Tuesday, October 11, 2005

In Salute of Military, ATF, Federal Marshals, Police...

In Salute of the Guard, The Military, The ATF, Federal Marshals, FBI and the New Orleans Police


In Salute of the Guard, The Military, The ATF, Federal Marshals, FBI and the New Orleans Police

These groups saw what was happening on the ground and ALL stepped up to the challenge of saving animals without direct orders to do so. They quickly incorporated it into the day’s routine.

I can’t say enough about how they helped. Not only did they help but they went out of the way to do so. They constantly asked for supplies that they loaded onto their own vehicles to feed animals. They had our phone numbers and called us constantly to provide needed intelligence on trapped animals. They got rescuers through checkpoints with no credentials. In the early days their vehicles were virtually lined up at the YMCA loaded with dogs and cats. It was quite a sight. They were all animal rescuers. They respected us to as they called us into all kinds of situations to get animals out; including one murder scene where Billy took out a Pit Bull.

Some went further and set up shelters like Camp Luck and Camp Lucky II and the Navy set one up on a ship.

Gary, The Federal Marshal actualy brought this girl in


This Was The Top Brass of the Guard Coming to see that the Dogs and US were ok


Notice The Food in the Truck



Guard Bringing In Animals (some commented they didn't have much to do since the city was now secure)


This is Gary actually cleaning the camp - Amazing. Also this is the night that Billy and I stayed at the YMCA on our own. Notice how dark it gets. And glad that someone gave us a gun. I'm not a big fan but in this case...


This was our alarm at camp for the night. If somone came through the gate they would have to make that dog bowl drop. The guard was in full force during the day but at night you were on your own and it was quite spooky. No lights on streets so someone could walk real close before you saw them

46 Comments:

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling us about this (and the photos). When I saw the Guard members interviewed (on the same show we saw the infamous cop Mike Minton shooting dogs in cold blood), I was heartened but I was afraid it was only a handful of animal lovers. Now I know that we had more help out there than we knew!

 
At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO in the city of New Orleans it was nonstop showing of respect for these animals.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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All the best John

 
At 1:46 PM, Anonymous sidhewlf said...

Thanx for re-enforcing the fact that there were some "good" officials helping also.Unfortunately,it's the bad guys that get most of the attention much of the time.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all Military, ATF, Federal Marshalls and Police that helped in rescuing animals on the Gulf Coast.

We are so happy to get such wonderful news. You are truly brave and wonderful men and women! The world needs to recognize you for your strength in saving Gods weakest, sweetest and voiceless creatures. God Bless you!
Karen & Ken

 
At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

Thank you for all you have done. I've been reading your blog for some time and, well, "enjoyed it" is not quite the right words, but have greatly appreciated your work and keeping the rest of us informed.

Is there anyone who is trying to coordinate volunteers going to the Gulf/NO area with volunteers who would like to go but need a lift?

 
At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DIARY OF A DOG WHO SURVIVED HURRICANE KATRINA IN NEW ORLEANS

Saturday, August 27, 2005

It's been a really hot summer! I think the heat is bothering Mom. She is acting strange. She's been watching television all the time and she seems nervous. She went today and bought a lot of water in gallon bottles and she bought canned food instead of fresh. But we must be going on a trip! Mom has been on the phone a lot talking about staying or going. Maybe we will go to the park!
Monday, August 29, 2005

Last night there was a bad storm. I'm always afraid of storms but Mom lets me curl up in bed with her and I feel safe. This time she was more scared and we were shut in the bathroom all night. I was scared, of course, but tried to comfort her.

Wednesday, August 30, 2005

A lot of people must have bought lots of water like Mom did! Water is coming in to our house. None of the water Mom bought spilled but a lot must have. Mom is really scared but she's not watching television or talking on the phone. I'm beginning to think we won't be going to the park after all...

Friday, September 2, 2005

I'm worried about Mom. She hasn't taken me outside in days. In fact, she won't even let me go downstairs!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Still upstairs. Mom cries a lot. Strange, I have to go on the floor and she's not mad at me. She says it's okay and that I'm a good boy. It might be her food. She's eating straight out of cans.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Yesterday was the worst day. Now I know why Mom was scared. People in matching clothes broke into our house and took Mom! She screamed and held me tightly but they pulled her away. I growled and tried to seem fierce to protect her but there were too many of them. I need to get out to find Mom!

