Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Report Soon

I will have an update and video on the blog in 2-3 days from my recent 5 days in New Orleans. I met with Laura Maloney LASPCA, met with Ciely Trog who runs St. Bernard Animal control, went on the LASPCA assessement, spent time with Jane Garrison and Richard at WD, drove to Tylertown to get a Little Black lab we rescued and delivered to MD (my buddy loved that as I rented him a car one way and said "you don't mind driving 24 hours to save this little dog do you?"), I went trapping with Marilyn and others, I found packs of dogs on my own, I spent 3 hours with a National Guard unit who showed me many packs of dogs, I found the owners of 3 dogs Marilyn had just trapped a few days before by asking neighbors if they knew who owned them, lady started crying hysterically when I called her about the dogs...Had an insightful trip. Have good news and bad news.

Eric

A little lesson on why we keep doing what we do for animals and OWNERS! This is Porsche. He spent 10.5 weeks on the streets and then was rescued within blocks of his house just days ago. How many Porsches remain? I think thousands. And what if is only 4? Why in the world would anybody care if we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of our own money to chase 4 little dogs around the city to catch them and return them for their owners?

Most of the smear against rescuers makes very little common sense but neither does most silly things humans fight over. Welcome Home Porsche and I won't give up on you and your friends no matter how much money I spend and how nuts people think I am. I wonder who you (Porsche) would vote on to be in charge of your rescue..Me or the LASPCA?

Wait till you see the pictures I post of my little Lab boy who was with a pack of 20 dogs but decided he would rather jump in my rental car and get back to his couch situation. He is happy and at my house.

41 Comments:

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11/16/05: 50 Cats Rescued from Bulldozer
Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) and Alley Cat Allies (ACA) rescued 50 cats today from a trailer park in Kenner (near the New Orleans airport). FEMA plans to bulldoze the park in order to put up trailers for displaced Katrina victims. People, many of whom are disabled, are still living at the trailer park, and now face being displaced themselves. They have to be out by Saturday, November 19. The 50 cats rescued today were tame and able to be put in carriers. A total of approximately 100 animals including dogs, bunnies and many more cats are still in need of rescue there. Please contact FEMA at FEMAOPA@dhs.gov, (202) 566-1600, and Governor Blanco's office at (866) 366-1121, Fax: (225) 342-7099, and insist that they rescue and provide care for the people and animals currently living at this trailer park. Alley Cat Allies needs cat caregivers at the base camp in Bogalusa. Please email Bonney Brown if you can help at bbrown@alleycat.org.

 
At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

29815. RESCUE NEWS
by saddog, 11/17/05 12:04 ET
1. 11/13/05 From Eric Rice in New Orleans: "40 trapped in the last 24 hr. period. This was overnite. However these dogs are not easily spotted...they have become very adept at hiding. You will not just drive around and see these animals!": http://www.nola.com/forums/animals/index.ssf?artid=112995
2. 11/12/05 Pictures of two chows trapped out of a pack of six by Marilyn McGee - #1 Brown Chow: "Lion" - His ear is rotted off, he has a horrible eye infection, and his leg is lame. Sent off to Tylertown in this condition because it was late and there were no vets.: http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b175/WillowLu/Lion11-12-05.jpg http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b175/WillowLu/LionTwo11-12-05.jpg#2 Black Chow: "Bear" - He also has a horrible eye infection.: http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b175/WillowLu/Bear11-12-05.jpg

3. 11/10/05 Injured Cat Dog rescue request from Uptown resident: http://www.nola.com/forums/uptown/index.ssf?searchart?artid=17510

4. 11/10/05 Jane Garrison/Alley Cat Press Release reports feeding and watering at more than 2,000 sites in the New Orleans area, as well as fielding a constant stream of owner rescue requests.: http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=56547

5. 11/10/05 Rescue Team Charlie/Muttshack reports 3 cats and 3 dogs trapped and rescued as well as 1 owl that had flown into a power pole.: http://neworleans.craigslist.org/pet/110184213.html

6. 11/9/05 Best Friends reports that new admissions average 20 per day: http://news.bestfriends.org/index.cfm?page=specialreports&catid=04061773-BDB 9-396E-9001EF6EC01318A4&mode=entry&entry=8095A360-BDB9-396E-9A5451141845 2576&stid=1

7. 11/9/05 Noah's Wish Press Release states "Number of animals given food in the community on average per day = 3,751." Noah's Wish to leave NOLA area on 11/15/05.: http://www.noahswish.com/Hurricane%20Katrina.htm

8. 11/8/05 Email from Marilyn McGee: We got Andy, the second to last of Larry's cats. He cried when he heard the news. I transferred custody of Andy to Alley cat Allies yesterday to be flown to New York to be reunited. Andy is FAT and such a happy boy. He is not feral at all. Amazing after two months of surviving alone in the woods.

