Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"If The South Would Have Won..."

Note: Please put your email in the form to right and submit so I can keep in touch! Is this your first time here? Be sure to go to the bottom of this post and see some great links, video and pics about Katrina animal rescue.

This state has huge animal welfare issues and from first hand experience I have seen how the government treated the issues associated with animals. Why would we expect more of the local or state government of LA? They have shown how much they care about animals and returning them to owners. Maybe one state official could have shown up to the Best Friends Lost Pet Weekend where over 800 LA residents showed up desperate to find lost pets?

More Cartoons Coming Soon


This is the letter to me after I had written Mrs. Littlefield a total of just 6 emails. None of which was in any way harassing or out of line. You can see the last one I sent in the COMMENTS to this post. In my only phone call to Mrs. Littlfield (the call was even set up by an official from HomeLand Security) I inquired as why animals were being shipped all over the world with NO TRACKING. Mrs. Littlefield very unpolitely told me "that is not true, I have been to Lamar Dixon and they have a sophisticated tracking system." We all know how that turned out.

Then this lawyer letter from a governmental official. She might know how to run a State Ag department, but I think we can all see that State Vets have no business and no knowledge of running disaster animal rescue first response, recovery and long term animal welfare operations during and after crisis.

This one cracks me up, I hope you find it amusing as well:
FROM: Marvin Montgomery
General Counsel
La. Dept. Ag. & Forestry


November 2, 2005

Mr. Eric Rice
General Manager, Bulkregister
Via e-mail only

Re: Communications with Dr. Martha Littlefield

Dear Mr. Rice:

Your e-mails directed to Dr. Martha Littlefield, assistant State Veterinarian with this Department have been forwarded to me for review because of the number of e-mails you have been sending to her. Please be assured that this Department and Dr. Littlefield are as concerned with animal welfare as you. However, repeated e-mails over a situation that none of us have any control over uses up time and resources that can be put to better use.

After Hurricane Katrina this Department cooperated with public and private agencies to assist in the coordination of rescue and shelter operations for animals abandoned or lost as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Littlefield served as this Department’s liaison with this team of agencies. However, under Louisiana law, neither this Department nor Dr. Littlefield regulates the SPCA or the rescue and sheltering of animals in New Orleans. These functions are regulated by the SPCA in New Orleans in conjunction with the New Orleans city government.

The destruction in New Orleans is beyond comprehension. What one sees on television cannot begin to show the extent of the devastation. It is safe to say that only a minority of businesses and agencies that were in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina are currently operations. We have no idea when such businesses and agencies, including the SPCA will be fully functional again. The fact that SPCA does not have telephone communications or someone to answer the telephone is not a matter that this Department can control. It is therefore, unnecessary, to keep sending an e-mail to Dr. Littlefield regarding this situation.

It is unnecessary to continue e-mailing Dr. Littlefield regarding the situation in New Orleans or to send her e-mails regarding rescue efforts in New Orleans. Therefore I, on behalf of Dr. Littlefield and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry ask you to remove Dr. Littlefield’s name and this Department’s name from your e-mail distribution list and to cease e-mailing or attempting to contact Dr. Littlefield about any matter. If you have complaints regarding Dr. Littlefield or this Department you may send them by U. S mail to my attention, but we will not respond to any e-mails from you.

Future attempts to e-mail this Department or Dr. Littlefield will be blocked and any attempt to contact Dr. Littlefield in any other way will be reviewed for possible harassment with referral of the matter to the proper law enforcement authorities, if necessary.


J. Marvin Montgomery
General Counsel, LDAF

My favorite must see blog stuff:

1. My own favorite Post: Click here
2. Best video footage: Click here
3. This blog has the BEST PICTURES so far of Katrina Animals. It is all pics and good ones Click here
4. And this is one of our groups blogs --
Click here
6. Most amazing photography: I mean must see: Click here
7. To reunite pets with owners: Click here
8. Watch a Pitbull video Click Here


At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the level of pre-hurrican neglect and abuse of animals by (too many) owners is really horrific too!

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Auntie said...

Did they actually give you a postal address to write any further comments to? Maybe the rest of us should start emailing the State vet now ...

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Eric Rice said...

Below is my last email to Martha. This was in response to her telling me that I needed to "call" the LASPCA to further volunteer in New Orleans. She was telling everyone this from October 1 onwards. Then I got a press release on or about Oct. 25th saying the LASPCA just finally got phones. I am not blaming LASPCA for this but the state vet was spewing misinformation for almost a month, showing that offices total lack of understanding of the situation on the ground....

The email and her reply "see below" which I have no idea what that means...A few days later I got my lawyer letter...
Reply from Martha --

see below.