Saturday, September 25, 2005

Mom is still gone. I'm very worried. I have tried to get out but can not. The downstairs is filled with water. I tried to swim through but could not find any opening.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Still worried about Mom. The food is gone now. I have to go down the stairs to get a drink of water from the water that spilled but it tastes bad.

Friday, September 30, 2005 a.m.

I heard banging. Then someone yelling. I answered hoping it was Mom. It wasn't Mom. Some people who seemed nice put a rope around my neck -- somehow I lost my collar -- and took me through the spilled water to a car on water. Maybe they will take me to Mom!

Saturday, October 1, 2005 p.m.

Still no Mom... I am still scared and in a small cage like the ones my doctor has and have been here all day. Others are too. I am scared and sitting quietly but others are barking loudly and seem mad. Someone brought me food but it's not the kind Mom gives me. Others are being taken out and then brought back to their cages. If they take me, I'll look for Mom!

Friday, October 7, 2005

Yesterday my cage and some other cages got moved to a truck and we moved all night. Today we are in a new place they call a "human society", I think. Still no Mom. I'm very worried about her.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Today was very busy! Some people from the human society walked around and looked at all of us in cages. Someone said that I have very sad eyes so they picked me. I thought maybe they were taking me to Mom because I was so sad but they took me to a room to make pictures of me. I had to stand still a lot. Maybe they will send my picture to Mom so she can come here and get me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Still no Mom. I'm sad. I don't think Mom got my picture because I heard them say that the picture was for someone named Fundraiser. They also said the human society is crowded so they moved some of us to a small room called PTS. I hope Mom is okay. I miss her so much.

(last entry)

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Jamie from Indiana said...

I was in NOLA for about a week helping with rescues. EVERY single Guard member, firefighter, police officer that we saw was more than willing to help. They would look for rescuers and give them detailed lists of where they saw animals. We loaded supplies into their trucks so they could feed the animals they saw.

I couldn't believe the cooperation we were receiving! Guard members & police officers gave us detailed lists with descriptions of dogs, when they were seen, they're address, where they were hiding in their yards, if they looked like they needed medical attention, etc. They escorted us to these houses.

Firefighters, people cleaning debris, tree cutters, and every single worker in the city would flag us down to ask if we needed water or other supplies.

It was just amazing. I wish I got the name of every single one of them so I could give them our thanks!

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger WillowLu said...

The good people of the USNG and USCG who helped with pet rescue efforts are definitely to be commended.

On the other hand, there are accounts like a double amputee war veteran being separated from his dog Morgan la Fey, by USCG personnel who said they weren't in the dog business and motored off leaving her barking on the roof. Luckily, they have recently been reunited

Thankfully, there are rescue stories like Operation Noah's Ark which involved no additional expenditures and was put together by the AZ Air National Guard in 24 hours (!) because the AZ Humane Society contacted one good man and his chain of command decided that they would do the right thing as well.

Problem is people don't always do the right thing
Excerpt from 9/17/05 NOLA newslog: "All veterans of a recent tour in Baghdad, the soldiers got so bored they took a picture of a dog defecating on a roof, laughing as they pulled the image onto a laptop computer."

This disaster has brought out the best and the worst in the best and the worst kinds of people.

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello fellow reader, forgive my spelling as im not that great at it.
I have been here in Gonzales LA for over 10 days now taking care of animals, and i mean animals of all kinds. We have had over 50,000 animals prossesed in the facility that iam camping at ( worst camping trip of my life) As things settled here ( and the fact that i could take no more of the fighting between ASPCA and HSUS) I went in to NO. I can not describe the level of destruction. Cars tossed about, parts of buildings fallen on cars. windows smashed every place. Trees that have to be hundreds of years old broken and leaning on 1/2 demolished homes. and this ever present coffee line stain that rises and falls as i drive threw the affected ares. Spraypainted signs warning looters you will be shot. the Humvees with marines armed with M-16's. And the ever present smell, it is worst is some areas and not even nociable in others, but I find that as much as i shower it kind of clings to my nostrils. I have crawled threw mud and partialy colapsed homes to put scared confused animals out and bring them back to what I call home. I some times toss my sleeping bag into the makshift kennels and sleep with a pitbull or two. it is very comforting to feel their warmth next to me.
The scope of work that needs to be done here is somthing that can not be expailned. I had the oppertunity to talk with a old man the other day that was using a push broom to make some sence of order but it was sureal to look at him. a little old wrinkled man standing in front of his home that was ripped open so you could see the furniture and belongings on both floors. It almost looked like a giant doll house the fron of both exterior walls had collapsed into the street. he had a disheveled look on his face. and I approached him and asked if he would like some water. His respnce was mutterd and with his dirty hand he took the water. I could feel the frailety in him as he shook my hand. I asked him if he would like somthing to eat and he just looked at me as tho i was speaking another language. I gave him one of my MRE's and he just started to cry. My heart broke for him as i saw him dissapear behind his home. This is not the only person I have met or I have had the chance to, just do somthing for.
The city it self is a ghost town. And the weird thing is i can see the beauty of it all. It has the most romantic homes i have ever seen in my life. and being in construction i have seen alot of homes. There is so much buricatic bull stuff here. the Red cross is non exiastant, and FEMA is a total joke. I as just some guy can not see where they have spent 62 billion dollars. And when you d fine some one from either of these agencies they are rude and ignorant. I am making a difference, I am over worked am not eating properly, I have lost what appears to be about 15 lbs tho I think it may be more. Very red from working in the sun, tired smell bad but, I am happy. Strangly happy. I am helping some one. I will post pictures when i get them developed as my camera phone is just not doing the photos justice. I want you all to know that My heart is not only intact but is stronger. one word that echos in my life here.....Faith!

