Wednesday, September 21, 2005



Just met with HSUS folks and they seem more ready to be streamlined and to do whatever it takes. We worked on some things that I think are very important and if we can implement. Don't believe everything you read on the internet about the Gonzalas site.

HSSM Update: Yesterday afternoon I drove to Gulfport and delivered all the donations to Tara High. They totaled approximately $4000. $950 was directly from my paypal account specifically for the Gulfport shelter. My friends and myself put in the remainder to get them some much needed supplies. We also think others are donating as much as $10,000, they are just clearing it with necessary committees. That shelter is just days away from having electricity and being up and running.

All my predictions are coming true.
I. HSUS would quickly need many phase two volunteers at all levels as all phase one volunteers return home. Few people can commit a month to this project so we are having a real shortage of staff here at Gonzales. I have met with people at HSUS and they are not denying it. Remedy: A volunteer advertising and marketing campaign, a full page spread in USA Today. And more press! Tell America exactly what's going on down here and at the same time ask for volunteers! In fact why haven't we seen a full page spread from HSUS? They have collected a ton of money and its obvious the government isn't going to help out here. HSUS marketing teams are incredible database marketers when it comes to collecting money. Move those marketing teams into full campaigns to get volunteers. They need people for months and they have already lost at least 1/2 of the volunteers in Gonzales.

II. No major government would announce that this is a true crisis. Solution: none. This is why these people are politicians and not entrepreneurs. No decisions, no guts. Can someone please recruit Donald Trump and have him give me a call? He'd have this problem solved in a week! I am not kidding (please let him know I plan on winning the apprentice one day) - give him my direct line 443.421.0000.

III. To do this job right, 5-10k rescuers were needed. I am working a 20 block area with a team of 4 and we don't even cover 10% a day. Solution: get more volunteers! Massive volunteer campaign and onsite training just like HSUS was doing this morning.

IV. Feeding and watering works on the street and HSUS would eventually do it. We started feeding like this from almost day one and it took HSUS days to figure out what they we're doing even though we went to daily meetings. But now they are doing it.

V. HSUS would need 1000 volunteers just to cover calls in from people to get animals out of specific houses, etc. HSUS is basically dropped the list. Right now that list is not being worked on . I know that for a fact. Luckily as they are doing their feeding program , many of these pets are being taken care of anyhow. Many people find me and others like me and we pull out their animals daily from these calls.

VI. Neighbors will help neighbors. As people come into the city, we see them acting as volunteers. They see these animals and many are taking on the responsibility to feed their neighbors pets. All it would take from the mayor is for him to mention to take dog food and water when people (after figuring out what Rita will do) and check on the dogs on their block. Has this mayor even mentioned this crisis? How could he not when 50,000 -70,000 pets were trapped in homes in the city?

VII. Emotional toll on people who have lost pets would be 100 times greater than those who have lost homes. I meet dozens of people every day who have lost everything jobs, house,... These people are not devastated; they are coming back and planning on rebuilding but for the most part they aren't depressed. They have their heads up and they have a job to do. They have smiles. On the other hand, the people who you meet who are searching for lost pets are destroyed, so distraught that they can barely speak, severely depressed, and hopeless. They beg, plead, cry for us to help find their pets. They are going to be the ones with long term emotional problems.

VIII. Private rescue organizations go around HSUS bureaucracy and get the job done. At a cost of almost zero per animal because all time and supplies are donated. these groups have saved 1000s of pets. At the YMCA, 350 animals were saved by just 8-10 people who met online and got organized.

New prediction: within days , HSUS will implement a watering program in these new open parishes that includes water trucks and small childrens' plastic swimming pools Why do I think the they will do this? Because I told them our team was doing it and we are days ahead of them. Who can get me water trucks? Some pools? We have some committed but we need more.

I have met some talented people. They were always held back at many levels. Today was a breakthrough day. I met with Wayne Paselli and then 2 other go getters who seemed to be much more fluid and flexible in what they are doing. Wayne assured me that any volunteer who came to Gonzalas would be used.

Check back later for more pictures.