Dr. Martha A. Littlefield
Assistant State Veterinarian
Office of Animal Health Services
Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry
PO Box 1951
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-1951

5825 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-925-3980 work
225-935-2168 desk
225-237-5555 fax


From: Eric Rice [mailto:erice@bulkregister.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 11:38 AM
To: Martha Littlefield
Cc: Maxwell Lea
Subject: this is nice


No phones until now? yet you told use that we should CALL the LASPCA to get our animal control officers credentialed

So what have your people and the LASPCA done for the last month? YOU TOLD ME A MONTH AGO ALL WAS BEING HANDLED. Now when you call even this number and push "1" it says that nothing has been done since October. I have yet to figure out if you rely on people who tell you total lies or if you just flat our lie yourself. Almost to a point what you say is not the reality.

Press Release -
Halloo Communications Steps Forward to Reconnect Phone Service for Louisiana SPCA
Tuesday October 25, 10:15 am ET

Hosted Phone Service Provider Donates Toll-Free Phone Service to Help Reunite Families with Lost Pets: 1-800-745-9151

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 25, 2005--For nearly two months, since the ravage of Hurricane Katrina, the phones at the Louisiana SPCA (LA/SPCA) have gone unanswered. Their shelter was only one of thousands of structures that were lost or damaged in the catastrophe, but the only facility of its type that the community regularly turns to for pet rescue and information. Thousands of families desperate to locate missing pets, and untold thousands of other callers trying to figure out what to do with found animals, have been unable to connect with anyone since the shelter was destroyed.

Eric Rice

Eric Rice
General Manager

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

As a Louisiana resident who helps pay the salaries of state veterinarians Dr. Martha Littlefield and Dr. Maxwell Lea through my taxes, I am personally appalled at their incompetence and apparent lack of concern for the Katrina animal victims. Hopefully their negligence will be a lesson for other state veterinarians in other future disaster areas and they will not seek emulate these two.

The buck should stop with the Louisiana Secretary of Agriculture, Bob Odom, who is their boss, however, I seriously doubt that he cares. Secretary Odom is an elected official, Littlefield and Lea are appointed by him. It is my hope that Louisiana voters will remember the non-actions of all of these people at the ballot box and they will be replaced with public officials who will be more cognizant of their responsibilities.

The pompous attorney who is writing to Eric needs to re-examine his threats. He does not speak for the people of Louisiana and his attitude is totally unacceptable. I personally find his remarks offensive.

After the idiocy of Louisiana politicians in the hurricane area, I feel there will be a be a monumental change starting with the Governor and on down in the next election. The citizens have endured enough stupidity from public servants who are so enthralled with their own public images and egos. The people and animals paid the price for their gross incompetence.

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, it is always nice to come back to your site and find something new and interesting...and now funny!

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Louisiana Resident:

Beautifully put - copy it and send it out to all the papers you can find!

At 12:12 PM, Blogger GDF said...

From Eric's email today:

>>I have been pushing a concept locally called “two dogs are better than one” and have convinced about a dozen people of the benefits of the two dog household. These are folks who would probably not have adopted a second dog. <<

Eric, I couldn't agree more. It can definitely be a challenge if an only dog is past its puppyhood, but as long as the adoptive family does some research about what temperaments will go well with their current dog, and be patient during the introduction period with both animals. Generally, a (spayed/neutered) member of the opposite sex is the best choice. A good book to read to better understand how your dog might react to a new member of the family is "The Hidden Life of Dogs" by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
She also wrote a great book along the same lines about cats: "The Tribe of Tiger". Let's not forget that there's an equally bleak situation for cats in shelters.

More than 2 dogs??? For my pack, personally, 4 dogs was too many, 3 dogs is just right. (That's based on the dogs' opinions, not my own.)

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great job by the state of protecting its animals for the sake of its citizens looking for them. I hope this shelter will be forced to turn over pics and records of any PTS animals to volunteers so they can close the case if need be!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Pam Ellis-Leavy [mailto:tundraleap@msn.com]
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 4:15 PM
To: Sandra (spaymart); Stacy Cannon; Brenda; Cindy Wallace; Sandra Train
Subject: Animals killed at Cedar Rapids humane society

I received this email from a fellow rescuer. I, too, thought the animals were going to no-kill shelters. It is horrible for a rescuer to discover the following: This is the "contact us" section on their website.