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

did they stop rescuing people when just a few remained? No they got every last one of them. NO DOG/CAT LEFT BEHIND.

We tried to enter 9th ward/bywater area today. This area just finished draining, dogs are there. The police would NOT let us enter the area. They were turning away all rescue groups. This was by order of NOPD. I was told by a "source" that a high powered persons two yorkies were taken and he was ticked off about it and sent down the word not to let rescurers in. Hopefully, this was not the case. There are still live animals being found, but we can't do it unless they let us in.

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of you that are not returning dogs because you think they all had bad owners -- this is the typical case. Stop Stereotyping--

Suburban Chicago, IL - If it wasn't for a family of dog-lovers in Buffalo Grove, Ginger might not have made it home. The 2 1/2-year-old Chow/Lab mix will be reunited with her New Orleans family this weekend since she was separated from them during Hurricane Katrina. For the past two months, Cynthia and David Schleich, and their daughter Amanda, have provided foster care for homeless dogs through Almost Home Foundation, a rescue organization in Elk Grove Village.

When they got Ginger last week, their first Katrina dog, the family thought it would try and track down her owners.

The dog had a Louisiana rabies tag, and several phone calls later the Schleichs found who she was registered to - a family that had been evacuated to the Astrodome in Houston.

After that, there was no record of the family.

Eventually, an e-mail to the local Red Cross produced a cell phone number for Quintetta and Terrell Keene, who have since relocated to Missouri.

When they called to tell them they had Ginger, Cynthia Schleich said she truly witnessed a miracle.

"We were all so busy crying," she said. "This is just amazing."

Before Katrina hit, the Keenes couldn't get out of the city and took a chance finding shelter with Quintetta's mother on the second floor of her senior housing complex.

When the levees broke, the family and Ginger were stranded on the roof for four days until helicopters came to the rescue.

"The whole time, Ginger was right there with us on the roof," Quintetta said. "She was helping people through it and everyone would pet her; she kept everyone going."

But when the helicopters came to rescue everyone, Ginger was left behind.

It wasn't until 25 days later that the dog herself was rescued and brought to the Chicago area.

"One of my sons had to talk my husband into the helicopter because he didn't want to leave the dog," she said. "He cried for days over her."

For the past month, the Keene Family, including children Gregory, 21, Andrea, 19, and Rene, 14, said they have been dreaming of someday finding their family pet.

"Everything we ever owned is gone and Ginger was just that piece we were still missing," Quintetta said. "We are so excited and happy that a good family has her."

Before she can reunite with her New Orleans family, the dog must be spayed, according to Louisiana state law. The surgery is scheduled for later this week and the two families plan to meet next weekend.

The Schleichs are trying to raise money for plane tickets to fly the Keenes into Chicago and for other Ginger-related expenses.

If you would like to help, e-mailsaveginger@hotmail.com.

Pet: Dog's family says she kept everyone going during Katrina

 
At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Eric Rice said...