9. 11/8/05 Muttshack reports "German shepard dog was rescued after 71 days in its home since Katrina, very thin but alive. Rescued pregnant dog...gave birth to 10 puppies yesterday.": http://www.muttshack.org/2005/11/rescued-dog-gives-birth.html

10. 11/8/05 4489. Found Cat Dog rescue request from Marigny resident: http://www.nola.com/forums/marigny/index.ssf?artid=10858

11. 11/7/05 Animal Rescuer Update - 3 dead cats at 3 separate houses. These were cats who had only died in the past few days. Two of the cats were found dead on their front porches next to empty food and water bowls. The other was found dead on the back porch of a house where again, no food/water was available. Why did these animals die? Because we do not have enough people to feed them.: http://neworleans.craigslist.org/pet/109634036.html

12. 11/7/05 28121. Email from Alley Cat Allies: "We went out to the address today and got two orange teenage kittens, and saw a third. We will go out tomorrow and try again.: http://www.nola.com/forums/animals/index.ssf?artid=108355

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous sidhewlf said...

Thanx for the pic of Porche Eric.I'm a Boxer Mom myself and spent a lot of time searching the internet info for her. I sent our local tv stations weatherman your blog link. He was so impressed he says he's sharing it with his web mail subscribers in hopes you will generate some more volunteer help.He states his subscriber list reaches thousands....fingers crossed some people will be able to help da critters in LA...if not there maybe locally here in VA.

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi David and Laura: A small team of volunteers from ACA and Jane's group were out working a small area in Kenner yesterday at the request of local residents. Yesterday alone they were able to pick up 56 cats, one rabbit (they saw two others), and a dog. We have photos that will be available soon and, of course, have documented all the animals.

!
Sadly, we still have over 100 other locations where people have requested help that we cannot get to.

The fact that help is still needed certainly does not reflect badly on the Louisiana SPCA. This has been regarded by many experts and media people as one of the largest disasters to befall the nation, so it seems only natural that the situation is not back to normal yet. In fact what would be surprising is if it were back to normal!

Why not accept that help is still needed? There is no shame in that. But turning away help for the animals and for the people of New Orleans who care about the animals, well, that is very difficult to understand.


Bonney Brown, campaign director
Alley Cat Allies
e-mail: bbrown@alleycat.org
! phone: 435-644-8583
website: www.alleycat.org

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the holidays approach, many beloved pets have yet to be reunited with their families.

Many like Chat, who we KNOW has a loving family and they are very sad he is not with them because the adopters are heartless and cruel.
Like Princess, who probably misses her playmates. There's Tobias, Roxie, Mitzi, Shadow, Buddy (whose foster refuses to return him to owner).
Then there's a Schnauzer whose foster is trying desperately to find her owner.
Let's not forget Milo, Fancy, Tera, Sarge, Oreo Cookies, Sweetpea, Domino, Dinker, the 5 Bassets.
Don't forget Snowball, the "oily dog" and the Superdome dog.....and so many more still out there, homeless., and homesick.

So many will be alone this holiday season. Many will be safe in a shelter, but so alone. Then there are those who are still on the streets, alone and scared with no one to care about them.

Please light a candle for these beautiful creatures that didn't deserve what they they have endured and for so many, are still enduring.

Let's give them the strength to find happiness once again with our positive energies....we did it for Buster...we did it for Pedie, and Clementine, and Murphy Brown, many others.
We've done amazing things here and with the holidays near, many of us will be giving less time to these babies, but it is my hope that before things slow down, we will have reunited more families in time for the holidays. It will our best gift to them and to ourselves.

Parrothead from PF

Candle light site:

http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/enter.cfm

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buster's owner found, wants him returned
Print This Page | Send As EmailAndre Salvail - Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Wed 11/16/2005 09:00PM MST

GLENWOOD SPRINGS - The owner of a dog rescued from a flooded neighborhood in New Orleans and brought to the Western Slope was located Wednesday after a massive search intended to save the animal from euthanasia.

"Buster is a family dog and protected my mother," said Angelo Kingvalsky, a Crescent City resident who evacuated to Dallas after Hurricane Katrina. "He never bit anybody. We always considered him a friendly dog. He doesn't deserve to die."

Buster's case has become a major controversy in the Roaring Fork Valley in the last month, also garnering national attention among pet rescuers and animal lovers who say shelters should make special exceptions for dogs and cats rescued from storm-ravaged areas.

Colorado Animal Rescue Inc. of Glenwood Springs, the shelter with custody of the mixed-breed canine, viewed Buster as a threat to the public after he bit its executive director Leslie Rockey on the thigh as she attempted to examine him at his rescuer's ranch in mid-October.

Through a Garfield County sheriff's order, Rockey forced the dog back to the animal shelter against the wishes of his rescuer, Sue Schmidt of Silt, a dog trainer and former CARE board member who paid for his transport from Louisiana to Colorado early last month.

Since the single bite, the nonprofit's board has maintained that Buster is dangerous and a poor candidate for adoption. Though CARE is a "no-kill" shelter - its rules state that fewer than 3 percent of animals under its care can be put to death - his options included euthanasia or transfer to a Utah facility for troubled animals, Rockey has said.

Schmidt says Rockey approached Buster inappropriately, surprising him and placing him in a defensive position in which he felt the need to bite her. She and others on her side say euthanasia should not be an option for a dog that survived the trauma of a Category 4 hurricane.

Oddly enough, Buster's owner was found on the same day that a hearing was to be held in Glenwood Springs to determine temporary custody of Buster and five other dogs Schmidt transported to Colorado. Schmidt filed a motion in Garfield County court two weeks ago asking for jurisdiction over the dogs based on documents showing that they were released to her custody, not CARE's.

The hearing was continued until Dec. 7 because Schmidt's attorney went into labor and could not attend the proceeding.