Unfortunately, I have found that some of the supposedly "no-kill" groups that are taking animals, are not what they claim to be. On 9-25 I rescued a dog, which was taken to Lamar Dixon and I had no idea where she went from there......I finally found her a week ago, on petfinder. She was in Cedar Rapids. I called them to check on her status....if she had found her owner, was she being fostered, was her health improving, just the normal questions.
I was asked what her name was. I said, "how should I know? She was in a fenced in back yard, starving, but alive. I just want to check on her, not claim her." The lady on the other end of the line paused for a moment and said, "Well, only one Katrina dog was reunited with her owner." Ok, I said, is she in a foster home? Her reply, "Well no maam, she was hw positive so we had to euthanize her, along with ALL the other dogs taken from Lamar Dixon. They were all hw positive and we had to put them down." I almost screamed nto the phone, "YOU IDIOT!" I couldnt believe it. After we said goodbye, I let it settle in and sat down at my computer to express my disapproval of their actions....will forward that to you in a few minutes.
I feel betrayed and lied to by the HSUS & LASPCA for assuring us these guys were going to no-kill shelters. I bet there are hundreds who have met the same fate. I am disgusted and discouraged. anyway, just wanted to share that with you.

This rescuer continued with the following email:

The more I thought about this dog, then finding a picture of her in the pics
I took in N.O., I got angry and sent them an email....I think I was very
tired and a little punchy toward the end (haha) because I see a lot of
typo's. I think my fingers move faster than my brain....anyway, wanted you
to see what I wrote to them.

Letter to shelter:

I am contacting your organization regarding the Katrina rescue dog PF40196,
a black/white female mix. I am the RESCUER of this dog and recently called
your facility to check her status, just to see how she was doing, just as I
have all the others I have rescued. I was told that only one Katrina pet
taken into your rescue group was reunited with their owner. The rest were
euthanized, due to being heartworm positive. I just need to voice my opinion
to you, a group I understood to be a "no kill" rescue group, (rescue being
the most import aspect), which was, supposedly the ONLY type groups allowed
to come into OUR area and take OUR animals, that I do NOT understand why you
felt it was necessary to euthanize an animal that was hw positive. Maybe in
your area, hw positive means death, but in Louisiana, a humid, swampland,
heartworms are common among the poor, and various other people I won't
comment on, but, not a death sentence. Maybe in Iowa, hw positive means
untreatable cancer....but in Louisiana it is a "common cold". You have no
idea what our enviornment is like, so how can you come down here and
"rescue" our animals that I personally busted by butt, in the 100+ heat, to
rescue, then allow "someone" to take back to your city and euthanize because
they were hw positive! Every rescue group in the south is accustomed to
heartworms and they ARE treatable....it is not a death sentence. I am
disgusted and upset with your organization, bacause you have not been fair
to our animals. !
What did you expect? A perfect set of showdogs, groomed and perfectly
manned, to come home with you?
These animals are the leftovers a disaster! The worst to hit our country in
decades. If you couldn't take animals that were not perfect, then you
shouldn't have taken any at all.
I have been doing rescue in New Orleans since the second week of the storm
and am still active every weekend, and I must tell you, everyone, who has
heard of this incident with your group, is totally appalled. YOU have let us
down, along with our governor, the mayor of N.O., and the president of the
US.But you know what? Out of all of these, YOU have let us down the most. We
trusted you to come to our aid and help us, not take animals that are less
than perfect and euthanize them.
Had I known, the day I rescued this poor, abandoned, starving dog, left in
her owner's back yard fence to fend for her own, that she would end up in
Cedar Rapids, with a fate of death, I would have fought to take her home
with me. She would still be alive today.
I have a 10 yr old , hw positive sheltie, that I took into rescue, this
summer and at his age, he cannot be treated, but do I euthanize him? I'll
let you guess.
I have been on the streets for almost three months ....My aggravation &
stress level are a little high.
However, Your efforts to help us in a devastating situation, are
appreciated, but I think euthanization, just because of heartworms, is
ludicrious. It's not cancer or kidney failure.
You just should have given them a second chance. They survived the armpit of
the world......and for what.? A group of animal lovers to come nd take them
hundreds of miles fom home, to kill them?
Please reply to my email.....I want to understand your opinion on my
Lisa roussel

Last known Address:
4310 Paris Ave
New Orleans, LA

Special Markings:

in case you can't open her picture from the link below, here's the info:

Petfinder # PF40196

Shelter Rescue # LA21980

Cedar Valley Humane Society, Cedar Rapids. IA 52403

www.cvhumane.org 319-362-6288

Had I known what her fate would be I would have taken her home with me, yeah, like Lamar Dixon would have allowed that. they have all really let me down.....

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric , Tammy Hanson is applying for a usda permit to breed and raise dogs in Mo. Yes that Tammy Hanson. Please let eveyone know , this needs to be denied!!!

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

Please cut and paste and read this from a volunteers blog about the 2000 people that showed up looking for lost pets at the BF event -- could HSUS and the State and LASPCA not done this months ago? F*** no, you have to care to do things like this. I am sickened by the STATE VET OF LA. --

Get a tissue before reading:


At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Eric Rice said...