Soory I had to post this one from Nola.com Eric

HELP! Once I started doing this, I joined lots of Yahoogroups that might help in any way. My kinda husband of 13 yearswas standing behind me, who is TIRED of hearing me talk in my sleep about rescues, dogs, cats, owners, shelters, and is (he-he) jealous that my wallpaper is Eric Rice with his buddy he got out the second to last day before he left. I said, these dogs will be gassed tomorrow, and he, bless his macho heart, said, CALL AND TELL THEM WE'LL TAKE ONE! I did, and now I have to figure out how to transport it from Millersburg, Ohio to St. Louis, MO. HEEELLLPPP! Also committed to taking Neapolitan Mastiff (not bull mastiff as I thought) to foster from shelter on Sunday, and have dog, cat, 3 kids...and after reading this "HOW COULD YOU?!" I am filled with sureness that life is supposed to be crazy and I did the right thing.

 
At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be hard to make up this level of detail -- I sent 20 owners over who had same experience. NO TRACKING NONE.

21859. Inhumane Society of the United States
10/11/05 22:39 ET
October 10, 2005
Dear Friends:

As most of you know Metro East Humane Society acted as my sponsor to return to Louisiana as a volunteer to help with the animal rescues and sheltering. At their request I made a trip to Gonzalez, LA to try to help locate three dogs that were rescued in New Orleans and were known to be at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzalez. Ellen, the vet tech, from MEHS had been working for 2-3 weeks trying to locate these dogs for their owners (no return phone calls or e-mails from HSUS or Pet Finders) who were relocated to housing in Alton, Illinois. I arrived at Lamar-Dixon on Friday September 29th with all the information necessary to track these dogs – their ID numbers, their “tracking” numbers, and their Pet Finder numbers.

Sara Miller, a Humane Society of the United States employee spent time going from one computer to the next trying to locate these dogs but could only come up with the assumption that they had been relocated but could not tell me where. At that time they were shipping animals out to many states in the U.S. and to Canada. She took me through the shelter and I was not pleased. They had horse stalls with 3-4 dogs in individual cages in each stall. There were fans for the workers but few fans bringing air to the dogs. The shipping area was unable to give us any help. Sara gave me her cell phone number and her direct e-mail address with the promise that when she located them she would call me. She never did call me and never returned my phone calls.

On Monday, October 3rd Ellen called me and said that the daughter of one of the owners had been to Gonzalez and had identified ‘Murphy” a black lab but as she did not have a letter from her mother they would not let her leave with him. He was in the “tech unit” which meant medical care unit with an injured leg. At that time there was a vet (from HSUS) who was volunteering at the shelter where I was working and she kindly agreed to help me. Rising at 4:45 A.M. I drove to Gonzalez and met her at 7:00 A.M. She got me into the back gate and to the “operations center” where they have all the computers. Yes, all three dogs were in their computers. One was listed as euthanized – reason unknown. The gentleman said they were then euthanizing for behavioral problems but listing it so that it would not appear that way. He also told me that their data entry was at least three weeks behind – if an animal was shipped out – it would be weeks – if the information was entered and entered properly – before they could find out where their dogs were. One tracking number that I gave him for Murphy brought up four dogs in his computers – belonging to three pit bulls and one terrier. The second number did belong to Murphy. I again went back to the shipping area and the gentleman there was unable to tell me if Murphy had been shipped out but he guided me on a stall to stall search. The tech unit had no idea who Murphy was even though he had been under their care two days earlier. They suggested I try LSU (Louisiana State University – Vet Medicine) since it was noted that he had an injured leg and they thought they had sent several “black dogs” there on Sunday. I then drove to Baton Rouge to LSU and they could only show me one black dog that unfortunately was not Murphy.

The reason for this letter to you my friends, is to point out that HSUS should be called the Inhumane Society of the United States. These unfortunate victims of Katrina were forced to leave their animals behind and some did leave them in the arms of HSUS rescue teams. Now they do not have a clue where they are, if they are alive, or if they will ever be reunited with them. THESE ANIMALS MAY BE THE ONLY THING THEY HAVE LEFT!!!!. Next, euthanizing dogs for “behavioral problems” is not acceptable. I think if I were in flood waters without food or water for 2-3 weeks missing my human companions, captured with a catch pole, thrown in a cage and put in a stall with three other traumatized dogs – I would be very grumpy!!!!

HSUS clearly does not have the compassion it takes to work in a disaster situation and clearly does not have the expertise to take care of large numbers of disaster animals. On my first trip to Louisiana HSUS Gonzalez was closed down by the health department and trucks returning from New Orleans with critical animals were turned away by armed guards. How many of those animals that had been through hell died trying to make it to secondary shelters? On my second trip we had many animal owners stopping by the shelter where I was working that were going from shelter to shelter trying to locate their missing pets that had been at Gonzalez – could you not get teary eyed and pissed when you see grown men cry because of this? In good faith they had handed their beloved pets over into the arms of HSUS!