Schmidt resigned from CARE's board a few days after Rockey ordered Buster back to the shelter and had him placed under bite quarantine.

"We're very happy that Buster's owner has been located," Schmidt said, referring to Angelo Kingvalsky's 80-year-old mother, Lydia. "CARE is going to have to release him now and his life will be saved."

Schmidt worked with pet rescuers in Colorado and Louisiana to track down Buster's owner. A private investigator was even involved. Posters were placed throughout New Orleans' Ninth Ward and that's how Kingvalsky indirectly got wind of Buster's whereabouts.

Kingvalsky said he is putting together paperwork to demand that Buster be placed in Schmidt's care until he can arrange for the dog to be returned to his mother, who also is living in Dallas temporarily.

Rockey declined to speak to reporters inside the Garfield County courthouse on Wednesday. CARE board members siding with Rockey could not be reached for comment by phone. Through letters to the Aspen Daily News, some people have expressed outrage at Schmidt and other pet rescuers for contacting the media.

But Schmidt - who said she only went to the media after CARE declined mediation and got the sheriff's office involved - has gained the support of animal lovers nationwide, with hundreds of postings on Petfinders.com indicating dismay over CARE's handling of Buster.

CARE refused to allow Buster and two other dogs to be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Weld County Humane Society, which has assumed a more liberal policy with regard to animals rescued from the Gulf Coast. The Weld County organization has handled more than 100 rescued dogs, placing some in foster homes and finding the original owners of others with few problems, according to its director.

In an Oct. 29 e-mail from Rockey to CARE donor Jake Jacobson, Rockey admitted that mistakes were made when she handled the dog at Schmidt's ranch. She wrote of how Buster and two other dogs were given a sedative before the attempt to draw blood from them.

"(An assistant) and I arrived about 2 1/2 hours after the dogs were given the tablets in a meatball. At this time we did not really have a plan of action, this was our first mistake.

"We decided to start with the easy dog first, Buster was the easy dog. Sue got Buster out of the crate and walked him around. This was our next mistake, he should have been muzzled as soon as he was removed from the kennel."

Rockey also accused Schmidt of being on "a mission from the very beginning," adding, "she did not have the shelter's best interest in her mind at all. ... When I told her to bring back no more than seven dogs she brought back 10. She knew that this would be an added stress to the shelter. This is why the dogs originally went to her house, we did not initially have room to take in these dogs."

Before Buster's owner surfaced midday Wednesday, CARE animal specialist Tracey Yajko said of the 10 dogs Schmidt brought back from southern Louisiana, five are being held at CARE's shelter, four are in foster homes and one has been returned to its owner.

Kingvalsky said the day his family evacuated from New Orleans, they thought it was OK to leave Buster behind. Like thousands of others in the city, they assumed they would return in a few days.

Following the Aug. 29 storm, his mother's neighborhood flooded because of a break in a nearby levee. Buster, who likes water, apparently swam or walked to an empty house nearby and found a high place, Kingvalsky said. A neighbor initially cared for Buster but relinquished the duty after he was forced to leave the city.

"Buster's really a very good dog," said Kingvalsky, who expressed surprise over the amount of attention his mother's pet has received. "He once held off a vicious animal that charged through a fence and charged at my mother. He got torn up by the other dog for that. He was never a problem for anybody until now."

Longtime CARE donor Charlie Jacobson - wife of former board member Jake Jacobson - said there are a lot of hard feelings in Garfield County over the Buster issue.

She said she has urged some board members to convince Rockey to give Schmidt or the Weld County shelter custody of Buster, to no avail.

"It really hurts," Jacobson said. "I have been involved with CARE from the beginning when we raised money years ago to build the shelter. I feel really bad that their actions make me want to not be associated with CARE anymore.

"I'm glad Sue Schmidt put her reputation on the line. They have called her a bad woman and all kinds of bad names. She's the only one who's thinking about the dogs. CARE has become a bunch of bureaucrats. I'm glad she brought in the media, otherwise no one would have found out about this."

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subject: Volunteer Info


Hi...hate to take up your time but wanted to make sure someone knew. I was a volunteer there approx. two weeks ago. I responded to an email once I returned home....the one to LA gov't officials asking them to NOT turn vet, vet techs, or rescuers away. The basic response I received (as did all others, I'm sure) stated that there are now enough LA vets in practice again. Having been there...this must be impossible.

First, for those who are back in their practices...they probably have to rebuild their lives...and rightfully so.

But having been there and seeing all that i saw....there is NO WAY these vets can possibly react to all of the embedded collars, oozing wounds/ spays/neuters, emaciation and dehydration, worms, etc while trying to rebuild a paying practice. While I believe that many would be willing to help at minimal or no charge...they can not possibly rebuild a proftiible practice AND care for the hundreds of rescues being taken in each day!

I worked out of the Magazine Street operation for most of the day...then went on to MuttShack in the evenings. The vets and vet techs there, working under conditions like that of a M.A.S.H. Unit had their handsfull all of the time.

I saw the packs of dogs and packs of cats as we set out food and water.....how can they turn help away?

Another thing that astounds me is that we volunteers are bringing atleast some business back to the city....and EVERY SINGLE resident we met thanked us, cried, had stories to share. I sensed no resentment what-so-ever. Please, please get this to Jane...surely she can address this better than I.