Tammy -- please get us contacts as to who would approve that. Lets watch this woman for the rest of her life. She won't quite. email me all info about who should know all about Tammy.

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


2000 of her (Mrs. Littlfield's) people showed up for this one little "find your pet day" ... think if it was really promoted...Lost Pets is the hidden secret pain of the people of LA. It must be in the 10's of thousands that are in pain. For many people loss of a pet is second most depressing event besides loss of life of a friend or family member...But it isn't talked about. It is time for this country to get a grip on how important its companion animals are to people. Not one word from the President on the issue. Yet people suffer severe heartache from evacuation policies.

Plus What is the state doing to help it population ? Nothing.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All they had to do was rescue the peoples pets and then they would not need therapy.

Article from news:
FEMA enlists therapy dogs to comfort Katrina survivors

?The Federal Emergency Management Agency has enlisted the help of certified therapy dogs to provide comfort to Hurricane Katrina survivors over the holidays. Trained to provide emotional support to people affected by a crisis or disaster, a dozen dogs and their handlers will visit with individuals in FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Centers, Red Cross chapters and travel trailer parks. They will also support the mental health and recovery efforts of other voluntary agencies. The dogs, including golden retrievers and Boston terriers, are deployed by Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, a national no-profit organization founded in 2000. Its members have provided care and comfort to the victims of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the 2003 California wildfires.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


We have a similar situation here in Los Angeles, California.

There are several big wigs in Los Angeles who are like "Dr. Martha A. Littlefield", who should not be hired in the first place. Yet, they were hired the same way Mike Brown, ex-FEMA chief was hired.
Many animals have died, because of their ignorance, indifferent to animals.

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the post "FEMA enlists therapy dogs to aid hurricane Katrina victims"

Do you think any of the government types see the horrendously sad irony in that?!

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the rescuer who is angry at Cedar Rapid's Humane Society shelter I cannot begin to say how sorry I am that your rescued dog and others were PTS because of HW.
I am a resident of Iowa and after Katrina I helped locate no-kill shelters in Iowa that would take Katrina pets. I did not contact any Humane Society shelters for fear something like this would happen. In defense of Iowa several truly no-kill shelters took in rescues and also our govenor, Govenor Vilsack, and Secretary of Agriculture sent teams of state vets to Louisiana to assist in saving lives.

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to write the Cedar Rapids Humane Society with my disgust of what they did to the Katrina dogs but they are such idiots that the comment form on their website doesn't even work. Why in the world did they accept these dogs? Why subject the dogs to a trip to godforsaken Iowa just to die? Are they so stupid that they don't know heartworms are not contagious and ARE treatable? What a heartless, idiotic bunch of "rescuers". They need to be investigated. I certainly hope this so-called humane society will be exposed for what it is so that no other group will ever put their trust in them. I guess the only animals they know anything about are pigs. When I think of all the good hundreds of other humane societies did with the Katrina victims and how this bunch of nitwits couldn't cope, it makes me physically ill. God help any animal that comes into their care with an ailment, a hangnail or an ingrown eyelash - they are doomed!

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many dogs were killed -and how?
Gassed to death??? The "Humane" Society's central office needs to send out a national memo that this must end, and come up with alternatives...

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric , talk to sheriff Montgomery of baxter county Ar. He is will be knowing everything that goes on ,he got dogs back today that were taken to Greene county Mo. and then seized by the Sheriff there.

At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strays on Alabama St:

Cross-Posted from the Best Friends old Hurrican section, which is hard to find nowadays --BUT this note deserves widespread attention:

December 22, 2005 : 3:34 PM ET
posted by: HOV Dummy

On the first page of the B section of the 12/21 Wall Street Journal, there's an article about the rental units shortage in New Orleans. They profile two different apartment owners. The one with a few units in the Ninth Ward is able to visit them and the article writer describes "stray dogs picking through the garbage." The article doesn't indicate an exact address but says "Alabama Street." There are still animals roaming the streets of NO, either originally strays or new strays, and all the Mayor and others can talk about is Mardi Gras 2006. Unbelieveable the indifference to the suffering taking place under their noses.

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tuned into the ABC show "Extreme Makeover" half way into it, so am not sure where it was being filmed in Louisiana. I was just in time to see two dogs come right up to the homeowner and a designer for help. But those people seemed mainly concerned about a toppled playhouse and getting the dogs out of the (well-intact) house... Maybe they did more, but it seemed that film crews are STILL not saving animals.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous lynn m said...

Regarding the term 'no kill'.