Of note Ellen called me and said that this past Saturday (4 days after my last visit to Gonzalez) that the daughter returned to HSUS and located Murphy and received an inside contact number – however – when the family was packing up and leaving from Alton on Sunday to go to Louisiana to pick him up the contact called them and said he had disappeared once again – they could not find him at Gonzalez and that he was probably shipped out Saturday night – location unknown.
Please send this e-mail out to EVERYONE on your e-mail list including government officials– the word needs to get out and the donations to HSUS need to stop. I do not want to bankroll their next failure. Please continue to support your local animals shelters.

Sandy Eaves

 
At 10:25 PM, Blogger Kate Danaher said...

10/11 PM: NEW ORLEANS ANIMAL RESCUE UPDATE FROM JANE GARRISON

Unbelievably, we rescued 2 more animals from inside homes yesterday (2 separate homes). Both of these animals were found alive in the attics of the houses...both completely skin and bones but alive and THRILLED to see our rescuers! As this point, we have about 600 addresses still on our list. This is the list of people who asked for their animals to be rescued. We believe that at least half of these addresses can be eliminated by calling the people prior to going to their homes to see if they have already gotten back into New Orleans or had someone else rescue their animals. All remaining addresses must be visited to see if there are still animals alive. We owe that to the animals who may still be alive inside those homes.

Therefore here is what we need:

1. We need a few people to help call the people on the list and then remove those who no longer need rescuing from the database.

2. People to go to New Orleans and check the remainder of the addresses---animal control officers or experienced rescuers are preferred at this point.

3. Vets and techs willing to assist us and Best Friends as many of the animals we are rescuing from the streets (and the few from within homes) are critical.

We are still operating out of a trailer at Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, LA but this will change after the 15th. Once we have to leave Lamar Dixon, we will meet outside the spay/neuter clinic of a local rescue group we have connected with. This clinic has also agreed to have animals stay at the clinic throughout the day prior to being sent to Best Friends temporary shelter (where we have been bringing animals since HSUS closed Lamar Dixon). This group is also helping us locate a warehouse or storage unit in New Orleans where we can store dog and cat food. We hope to have all of this worked out by Wednesday afternoon.

One of the most important things we need at this point are people willing to feed the animals on the streets in New Orleans. There are literally thousands of animals who have absolutely no access to food and water. One week after the hurricane, I noticed these animals were looking horrible. The next day I came across 11 dead cats on one street. These cats had not died from the flood or the storm---they looked as though they died from starvation or dehydration. In an effort to prevent any other deaths, I quickly developed and instituted a city-wide feeding program. Within a few days the animals on the streets started looking so much better. We have since been sustaining these animals by putting out hundreds of feed and water stations each week (which takes quite a few people) and rescuing the animals we are able top catch. However, with so many rescue groups leaving New Orleans these animals won't have a chance of surviving. In fact, we are now already starting to see a decline in their health. The local animal people are willing to help but most of them lost their homes and are busy trying to get their own lives together. If you are willing to come to New Orleans to feed and water please let me know. We will assign you a section of the city that you will be responsible for while you are here and we will provide all the food and bowls you will need.

Until the 15th we are advising people to stay in the fema tent at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center. After the 15th you may still be able to stay there in your own tent but we are working out those details. I will keep you informed on this situation.

We will need dog/cat food donated and will let you know where to send it once we have a warehouse/storage unit in downtown New Orleans. Please let me know if you are willing to go to New Orleans to help. The animals on the streets need you!!!

Thank you for all your support!

Jane Garrison
JaneGarrison@comcast.net

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Pennie said...

Eric,
Your posts have been right on the mark. I was down in NO at the Winn Dixie and was pleasantly surprised to see all the military, ATF, Federal Marshals and police who were coming in to help.
They would come through and see the animals, ask if there's anything we needed. They were willing to do anything we needed. What a great bunch of people they were. Thanks for giving them the credit they deserve.

 
At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Eric Rice said...

