on Amtrak?

Republicans and Democrats fight like cats and dogs over just about everything in Congress. But cats and dogs — and whether they should be allowed to travel with their owners on Amtrak trains — may help bridge the partisan divide in Washington, D.C., thanks to a new bill co-sponsored by a Tennessee Democrat and a California Republican.

U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) recently proposed the "Pets on Trains Act of 2013," which would require Amtrak to implement a policy that would allow passengers to travel with domesticated cats and dogs on certain Amtrak trains.

Except for specially trained service animals for people with disabilities, Amtrak policy currently does not permit pets on trains or Thruway services.

"My dog, Lily, is a part of our family and travels with us to and from California all the time. If I can take her on a plane, why can't I travel with her on Amtrak, too?" said Denham in a joint press release announcing the legislation. "Allowing families to bring their animals with them will facilitate transportation and efficiency while also providing a much-needed source of revenue for Amtrak."

The bill has the support of the Humane Society of the United States, according to the press release.

What do you think of the bill? Should Amtrak allow passengers to bring a pet cat or dog on the train? Let us know what you think by posting your opinion here or by answering this week's poll question on progressiverailroading.com.

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