'No kill' does NOT mean that a shelter does not kill. This has been a misconception from the start of the no kill movement.

'No kill' typically means they will not kill adoptable pets. Adoptable can be defined by the shelter any way they wish, there is no standard. There is a popular definition of adoptable, but that does not mean that any shelter has to use that defintion.

The general definition of adoptable has been that they can be adopted right away. A dog with kennel cough is NOT adoptable by this definition and so could be killed by a no kill shelter. A dog with HW is also NOT adoptable.

When choosing a so called 'no kill' shelter, find out what the definitions are or you will be fooled along with most people.

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is it usual then for a "no-kill" shelter to kill HW dogs?? Because I read in an article that 80% of the 15,000 rescued Katerina dogs have heartworm.....

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Source: Baxter (AR) Bulletin
December 23, 2005

20 EDNAH dogs are headed back to Arkansas

Bulletin Staff Writer

Twenty missing dogs from Gamaliel animal operation EDNAH (Every Dog Needs A Home) are on their way back to Arkansas after being found on a farm in Greene County, Mo.

Baxter County authorities say EDNAH co-owner Tammy Hanson, who is charged with 28 counts of animal cruelty, stole 20 dogs from the Gamaliel site after the property was taken over by the sheriff's office and transported them to a Greene County farm.

Hanson was denied an injunction Thursday against Greene County Sheriff Jack Merritt and the Southwest Missouri Humane Society after she said they unlawfully seized the dogs Nov. 29.

Hanson alleged Merritt's search warrant lacked specific descriptions of the dogs and that deputies took more animals than were in the warrant.

Greene County Circuit Judge Miles Sweeney said he had reservations about the specificity of the search warrant, but ruled Hanson had no right to challenge it. He dismissed the suit and lifted an earlier restraining order, allowing the dogs to be transported back to Arkansas.

"The Humane Society is on their way to get them right now," Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said Thursday evening. "I don't know if they will bring them back to their facility, but they will bring them back to shelters."

The Baxter County Sheriff's Office discovered approximately 477 dogs living in what they deemed deplorable conditions at EDNAH in October. Several dogs were in small cages with feces, urine and trash. A half-dozen dogs were found dead.

Shortly after, volunteers and deputies began noticing missing animals, Montgomery testified in court Thursday. Montgomery said he isn't sure how Hanson was able to get the dogs off the EDNAH grounds.

"It's difficult to guard the property with one officer," he said.

Investigators believed the missing dogs were with Kansas animal shelter owner Sheila Jones, but when they arrived Jones said the dogs and William and Tammy Hanson already had left. She also said they had taken three of her dogs with them.

"We know she (Tammy Hanson) went to Paola, Kan., and we know she had the dogs in her SUV," Montgomery said. "She stayed there for a few days and then went to Helen Wheeler's farm."

Investigators eventually found the dogs on the property of Helen Wheeler, who owns a rescue operation. She said in court the dogs had been dropped off at her farm. She initially refused to let Greene County authorities search the property, but they later returned with a search warrant.

Montgomery said Wheeler is a friend of Hanson.

"We had a list of all the (missing) dogs and found every one of them in Springfield (Mo.)," he said.

Hanson did not testify in Thursday's hearing.

Hanson and her husband, William, who both have pleaded not guilty to the animal cruelty charges, face trial in Baxter County Jan. 16, 2006.

(The Springfield, Mo., News-Leader contributed to this report.)

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Eric, there is information about Tammy Hanson's application to be a breeder on the "MHpets.com website. Your cartoon made me sad, but the letter from the lawyer cheered me right up. I think we should write to him about harassing you. Merry Christmas, I will be praying for the animals still in peril and pain.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger ChrisM said...

I saw the Extreme Home Makeover Edition last evening and the sight of the dogs also disturbed me. That show was filmed at the end of September. The homeowner was voicing her wishes to help others and pay her good fortune forward. I hope that she included the helpless and homeless animals as being worthy of help.

This morning I saw a segment on the news (channel nbc 4 news outside Wash. DC) about a woman and her two sons who had been relocated in the metropolitan area and working as a paralegal. She was talking about her two dogs that she had been trying to find. They showed pictures of two pit type looking dogs. She said that she had located one of the dogs in a shelter in New Jersey. The shelter was refusing to let her have the dog. She stated that she believed that the shelter was not cooperating so that the time limit would run out. I think her name was Ms. Chance. She said that she was going to have to get a lawyer to fight them. I find this behavior from a shelter hard to understand. She has pictures that should be enough to prove she is the owner, she has a place to live and is employed. The only other thing I can think of is that the shelter could be concerned that she might be in a county that bans pit bulls. This is despicable. Her sons really miss their dogs.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about this dog? Evidently the contract shelters signed with HSUS did not require them to try to track the rightful guardians.