This from someones home we went to to discover his cat alive for him.
He recognizes me but it was our small "team" that did this. I can't stand to think of all the little lives that would had not been saved had approx 20 of us not dropped everything, spent thousands of dollars of our own money and just CAME TO New Orleans. Every picture I show you the animals would have likely perished or still be on the street had these people not showed. Eric


"I just wanted take a moment to thank all of the wonderful staff at the Washington Animal Rescue League for their efforts in rescuing animals, especially mine, from the devastating effective of hurricane Katrina. Very special thanks go to Scotlund Haisley, Director of the Washington Animal Rescue League and Discovery's Animal Planet Network for reuniting me with my "Big Guy" Simba. He was one of three cats I reluctantly had to leave behind in New Orleans when I was evacuated to Washington, DC.
Imagine my shock and surprise when the phone call came telling me that one of my babies was here in Washington. Through the efforts of Animal Planet, a reunion was arranged, which will be televised the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend (how appropriate). There was not a dry eye in the place when Simba was placed in my arms. He immediately knew that he was safe and in great hands. I have heard that one of my other cats, Jasmine, is currently at my house in New Orleans under the care of my housemate. The third cat, Dargee, is still missing but hopes are high that she will be found and brought home. A lot of my friends are keeping an eye out for her in the neighborhood.
The hardest thing I have ever done in my life was to leave my babies behind but I had no choice. Many a night I agonized over whether I would ever see them again but God answered my prayers through Scottlund and the wonderful volunteers and staff at WARL.
On October 19 th, I will be in attendance at American University here in Washington as Animal Planet screens "Animal Planet Heroes - Hurricane Rescues" for the public. I will also speak about my experiences with the storm and the aftermath. I firmly believe that more people would have evacuated before the hurricane if rescue shelters allowed pets as well as humans. Unfortunately, as of this posting, the question of sheltering animals has not been adequately addressed so I will try to bring some much needed awareness to foster a discussion on this pressing issue.
All of us who are pet owners know that our companions are "part of the family" and fill a much needed void in our lives with companionship and unconditional love. To leave them behind in the face of great danger is like a "Sophie's Choice" and I hope to God I never have to do that again. Fortunately, Simba understands (he is very intelligent) and I know he forgives me in his own way.
These outdated policies MUST be changed now before the next disaster strikes if only in the effort to save more human lives. I know for a fact that more people, including myself, would have gotten out of harms way if we only knew that evacuation shelters would allow us to take our animals with us. Many people who were sheltered with me here at the DC Armory had similar tragic stories to tell about having to leave their companions behind to face the storm alone and in danger.
There's a lot more work to be done in the area of how exactly to accommodate animals in shelters in an emergency situation. The logistic of housing them, feeding them and providing them with basic medical care in addition to support systems for their human owners will need to be taken into consideration in planning for the future.
I urge you to write or email the Red Cross and other private and government agencies that are in the business of creating and staffing emergency evacuation shelters and demand the policy be changed. Suggest ways that you think might make the process efficient, safe and humane. Volunteer your services and support from housing families and their pets to donating cages, food, water, manpower and especially money. If you witnessed the conditions that the rescuers found themselves in and the agonizing decisions they had to make on deciding which animals could be saved and which animals were too far gone to be saved, then you would be as distressed and as angry as I am now. I feel that serious discussions must take place immediately, within the highest levels of emergency management officials, shelter directors and concerned citizens all over the country, on how to effectively and humanely deal with this situation when it happens again in the future.
In the aftermath of Katrina and Rita, the sheer number of displaced animals made it impossible for owners to try to track and locate their missing pets. One suggestion is to have a single centralized national database for people to post locations and descriptions of their missing pets as well as a place to post information on found or abandoned animals. I'm positive that many people will never see their beloved companions again because they had no single place to post and search for animals that could have been rescued. Unfortunately many animals died as a result of not being rescued in time. I'm also sure that people died as a result of their decision to ride out the storm with their pets because they couldn't bear to leave their animals behind. This is the most tragic consequence of it all.
This cannot happen again and I will do whatever I can to bring awareness to this pressing issue before the next disaster strikes. I will have to live with the guilt I feel in knowing that I had to leave my animals behind when I was evacuated but I am also very thankful that I have at least part of my family back.
Again, God bless Scotlund Haisley, the staff and volunteers at the Washington Animal Rescue League and all of the other caring people who risked their own lives heading into the disaster zone to rescue what animals they could, reuniting them with very grateful owners, and humanely putting to sleep those that were too sick or injured to be saved. I'd like to also give very special thanks to a gentleman named Eric Rice , General Manager at Bulkregister.com (and team) who initially made the first contact with my cats making sure they had food and water while they were awaiting rescue.
Besides writing and calling the powers that be, you can also help by adopting some of the misplaced animals that cannot be reunited with their original owners for whatever reason. Petfinders.com is a good place to start but consider adopting locally since shelters are overcrowded now due to the sheer numbers of displace pets. Also, may I suggest donating time, money and materials to the humane associations of your choice who are on the front lines everyday helping people like myself get reunited with our pets.
I will get off my soapbox now and head on over to visit my "Big Guy" Simba who's in excellent hands, or should I say, paws, of Scotlund Haisley and the great folks over at the Washington Animal Rescue League.
Thank you and may God bless you all."