Thank you!!!!!

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Governor Blanco's order on out-of-state veterinarians and state's position that animal rescue services no longer needed or wanted:

With all due respect to our governor, Dr. Little, and the power of a letter-writing campaign, I suspect that if we want the state government to just get out of our way so that local and out-of-state organizations, caring individuals and responsible citizens of this state can continue to assist the animals who still so desperately need it, AND TO FURTHER ALLOW them to continue to work together, unimpeded, toward the same underlying goal that we all have, without roadblocks, without harassment, without red tape, without the threat of arrest for feeding a dog, etc., than the Governor may just have to receive that message delivered in person on the Capitoal steps

So many onlookers took a critical view of the people of New Orleans after Katrina, because too many citizens had relied upon Government to take care of them, and we were all hit with the reality that we must take responsibility for our own lives and not expect government to solve it, fix it or do it....and yet Now, when not-for-profit groups and individuals alike, local and non-local, are actively trying to stand together and independently of that same Katrina-impacted government, with efforts to work together to accomplish things that can only, in the end, contribute to everyone's vision of a better future for New Orleans, the final insult to injury is that the "powers that be" now expect us to rely ONLY on whatever actions or inactions they think are needed in accomplishing that better New Orleans. In order to achieve our collective complacency, they take measures to eliminate our ability to actually pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get a better game plan this time around........ Somewhere, somehow, I think that some individuals in this state forgot that the government works for its citizens and therefore, it has no powers to unilaterally "lay off" the caring, socially responsible and proactive citizens that dare to stake a claim in their own futures.... What an insult to the rest of the world that watched as officials in this state begged, cried, screamed and more for the rest of the world to help us, and now, those same officials, disgracefully, won't allow us to help ourselves

Lise McComiskey

 
At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiny Heartbeats Amid Katrina's Wreckage

By Brenda Shoss, 11/14/05

"We have her," rescuer Jane Garrison says.

Three simple words. But for an 84-year-old woman in a Baton Rouge intensive
care unit, they are reason to live. This Katrina victim's cat is alive,
seven weeks after the storm.

As hurricane headlines vanish from daily news, a little dog named Bingo is
found in a bathtub too weak to lift her head. A skin-and-bones Doberman mix
is plucked from the trash. Some burrow under homes or linger in familiar
yards. They are stealth shadows, glimpsed after dark. Many companion animals
still fend for themselves in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita.

On October 1, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) left the
state-designated shelter in Gonzales, LA. Garrison, a volunteer who managed
HSUS rescue operations, now directs Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), one of
few recovery missions left in New Orleans.

"Many of these animals are people's companions who escaped their homes when
doors and windows blew open. It would be completely unethical to allow them
to die on the streets," says Garrison, who struggles to recruit enough
volunteers to dispense food/water at over 2,000 locations in and around New
Orleans.

My own commitment to these animals began shortly after Katrina hit. That's
when I found my four-year-old son, a Cartoon Network junkie, glued to CNN
Headline News.

"Mommy," he explained, "I want to see if the people get out of their broken
houses."

I wept for the people adrift on tree branches and floating down streets. But
in the same instant, I knew who would be overlooked: Outgoing boys with
floppy paws. A spoiled princess who slept on their beds. A soft tabby who
nestled in their laps.

In early September Kinship Circle, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization,
formed an alliance with Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), a no-kill shelter in
Mobile, Alabama. Under the banner Grassroots Effort for Animals of the
Storm, ARF's Julia Fischer and I mobilized volunteers and supplies to over
80 shelters and triage sites across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and
Texas.

Truckloads of cages, live traps, hay and horse feed left our storehouse in
Mobile. By mid-October, we'd distributed over 20,000 pounds of animal food,
1,000 pounds of kitty litter, 500 crates, $5,000 worth of vaccines, $10,000
in veterinary supplies, 10 pallets of water, and more than 5,000 bowls,
leashes, collars, and toys.

About the time my son thought Mommy had mutated with her computer and phone,
evacuee Brenda Johnson called. She begged me to find her dog, an 11-year-old
Yorkshire terrier trapped in an apartment on Roger Drive in New Orleans
East. "Can you save our Spike? He's big, probably 15 pounds. We thought we'd
be back in a couple of days..."

As Brenda spoke I overhead children, an aunt, a niece and a brother from her
crowded hotel room. I also heard the despair in her voice.

I filed reports and perused lost pet photos. I granted rescuers permission
to break into Brenda's apartment. But with each passing day I wondered,
"Will the heat, starvation, or water finally take him?"

Spike's uncertain fate haunted me. His salvation, along with tens of
thousands of stranded companion animals, seemed contingent on little more
than chance. Eleven days post-Katrina, rescuer Paul Berry of Best Friends in
Kanab, Utah, wrote: "You hear fluff pieces on TV about people reunited with
their pets. But [from the boats] you see this vast, endless wasteland of
toxic water... and animals clinging to life."

Some nights, my friend Tim Gorski phoned from the Winn Dixie parking lot
while volunteering with Grass Roots Animal Rescue. Behind his voice, I heard
barks and howls cast into the darkness.

In retrospect, a strategy to accommodate animals might have lowered the
human death toll. On September 8, CNN listed "People won't leave their pets"
as a chief reason some 10,000 stragglers would not vacate their homes under
Mayor Ray Nagin's mandatory evacuations.