Source: Sioux City Journal, 12/23

New Orleans family searches for dog
By Dolly A. Butz Journal staff writer

A New Orleans family displaced by Hurricane Katrina is searching for their dog, which was brought to Sioux City in October and has since been adopted.

"Mimi," a 2-year-old female black Labrador retriever was one of 12 dogs taken in by the Siouxland Humane Society this fall.

Elodie Schaeffer, who is now living in Houston with her family, said they had to leave Mimi behind when they tried to evacuate before the storm hit. Schaeffer said Mimi became extremely agitated while they waited in traffic on the interstate and she said she feared the dog might bite her 6-year-old daughter.

"She's a very sweet dog, but she's very protective," she said. "That was scaring me."

With no way to get medical attention if the dog did bite someone, Schaeffer said they decided to leave Mimi at her grandparents' house. The house, which was evacuated, is located in the highest area of the city.

"We never thought (Katrina) would be that bad," Elodie said. "I never expected it would happen."

As they were about to leave her grandparents' house, Schaeffer said she looked back at Mimi and was torn.

Schaeffer had thought her dog was in San Diego until recently when someone versed in searching for missing pets found a picture of Mimi on petfinder.com. After being rescued, Mimi was taken to Sioux City.

The Siouxland Humane Society offered to house 12 of the 40 dogs that arrived in Des Moines from New Orleans by bus in October. All 12 dogs were put up for adoption on Oct. 15.

Last week Schaeffer's family contacted Jerry Dominicak, executive director of the Siouxland Humane Society. Dominicak was unable to reach the dog's new owners Sunday by phone. When he tried later, he got a recording saying the number had been disconnected. He told the Schaeffers he would send a letter to the dog's new owners with the intention that if the family has moved, the letter will be forwarded to them.

Although Schaeffer said the exact address where the dog was found was listed with Mimi, Dominicak said the shelter was not required to track down the animals' owners under the contract they signed with the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals when they agreed to take the 12 dogs.

"With no mail services a letter would go nowhere," Dominicak said. "We were at the end of the line. The dogs had been down there for months."

Under the contract, the Siouxland Humane Society, Dominicak said, was only required to hold the animals in shelter care until Oct. 15 and list them on petfinder.com. If left unclaimed, Dominicak said, under the contract, the animals became the "property of the satellite shelter."

Although Dominicak said the shelter received e-mails from national animal organizations asking them to hold the animals until the end of December, Dominicak said they were unable to do so because of limited space. Following the regulations set forth in the contract, the animals were put up for adoption Oct. 15.

Dominicak said if the dog's current owners decide to return her to the shelter, he will contact the Schaeffers and help reunite them with their dog.

Having lost nearly everything, Schaeffer said she is desperate to get Mimi back.

"I'm so thankful that she's alive, but it's a double-edged sword," she said. "This is my mission (to get her back). I just want to spoil her."

Mimi is black with a thin white stripe down her chest. She has one dark brown eye and one light brown eye. She has been renamed "Fay" by her new owners.

Anyone with information about Mimi is asked to contact Elodie Schaeffer at (832) 321-5230.

Dolly Butz may be contacted at (712) 251-9389 or dollybutz@siouxcityjournal.com.

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

unless the owner signed a contract giving up ownership, it doesn't seem that a "contract" between other people has any impact whatsoever on the true owner's rights.

were I and my neighbor to sign a contract stating that your car would be mine as of January 15, 2006, does that make it so?

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

regarding Marvin's ridiculous letter to Eric:

reminds me of the "Confederacy of Dunces"

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange that there are two different complaints on this blog about two different shelters in Iowa regarding Katrina dogs they took in? I'm sure there are good people in Iowa but it doesn't seem to apply to their shelters.

At 12:55 AM, Blogger Cairo The Boxer said...

Thanks for helping the dogs!

At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sioux City pups:

get that phone number;
reverse look up for name of owner;
file a lawsuit and immediately subpoena the phone company for identity of holder of number.
track 'em down.

remind these shetlers that there was well more to their satellite shelter agreements than a date---there is an obligation to reunite pets with owners and to turn pets over if they are found.

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sioux city pups continued:

And, the only way to honor the agreement in its entirety is to keep track of where pups are adopted to.

Without that information, these shelters are in breach not only of agreement, but may face additional liability as well.

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous lynnm said...