 
At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... But to my surprise! went home on Saturday October 8, and found my dog still at home! Petfinder informed me that she was retrieve on 9/15/05, and could be in Hattieburg Mississippi, I was also given a petfinder I.d. #, Casey was very weak, lost a lot of weight and very scared. She's find now, and home with her family. I just want to think you for caring, and taking the time out to answer my e-mail.

 
At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric I thought you would check this out ---What is wrong with people, a vet hospital no less.

21937. Gentilly Vet Hosp Animals Dead
by samoasmom, 10/12/05 8:50 ET
Cross post from helpgulfpets (no photo)
Snowflake was the American Eskimo that people were searching for.

Here is an attached photo I took of rescuer Troy Bowers spray painting that we found 11 dead dogs, inside kennels, inside the Gentilly Veterinary Hospital. This was on or around Sunday September 25, 2005 - when our rescue group returned to New Orleans after evacuating 2 days for Hurricane Rita. I personally saw 9 animals on the 2nd floor. I believe Troy found two more on the first floor.

Each dog had a plastic bag attached to the kennel with their names, and while I can recall seeing Snowflake's name, I cannot be positive - I do remember remarking to Troy, who was with me, "how terrible it is that someone as innocent as a dog named 'Snowflake' had to suffer; he obviously had a family who loved him."

There was no evidence that any of the animals were left with extra water and food; each dog had one food bowl and one water bowl in their crates.

Obviously empty by the time we arrived. We were both stunned by this.

 
At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that the chain is still too long and time consuming. Local shelters are filled because nobody knows who is were. It takes about 3 weeks for a pet to be processed and a picture taken / posted on petfinder.com.In my efforts to help, I offered to use my Messageboard to post immediate pictures and forward it to local newspapers to post. The only thing to help all these pets is quick turnaround.As for getting settled: I don't know about you .. but I wouldn't settle nowhere until I would be reunited with my pets!! Regardless if I sleep in a tent or under a bridge - I couldn't rest until I would find my dogs!Anyway - here is my offer again:if you have a digital camera and can take pictures ... you can download for free pictures directly onto the bulletin board at http://yessingle.mywowbb.com

 
At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are alot of rescues taking them out of state and saying they are owner surrenders and they are putting them up for adoption immediately. Most people surrendered under duress and therefore they should be allowed the time...also, I think HSUS or CNN or someone should get a comprehensive list of rescues and shelters that have all animals/had all animals and broadcast the lists..well its a thought...not sure how it would work

 
At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Eric Rice said...

Bad Onwer Sterotyping by ericrice, 10/12/05 In response to a post about how ALL of these animals are better off...

That is the problem. How many people on this message board are working with owners who are saying one of the Characteristics of my pet is "fight scars." None. Saying All of the dogs are like this is a ridiculous statement. Have you looked at the pics of amazing and well cared for shelties, labs, cockers, and on and on... did you go to NO and see what these people had to do to survive and keep families alive? hAVE YOU SEEN THE DEPRESSED DOGS WHO know exactly who they belong to. I have seen them by the truckload, by the hundreds. Do not worry about bad owners--to find your dog in this system you have to be not a good owner but a great owner. Have you not seen the desperate attempts by people to find pets? Your statements add dramtically to the problem of stolen dogs, bad pics on petfinder and attitude that now owner (all the small cute ones with a mon somewhere).

I will have a young lady post here. She lives in New Orleans and has been an animal advocate and rescuer for years. She made the mistake of staying. Her 10 cats and her ended up in the attic for 2 days until she was rescued. her cats could not go. She doesn't deserve them back? And by the way adoption is no perfect world. I already know of one animal that was adopted out and put to sleep by a small town vet who said the "heart worm" is incurable. This one is a confirmed fact.

You have to stop this nonsense about all the bad owners in NO.

 
At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Kathryn said...