Any disaster preparedness plan that forces victims to choose between
survival and their animals is a bad plan. Post-Katrina images are
unforgivable: A white dog is ripped from a boy's arms as he boards a bus. A
yellow Lab, marooned on a rooftop, watches his family disappear in a
helicopter. An elderly woman cannot receive medical care unless she deserts
her cats.

When Katrina hit Plaquemine Parish, south of New Orleans, homes, farms, and
trees were tossed along highways and beaches. Two protective levees
crumbled. Oil tanks exploded, spilling millions of gallons of black crude.

Still, life persevered. Hundreds of dogs swarmed Guardsmen for food and
water. Cats devoured MREs from these kindhearted troops. Bewildered horses
were submerged in water and cows floated in watery fields.

I contacted the New Mexico National Guard to gain entry into "no-go"
Plaquemines. I found a kindred spirit in Major Kimberly Lalley. Soon rescue
teams led by Chris and Sarah Stevens and Terri Kelley of Indiana cleared
security checkpoints with permission from Colonel Dick Almeter.

The problem with the animal disaster plan is that there was no plan--other
than the mercy of volunteers and soldiers.

Once the people search diminished to body retrieval, why didn't the White
House, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the
states of Louisiana and Mississippi authorize active and reserve component
troops to conduct animal rescue and relief missions?

With human aid well underway, why didn't Governors Blanco and Barbour direct
rescue boats, air-conditioned trucks, medical personnel and other responders
to recover animals?

Instead, the world witnessed an unprecedented phenomenon: Entire ghost towns
filled with dogs, cats, birds and horses. Among them, a beloved Yorkie named
Spike waited beneath a child's bed.

On September 16 Brenda Johnson called me. "They found Spike. He is alive."
This elderly dog, prone to seizures, survived without food or water for more
than two weeks.

My plea for Spike had reached the Jefferson Feed store, a makeshift triage
site in New Orleans. From there, someone named Jennifer contacted Nathalie,
who communicated with ground crews from her home in New Jersey. Finally, two
vet techs with Florida's Collier County Animal League happened to be with
police and firemen when they got Spike's report. Under official escort, they
broke into Brenda's flooded home with a huge "Hello!" for the little Yorkie.

An animal's life often depended upon an out-of-state network in the right
place at the right time. By October's end, guardian requests to find lost
animals still poured in. Yet the state declared local animal control in
charge, essentially ordering non-Louisiana volunteers to go home.

Governor Kathleen Blanco, under advisement from Assistant State Veterinarian
Martha Littlefield, refused to extend Executive Order KBB 2005-35 allowing
licensed veterinarians from other states to temporarily practice in
Louisiana. Already prolonged one month under KBB 2005-43, the order's firm
October 25 termination meant incoming vets risked jail time and fines.

As I write, displaced pets have multiplied New Orleans large stray
population. Many are unsterilized and set to yield even more homeless
puppies and kittens. One study shows a dog and her young can produce 67,000
puppies in six years. A cat and her litter can create 420,000 kittens in
seven years.

Rottweilers, pits, poodles and cocker spaniels run in packs in St. Bernard
Parish, a ravaged area with no functional animal control. The LA SPCA, head
of animal control in Orleans Parish, does not possess the people power or
accommodations to trap and shelter this many animals.

I'd intended to exit hurricane rescue by Halloween. Instead, I find myself
on-call for ARNO, along with organizers David Meyer and Pia Salk. Kate
Danaher of San Francisco and I field some 300-500 emails daily as Jane
Garrison's volunteer coordinators.

We deploy animal control officers, humane trappers, DVMs and techs from as
far away as Canada. We find hotels, campsites, FEMA tents and resident homes
for volunteers who cannot turn away from Katrina's forgotten.

In November rescuers discovered two dead cats alongside empty food and water
bowls. A third died alone on a barren porch. These animals endured hurricane
and flood only to succumb to starvation. We don't have enough volunteers to
sustain animals until we can trap them. And we fear for the ones huddled
under homes slated for demolition.

I don't know where this story ends. But for me, it all comes back to Spike.
His life is the miracle of strangers connecting across phone lines and
internet. People navigating roads, rivers and ruined towns to salvage 15
pounds of furry love.

Spike is alive and I have a forever friend in Brenda Johnson. This story is
about compassion. It's about saving Spike.

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Louisiana Resident said...

In my personal opinion, Laura Maloney of the LASPCA, Governor Kathleen Blanco and Dr. Martha Littlefield all deserve a place of honor in the Hall of Shame for their attitudes toward the destitute animals.

 
At 4:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Porcshe male of female? Just pulled up old file a month ago, someone looking for Porsche, female though, looks exactly like this one. I emailed her to see if this might be hers.
Did you find the owner yet?
thanks so much for all your heartfelt and compassionate actions for all the pets down in NO. I was down there rescuing back in Sept. It's been so painful to watch all the unfoldings over the last 6 weeks. I wanted to return but couldn't because of grad school. I am trying to spread the word so more volunteers might show up down there.
you are amazing!
Janine

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger GDF said...