Anonymous said...
So is it usual then for a "no-kill" shelter to kill HW dogs?? Because I read in an article that 80% of the 15,000 rescued Katerina dogs have heartworm.....9:46 AM

There is no yes or no answer to this question. This site says it best:
Different shelters and organizations have different definitions of what “No Kill” means. Many people in the animal welfare community believe that “No Kill” means that no animal in a shelter will be killed for any reason, except for an untreatable illness or injury that causes suffering. It also means that no animal will be transferred to any other shelter where it may be euthanized. Some shelters, such as Best Friends in Utah, are considered “No Kill” shelters by this definition.

Most shelters, however, consider themselves “No Kill” if they are not killing animals that are adoptable. This is where the big debate over what is and isn't considered adoptable comes into play. Thousands of unadoptable dogs and cats are still euthanized at these shelters. Unadoptable pets are pets with medical conditions, injury, personality issues, age issues, or really anything that may make the dog unappealing to potential adopters. Due to the very subjective definition of what is and isn't considered adoptable, which can vary from one person's opinion to the next, or from one day to the next, this is a hotly debated issue!

So, you can see that it may or may not be 'usual' for a dog with HW to be killed in a so called 'no kill' shelter. It depends on how that shelter defines 'no kill'.

There is a movement to get the no kill definition to be a standard meaning no adoptable or treatable pets are killed, but that standard is not in existence at this time. The temperament tests then come into play - since they are not standard and there is a wide debate over which tests are fair. Failing a temperament test has the possibility of putting an animal into the non-rehabilitatable classification - which translates to death at a no kill shelter.

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I'd fail a temperment test too if I had basicly been in a cage for three months, let alone undergoing the trauma of the hurrican and relocation.

And I read that many of the rescued pups contracted pravo (presumabley while in the larger holding shelters in LA). Our local shelter, who was charged with caring for a relatively small number of pups, who all became ill after arrival, made a special public $ appeal. It took many thousands of dollars and many hours of round-the-clock care to save them. No doubt most places would not bother....

At 11:42 AM, Blogger KittyCatCorral said...

This is all so surreal. The State Vet should be hired for his/her competence, not elected.

You should not be threatened with legal/police action for simply requiring some accountability from a public employee (Martha Littlefield).

This reminds me of the Soviet Union or some banana republic, not the most "civilised" nation in the world.

Has the Iowa City shelter made available a list of the animals they euthanised?????

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for LASPCA pretending to do their best to find owners and not euthanize!!!! They are a total sham!!!



I request your assistance in finding out how safe the animals at the LA-SPCA are. Are they still killing animals at the LA-SPCA days after getting them, even though the public may assume that they are holding them for a extended period of time or sending them to no kill shelters, and in no case killing them. I trusted Laura and the LA-SPCA not to kill Cajun, the dog in question, and to get back to me, or my attorney, but now he is apparently dead. They knew we were trying to contact them to discuss the matter, they were difficult to get through to, but they had my contact information, which I left on the emergency line a day after the raid, they made no attempts to contact me. They didn't even list him on petfinder, or petharbor, and give his owner time to claim him. My attorney is working on this, I am not sure what type of claim we have against the LA-SPCA, or how it can be used to stop their actions, but everyone should be aware of what they are capable of. I think the citizens of New Orleans should be given options to get rid of them and and get a new form of animal control in their city, if they knew the evil depths of how they think, I believe they would make the change. In speaking with residents in New Orleans, there was a lot of resentment towards the LA-SPCA, most believed their attitude arrogant, and confrontational, and not in the best interest of the animals.

#1 Phone call on December 5th to LASPCA various people http://www.uspetrescue.com/html/laspca_dec_5.mp3

#2 Phone call on December 6th to LASPCA , Laura Maloney http://www.uspetrescue.com/html/laura_dec_6.mp3

