Heard on the Hill

Shutdown Kills Dog, Panda Shows

With neither chamber looking like it’ll blink ahead of a government-wide shutdown, animal lovers all over town are bracing for a cold and heartless world devoid of cute and fuzzy moments.

(CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

(CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

Lawmakers hoping to convince Amtrak to allow household pets to travel on its passenger trains were scheduled to plead their case Wednesday morning outside Union Station. But the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council shelved the animal-friendly photo op due to logistical uncertainty.

"The location of our press conference, Columbus Plaza, is administered by the National Park Service and we have been informed that in the event of a shutdown, all permits for special events are canceled. Given that possibility and the fact that we have participants coming in from out of town, we didn't want to wait until the last minute to make our decision,” Mike Bober, PIJAC vice president of government affairs told HOH.

Meanwhile, the National Zoo alerted fans that a shutdown would force it to pull the plug on the dozen-plus animal cams that provide a real-time peek at the activities of assorted critters — including the newly arrived Sumatran tiger cubs feed, and D.C.’s most cherished bandwidth-suck, the Giant Panda Cam — until further notice.