Is there any group devoted exclusively to searching intake information & the lists of rescued animals and tracking down the owners. It seems like a logistical nightmare for an owner--already traumatized by the loss --to do this on their own. I wonder if some of us stuck behind computers all day but unable to make it to LA could start an organized way to do this, and take some of the burden off of the crowded shelters. Any thoughts?

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous eric rice said...

We have over 300 volunteers helping owners find animals. It is a needle in a haystack but they do have some success. Some people focus on helping shelters find the owners if they have the dog and some info (address pulled from, rabies tag etc). They use reverse directories to do all these searches. Other volunteers work for owners trying to locate pets in the system. It is a collusal failure of a tracking system. Eric RicE

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous sidhewlf said...

Hi Eric,I'm working with the Stealth volunteers trying to reunite found pets with there owners. I don't think its a failure of a system....it's just there was NO system before this series of disasters. In our efforts,we are forming a system the hard way-by trial and error with no true central management. Hopefully,one of the larger organizations is watching and learning so they can utilize their resources in developing a permanent system for furtue disasters.

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> eric rice said...
> We have over 300 volunteers
> helping owners find animals.

Eric, who is "we" ?

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Ferguson:



Thank you for your communication. Please know that The HSUS completely understands and sympathizes with your frustrations concerning the animal rescue operation in Louisiana in general. We will continue to do everything we can to reunite pets with their owners.



Unfortunately, however, the exigencies associated with the disaster and the massive rescue response make it difficult to guarantee that any particular animal rescued from the disaster will be reunited with the person looking for that animal. Although I do not expect anyone who is still desperately trying to locate their lost animal to find much comfort in this, it is an unfortunate reality that stems from the unprecedented challenges that we and other animal organizations engaged in the animal rescue and reunification effort faced.



In their combined impact, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita overwhelmed every organization and entity involved, including federal, state, and local governments; emergency response units; human and animal disaster relief organizations; and the citizens of Louisiana and Mississippi themselves. Virtually all were unprepared for the immense magnitude of the catastrophe.



Simply stated, the crisis that ensued was the most urgent challenge that The HSUS has ever faced. Literally overnight, we were forced to transform ourselves from primarily an advocacy organization with a small hands-on disaster relief unit to a full scale animal rescue, relief, and sheltering operation, trying to bring order to an atmosphere of complete chaos.



In the days before Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, The HSUS committed itself to action, even though we quickly realized that the disaster would greatly exceed our capacity to respond. Drawing on our staff’s substantial past experience, we established and managed the largest temporary sheltering facilities in both of the afflicted states. With animals endangered and starving to death in the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas, we focused almost entirely on rescue, relief, stabilization, and sheltering in the early weeks. Although we and other cooperating groups attempted to maintain good records of the animals coming into our operations, it proved a far more complicated challenge than we realized, especially in Louisiana.



Knowing full well that there were not enough trained Disaster Animal Response Teams (DARTS) to handle the situation, we put out a call for volunteers to help in rescue effort. Working with the ASPCA, the Louisiana SPCA, and countless local animal care and control agencies, we transformed the facility at Lamar Dixon into the largest temporary animal shelter in the world.



Under extraordinarily adverse conditions, setting up the shelter and an intake system for processing rescued animals proved very difficult. Communications problems, supply problems, the fact that federal and state agencies were so overwhelmed with responding to human needs that they could not help us initially – all of these factors coupled with the fact that we were in a race against time to rescue animals – greatly complicated the challenges we faced.



Despite this chaos, we did all that we could to rescue suffering animals. With hundreds of volunteers descending upon Lamar Dixon, many with no animal care and control experience, we did our best to mobilize and supervise them. Unfortunately, there was no way we could predict that some of these volunteers would act in ways that undermined the prospects for reuniting people with their animals. In some cases, volunteers took lists of addresses of animals needing rescue and went to search for them without our knowledge, even taking them out of state. In other cases, volunteers spirited animals from Lamar Dixon, literally taking them “off the books.” As soon as we realized that security was an issue, we acquired fencing to secure the perimeter and hired security guards.



Another major challenge we faced at Lamar Dixon involved limits on the capacity of the shelter. Under orders from the state of Louisiana, only 1300 dogs at a time could be temporarily housed at the facility. This meant incoming animals had to be vet checked, an intake record produced (containing as much identification and location information as possible), and then moved to one of 220 shelters across the United States which had agreed to temporarily house the animals.



With hundreds of animals a day coming through our facility, the paper-based recording system rapidly put in place to document rescued pets coming to the facility proved inadequate. We turned to Petfinder.com, a web site designed to enable the public to view and adopt animals in shelters across the country, and Chameleon, a software package company that works with animal shelters and sponsors a second web site, PetHarbor. We asked them to assist by processing and posting the documentation and photographs of rescued animals on the Petfinder.com and PetHarbor web sites, thereby providing several electronic, web based systems to facilitate reunification.



Unfortunately, these web sites were never designed for the purposes to which we were now assigning them, and we soon found that they were simply not up to the challenge. However, these were the only options available in this time of crisis and so HSUS staff worked to improve them as best we could. Unfortunately, even with an electronic tracking system now in place, and data entry personnel working around the clock to enter the backlog of paper records into the system, the accuracy of the information still depended largely upon the collaboration of volunteers and other rescuers from many different organizations, and the information they provided, which often was incomplete, inadequate, and in some cases erroneous.