At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am going to Mississippi the first week of October through Best Friends ( Tylertown to help out with the animal rescues etc. I am driving my SUV, so I may be able to transport some/any animals back north (Boston or NH) to local shelters if necessary. (Bestfriends is not yet doing this) Please contact me if that is something you are thinking about/trying.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you make this one suggestion to the HSUS also? there are many of us that want to help but, can't get down to start looking for people where they have address for or rabies tags someway to track back to the owner..I had 2 successfull reunions...and both parties were very gratefull. Most the people down there were elderly and might not know where to look for their dog. The one person I was helping the gentleman was 93 years old and they had come to the conclusion the dog was "gone" but, lone behold she was in Texas in a foster home. Maybe get a group of volunteers that really want to help and know their way around the internet have the HSUS or whomever send a list of info they know and make sure they know EXACTLY where the dog is at and start searching red cross, the internet and doing reverse look ups. I feel that these dogs are going to be adopted out without anyone ever really putting some leg work in it and if that happened to me or one of my dogs I would be irrate. I posted here because I believe you listen to the people that are reading the blog instead of sending it to the HSUS where I'll get an automated reply. I know you guys are super busy doing rescues and stuff...but, maybe while people are feeding/watering the dogs in the cages they can stop and gather the info.


At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are doing amazing work and are one of the heros of this disaster. Thanks for being there in person when so many of us could not be.

Realistically, even if HSUS asks for more volunteers, most people from out of state (even true animal lovers) won't volunteer if they have to sleep in their cars for weeks and don't have access to showers and food and electricity. They need rudimentary accommodations and some assurance that dropping everything, buying a load of supplies, and driving 1,000 miles won't be a frustrating waste of time. This reportedly happened to many people who tried to help at the beginning and ended up just driving home without being allowed to help. The info posted on various animal rescue web sites has been confusing and conflicting (come right now, don't come til we call, there is no place to stay, you won't be allowed to do anything, but we really need you right now, only come if you have transport and have the constitution of an ox, etc.) I know this isn't anyone's fault, but those of us sitting at home who want to help really don't know what to do!!!

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are doing wonderful work. Has anyone approached Mr Pickens about possibly transporting volunteers on the turnaround trip to New Orleans? There is that big empty plane on either the way there or back...maybe some volunteers could get there that way.

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At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Gerri said...

I totally agree with what Anon #3 said. I live in Canada and would love to come down and help but have also read so much conflicting info. as well. I don't know which group to volunteer with because I won't have access to a car to get around. I'm sure a lot more people would consider volunteering if some of these rescue groups would take volunteers under their wing and ensure they're looked after to a certain degree while they're there.

At 12:46 AM, Anonymous pet industry weekly said...

Keep up the great work. I agree with Anon here that many volunteers may have difficulties physically getting there, especially in the face of Rita.

I wonder if donations could be consolidated effectively by a small team on-site, say by contracting a PetSmart truck or two full of supplies and employees to help out.

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Melanie said...

Hello All!

I spoke to Eric this morning about your concerns, comments regarding volunteers and such.

Current accomodations at Gonzalas:

Tent that holds 2000
with AC
LOTS of food
Hot Showers

And this is one mile from Jefferson Parish which has full electricity, open convenience stores etc.

Definitely sufficient accomodations for everyone who wants to come down and help!

Thanks for all your comments!


At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I see that Eric sees the need for some mental health services down there for the returning pet owners and maybe even for the rescuers themselves. I'd like to put that together, but may need his help to contact someone who knows something at HSUS. Most therapists won't come down without some kind of assurance that they are indeed needed by some kind of official organization. Do you think he can put me in touch with someone?



At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANY one on this Blog talk to Eric TODAY? I have a group that left Dallas and is headed his way but is not sure how Hurricane Rita will affect? .. They have supplies + meds they are planning on dropping off near Baton Rouge unless they hear back from Eric.

They have called him and left messages.. Can he or someone call them on 510.432.1028 or 650.867.8206 to let them know if they can still get into help him? or does he need these supplies?

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job Eric.

My wife and I are driving down to LA to volunteer. I’ve not heard anything from the HSUS yet (we registered a few days ago), but we will arrive in Gonzales Monday or Tuesday. I assume help is still needed.

Two questions: Help is still urgently needed in Gonzales....all we need to do is arrive at Lamar-Dixon before 7:30pm? Is there any place in more dire need, such as Gulfport, Lake Castle (was Winn Dixie, etc?

We are leaving Cincinnati (if all goes as planned) and are looking for drivers, riders, etc. E-mail me if interested.


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