I spent but three days in New Orleans shortly after the military arrived. I fell in love with every man and woman in uniform, whether navy, coast guard, national guard or fire fighter. (It's funny, I wrote policeman, but deleted it==long story, but I've always had issues with cops, not only as a kid, but also as an old civil rights attorney). ANyway, I'll leave that to someone else to honor.
In any event, our uniformed are our pride and joy, a national treasure. They should never be easily discarded or tossed around like toy soldiers===they are the best this country has to offer.
And, besides, every time I saw a kitty or a pup balled up in an armed man's arms, I just tingled. . . .

 
At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One group, called "Katrina Homeless Animal Taxi", has taken 138 animals to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is planning to adopt them out immediately. In fact, she says about 70 dogs already have new homes. I talked to one of the rescuers today, and she assured me that she had gotten them from a "kill shelter" and that they had all been there as owner turn-ins. There are 88 dogs, 50 cats, and a rabbit, hauled to the cold mountains of Wyoming. I asked if they had been listed on Petfinders, Dogdetectives, etc., and she said "No,not yet", but supposedly they are already adopting these dogs out. There are
poodles, dachunds, basset hounds, Jack Russells, a Great Pyrenees, and a Weimaraner. If anyone is looking for one of these dogs, the Humane Society number in Driggs Idaho is 208 354 3499, and the adoption center in Jackson is 307 739 1881. I asked that they call Anita, at 302-668-8614, but I doubt strongly that they will do this. The article concerning the dogs is at http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:P8tBcJ7wVBMJ:www.jhnewsandguide.com/Feature.html+138+dogs+jackson+hole&hl=en
I don't know how to cross post this, if anyone can help, and knows where it would do the most good. Thanks.
Silvertooth

 
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At 12:21 AM, Blogger kjnola said...

This is a reply to the comments left by samoasmom(I think, I am not sure . I live in New Orleans East. Not far from the Gentilly Vet hospital. I have 6 dogs and 1 cat that were all patients there. I can assure you that we all received nothing but professional care and love from the Doctors and staff. Hurricane Katrina wiped out New Orleans East. I am one of the few who lives there today. Many people died there. I am sure that many more animals died there as well. It was all a great tragedy. For many days following the storm, New Orleans East was isolated and inaccesible. I evacuated for the storm. We went about 15 miles to the west. That was enough to avoid the devastation that wrecked New Orleans East. Even there, we were isolated. The Jefferson Parish government would not allow access back into the parish if we were to leave. In effect we were locked down. This lasted for at least 2 weeks if not more. The I-10 bridge was closed due to severe damage, Slidell at Highway 11 was destroyed where that bridge lands. The area to the west of New Orleans East was flooded beyond the limits of a deuce and a half military vehicles limits. The only way into New Orleans East for a period of at least 2 weeks if not longer was to be a first responder via boat. In the search and rescue for human survivors, the animals would have been placed on a lower priority list. A reasonable amount of food and water could not have been placed in the boarding cages. We had the benefit of screened windows where we stayed for 2 weeks after the storm without electricity. I can assure you that the heat was intense. At a facility that is used to air conditioning there would be no luxury of opened windows. No politician or anyone with authority would allow people to die at the expense of animals. So in an effort to save as many people as possible, the animals were left out. These are the people and their decisions that resulted in the tragedies that followed Hurricane Katrina, not the loving and caring staff of the Gentilly Vet Hospital. It is also worth mentioning that the people of Orleans Parish were Ordered to evacuate. As often is the case of hurricane evacuations, we expected to be back at home in a day or 2. This was certainly the exception. Please keep in mind that at least 1000 plus people are dead from the same storm. Also realize that you arrived nearly a month after the storm. There were first responders there long before that. Don't blame the owners for boarding their pets, don't blame the animals who were patients at the hospital, don't blame the staff for not having the means or resources necessary to evacuate all the animals. It was a tragedy. Plain and simple it was not like anything New Orleans has ever experienced. How can you plan for something so terrible that even 1000 plus people were killed? Instead of questioning how people could be so insensitive, tell us all, living and dead, people with homes and those who are homeless, those who lost a little to those who lost everything what we should have done differently to make this a happy ending. Tell me also why you would evacuate for Hurricane Rita for 2 days. Surely there were still animals to be rescued. Or was it that you placed your safety and well being above that of the animals that still needed to be rescued. I admire all the work that all the people have done to help animals and people alike. You ask what is wrong with people? I will answer your question, what is wrong with people in the unfortunate path of Hurricane Katrina was Hurricane Katrina.

 
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Eric,
fyi - Your first volunteer link is missing the .com and won't load...

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