Despite these problems, our use of these software packages has facilitated a large number of reunions. More than 8,000 animals were rescued in Louisiana and Mississippi, and more than 1,200 pets have been reunited with people to date.



Great care and caution has been taken in the decision-making processes regarding the housing, care, and homing of Katrina’s displaced animals, and we have done all that we feel was appropriate to ensure that the same standard will govern the work of those shelters and agencies now responsible for their futures. The HSUS is strongly committed to local decision-making and control, and we did not think it appropriate to unreasonably hamstring the numerous humane societies and rescue groups that took part by imposing anything more than the most basic rules for participation in the rescue and relief effort. That consideration extends to the question of holding times, adoption policies from here on out, and euthanasia of aggressive or sick animals. We have asked, however, that local shelters and agencies recognize that the circumstances surrounding their care of these animals were extraordinary and that they do what they can to facilitate the animals’ reunion with their owners.



The HSUS has strongly encouraged shelters to avoid making permanent adoptions until December 15, if possible, to give owners and caregivers the greatest possible opportunity to reclaim animals. Fortunately, most of the 200 organizations that took in animals from the disaster have agreed to voluntarily extend the holding period to facilitate additional reunions.



It is our hope that these measures, as well as the ongoing efforts being made by our staff members and many others such as yourself to use all available means to reunite people with their pets, will increase the number of successful reunions nationwide in the weeks ahead.



Finally, one point of clarification. I serve as general counsel to the Wildlife Land Trust, one of The HSUS's separate, affiliate organizations. While I have been assisting with some aspects of The HSUS's hurricane-related efforts, responsibility for some of the points you raise actually resides with The HSUS's Office of General Counsel. I am forwarding your communication to them so that they are aware of your concerns.



Thank you again for contacting us.



Sincerely,



Stephen W. Swartz
General Counsel
The Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust
E-mail SSwartz@hsus.org
Direct Dial 301-548-7735
Toll-Free 1-800-729-SAVE
Fax 301-258-9361
www.wlt.org

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous sidhewlf said...

well,that last post addressed to ms ferguson was somewhat enlightening...at least honest.

 
At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is another needle in a haystack, but since he is my foster dog I really am doing all I can to locate his original owner. Of course, if it takes him six months to find us, we would never keep a dog someone wants back. So, that said, here's this dog's info:

Looking for owner of White Male Pit Bull w/Brindle Patch on Right Eye. This is the link to his details on Petfinders. http://tinyurl.com/c5jlx
He was a Pasado's rescue but I do not know the area he came from, maybe Gentilly, just that it was New Orleans. He was in Raceland and then sent to EDNAH hell, but Pasado's took him to Washington and now he is fostered with us in Sacramento. He is now neutered! He looks like 100's of other white pit bulls with brindle eye patch. I hope someone recognizes this dog, he is very nice. If someone knows the owner, contact info through Petfinders posting.

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excerpt from up-coming article on Nov.21

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco | Louisiana
By AMANDA RIPLEY

Failures aren't born. They're made. Before Hurricane Katrina, it wasn't the job of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to plan for the evacuation of the elderly and poor from New Orleans. Afterward, she wasn't in charge of the federal response. But it was her job to give her constituents heart by looking decisive, steadfast and capable. Even if she wasn't.

When it mattered most, Blanco appeared "dazed and confused," says Bernie Pinsonat, a bipartisan political consultant in Baton Rouge, La. When NBC's Matt Lauer asked her whether it was hard to find words to reassure the public, she tried to muster optimism, then circled back to despair. "You know, our people out here are so fearful. They're so worried ... It's a nightmare."

The public might have forgiven her. But, Pinsonat says, "you've got to convince them you're in control." Instead, Blanco waited seven weeks to appoint a recovery commission. She was slow to call the legislature back into session to deal with a nearly $1 billion decline in tax revenue. Her suggested cuts--to education and health care--came under fire last week as unrealistic. In 21 years in state politics, Blanco, a Democrat, was always cautious and deliberative. But those qualities have turned into liabilities.

Source- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1129534,00.html

 
At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/politics/13205397.htm

Louisiana SPCA, out-of-state volunteers debate need

BY KAY HARVEY

Knight Ridder Newspapers


NEW ORLEANS - Two animal-rights leaders are squaring off as New Orleans strains to regain calm. Their debate centers on just how many abandoned animals still wander the city's streets and how much help those animals need.

On one side is Jane Garrison, a volunteer from Charleston, S.C., who with 75 volunteers organized as AnimalRescueNewOrleans.com have fed, watered and trapped animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers around the country also make phone calls and post information and photos online to reunite owners and their pets. "Just last week, we had a dozen reunions," Garrison said this week from the organization's base camp in New Orleans.

On the other side is Laura Maloney, who heads the Louisiana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has managed animal control for Orleans Parish for 117 years. Maloney's organization conducted a needs assessment early this week and was surprised by the "low number of animals spotted in a city that typically has had a high stray population," according to a news release Friday.

"We're not seeing hundreds of starving animals," Maloney said in an interview.

She said she wasn't asking AnimalRescueNewOrleans.com to leave; she just doubts its services are needed.

The Louisiana SPCA, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States and other animal-rights groups, sent 10 two-person teams through five New Orleans-area hot spots early this week in the morning and in early evening, hours when animals are most active. Each team saw an average of three dogs and three cats per period. Most of those animals were in good condition, though some were battling fleas and emaciation, the Louisiana SPCA said.

Those numbers sound low to Garrison. Last weekend, her volunteers rescued 50 dogs, she said.

"They're thin, and we see a lot of leg injuries," she said. "Many animals have died of starvation or dehydration."

Garrison called the situation "overwhelming" and questioned why the Louisiana SPCA would want "to take control" of the situation when the state's animals need all the help they can get.

"Why would you want to discourage volunteers from helping?" she asked. "Even if things are back to normal, why wouldn't you want to take it from a pitiful problem to a nonexistent problem?"

Don Corsmeier, an AnimalRescueNewOrleans.com volunteer from Cincinnati, said he was confronted by representatives of the Louisiana SPCA three weeks ago while working in Orleans Parish.

"I don't know if they thought we weren't legitimate or what," he said. "None of us had LA/SPCA credentials with us at the time. We had a letter issued that had expired. We were escorted out by the National Guard."

Maloney said she had heard reports of unauthorized animal-rescue volunteers being escorted from restricted areas, particularly from the heavily damaged Lower Ninth Ward.

Such encounters have discouraged the volunteer effort, some said.

"Only people with nerves of steel will go out there," said Marilyn Magee, a volunteer from nearby Jefferson Parish who said she rescued a starving cat and three dogs this week. "Both had serious eye infections, and one had an ear that was rotting away."

The Louisiana SPCA has frustrations, too. Residents have called the agency's office to complain about finding messages such as "four cats under house" scrawled in black paint on their homes and vehicles or doors left open by animal-rescue volunteers.

To manage the stray population, the Louisiana SPCA plans to contract with an experienced, humane trapper and to launch an aggressive spaying and neutering program. Rescued animals will be routed through area shelters and linked with previous or new owners, the organization said.

AnimalRescueNewOrleans.com, meanwhile, has no plans to pull out. Every day, the organization gets dozens of calls from people hoping to be reunited with their pets and others reporting sightings of lost and injured animals, Garrison said.

"We plan to stay as long as there's a need," she said

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

Dear Sirs, Mmes, of HSUS.

You received 17 million in donations for Hurricane Rescue and Reclamation work from American citizens. You seem to have had a standing contract with FEMA for several years to be the 'contact administrator' for Animal-related Disaster topics, and that contract is FEMA money funded to you.

Given that amount of money available to your organization, the departure of your organization from the Gulf Region as stated on September 29, 2005, and carried out on September 30, 2005, means you made decisions to not spend all your contributions at that time.

It is true that word-spin can make most anything seem clean and tidy. However, those of us dedicated to the Gulf State Pet Rescue topic deny this is all tidy and 'wrapped up'.

When the disaster hit, requests to major American computer distributors would have resulted in large servers, T-1 lines in data service centers, 800 numbers with more volunteers, and larger numbers of photographers and data entry persons on the ground.

We can track ten thousand white shirts by using barcode identification numbers that can trace items from China into individual Walmarts. I think 'we' could have thought fast, and been able to track ten thousand animals with like efficiency.

Sincerely, Saffron

 
At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Stephen W. Swartz;

It seems your letter quoted here is a template used by several 'authorities' in your organization. It is quoted verbatim and signed by other persons, with attached adresses etc. and sent out as needed.

Perhaps this is something typed up Wednesday evening, and sent out as copies for all officials to use in response to any questions or comments.

Another letter, signed by Bernard Unti, Special Assistant to the President, Senior Policy Advisor, is identical to yours.

Sincerely,
Saffron

 
At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: "Louisiana SPCA, out-of-state volunteers debate need"

Eirc: I don't understand how Laura M. is still saying there is no problem after the count?? This is the same count you were involved with, no??

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger lanekry said...

why indeed.

I just keep thinking they want to keep the body count low as possible, and they want to bulldoze, sell the land to Murphy Oil in St. Bernard and condo developers in NOLA, and animal rescuers are the only ones interfering with this.

 
At 12:19 PM, Anonymous sidhewlf said...

You've got a point there Lanekry-one thing for sure is they need to start generating income one way or the other. I here Entergy has raised its electricity cost by almost double.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,
You asked if we would want you to rescue our pets or LSPCA - I would want you to rescue ME because my pets could come, too. Fema can KMA!!! LSPCA is in need of new and more insightful management. Thank heavens for the "little guys". Its pretty obvious that a few individuals have a far better handle on reality than the general consensus of "experts".

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger Shireen Gonzaga said...

sidhewlf said...
> I don't think its a failure of a system....it's just
> there was NO system before this series of disasters.

I think Eric is referring to the colossal failure of analysis, common sense, and creativity. These are necessary qualities for any group that wants to have the words "relief" and "rescue" associated with it.

The biggest failure of all was the lack of leadership from the big animal rescue groups and the government. A stunning failure.

Our society deserves better.

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Kathryn said...

hmmmm .. who would I choose to be in charge of rescue were my pets at risk .... geez, this is so simple, it must be a trick question. I'll answer two ways:

the long way:
LA-SPCA--not no, but hell no.
HSUS---nope.
ASPCA--nope.
Eric Rice---absorootewy
Jane Garrison--silly question, OF COURSE.
Any "Rogue" rescuer---Yes.

the easy way: any one but la-spca.

 
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