We were doing a lot of trapping and tracking down all over the 9th ward, for about 6 weeks, we successfully brought a lot of animals in off the streets, and into the loving arms of bestfriends through Winn-dixie and magazine street. At the same time the LA-SPCA were telling people that there were very few animals left which everyone really knew wasn't true. We pretty much were able to set traps where ever we wanted as long as we stayed under the LA-SPCA radar. Only a few times we ran into them with bad results. We ran into a problem the last week we were in New Orleans just before Thanksgiving. Everybody was filled up with animals and it was hard to get them accepted anywhere. We ended up having a few animals at our personal residence a house on Desire in the 9th Ward, most of these animals were on their way to Magazine Street/Bestfriends when space opened up. One day, I think because our vehicles were clearly marked "Animal Rescue", and the LA-SPCA must have seen them, the police ended up at our house, with the intention of taking animals, within minutes there were three trucks from the LA SPCA there lifting the animals completely off the ground from inside the house and carrying them this way, all the way to the trucks, with the use of catch poles. Joe was at the house, I wasn't there at the time. Joe let them know he was fostering one of the dogs, and the dog with the bad leg had a birth defect, and that I was fostering him. They left the dog Joe was fostering, I think they intended to leave The dog I was fostering (Cajun) but somehow in the confusion that followed they ended up taking him and leaving another dog for me. They had Joe in handcuffs in the back of cruiser so he wasn't able to express himself as much as normal, they released him when they left, they told him they thought he was me, and that I have a warrant out for my arrest filed by Pam Caruso, a lady that let us stay at her house because we were rescuing animals, she worked with the LA-SPCA getting the new "No Chaining law passed" , well she was eventually told by her friends that worked at the LA-SPCA that we were frauds and we were stealing animals, and that the LA-SPCA wanted us out, so she kicked us out of the house she begged us to stay at weeks before, but I don't know how she could file criminal charges against me, and if fact I have never been able to verify there really is criminal charges. I was really concerned when the animals were taken, because of all the stories I have heard about the LA-SPCA. They also took some cats that we thought we might have found the owner. The next day, I tried to talk to the LA-SPCA but was unable to speak to anyone, eventually I tried a different number which was their emergency number and left a detailed message about the animals, at the same time we hired a attorney, he made repeated attempts to contact the LA-SCPA unfortunately he was never able to do so. I made the decision to try again to contact a live person at the LA-SPCA myself to try to resolve the problem. The results of those attempts and the outcome is contained below in the email correspondence and in the links of the audio recording of the phone calls to the LA-SPCA. (Calls took place in One party consent jurisdictions so these recordings are legal). When talking to Laura on December 6th, Laura seemed nice enough, and she seemed helpful, After talking to her I felt comfortable that the dog was being treated good, and would be OK, but listening to the call now, is freaky. I have to wonder about the timing of the calls. December 5th which was the first time I was able to speak to a person instead of voice mail, to alert them to the problem, I would find out later was the day they killed Cajun, I didn't find out until a week or so later that he had been killed that day.

On Dec 17 Laura responded to my detailed email I had sent her after the phone calls. It was in this email that I found out that the dog, that I intended to foster had been killed December 5th.

It is so sad that this poor dog survived a life long handicap, and the flood, only to be killed by the LA-SPCA. He was such a good natured dog, he had such a calm demeanor and would have made a loving pet for anyone. It is hard to imagine that this was not done intentionally because I mentioned that I wanted to foster the dog, but maybe that is crazy thinking, in any case they shouldn't be killing dogs, if they can't move them to a good temporary home, the LA-SPCA needs to take advantage of bestfriends or some of the other rescues operating in New Orleans. I gave the LA-SPCA the benefit of doubt, I even tried to work through them, so as to stop butting heads with them. I thought that they may have good intentions but were given a bad rap. I think this incident however might further prove that there is some really bad thinking on Laura's part. This dog should have been given a chance to find its owner, when they find out the dog was killed, they will be as sad as I am. The LA-SPCA should be sticking to a extended hold time, or at least allowing the owners time to recover the animal even if they are shipped to a different shelter. In no circumstances should they be killing people's pets.

A lot of problems with all the rescues groups, could have been solved by the LA-SPCA taking the lead in organizing them and creating a central system of tracking pets. Laura had the opportunity to work with all the various rescue groups that rushed in to help, but instead she has pursued a systematic program of trying to get them to leave. One has to think that she believes she is in competition with these groups, rather than being helped by them. I think it should be considered if the LA-SPCA's contract with the city of New Orleans should be renewed. In my discussions in the past few days with others on Laura's leadership of the group, and of the LA-SPCA's behavior as a whole, it seems that there is quite a bit of shadiness that has surrounded their operation for a long time.


Gary Otten

Permission granted to crosspost and to forward

----- Original Message -----

From: Laura Maloney
To: Gary D. Otten
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 11:04 PM
Subject: RE: 1501 Desire Street and Subcontracting

Hi Gary,

Thanks for checking in. I followed up on your case. I don’t have any info on the arrest warrants; sorry. We responded to the call from NOPD and did not initiate the case.

Thanks for your offer to sub-contract with us to catch remaining animals. On January 4, we will begin a high-volume trapping program which will be managed by a seasoned trapper. All trappers will be volunteers or LA/SPCA staff. Your letter indicated that you would require fee-for-service, which isn’t an option on this project. If you’re interested in volunteering, please complete the application found on our website at http://www.la-spca.org/forms/ap_aco.htm and we will give it to the managing trapper for his consideration.

Regarding the animals…we don’t normally release information about animals not owned by the individual from whom they were seized. But, I know that you were here to help (even though you weren’t working with our agency or any group).

The animals you were housing were removed upon the request of NOPD from 1501 Desire Street and were taken to the animal control facility on Thayer Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. When our animal control officers arrived at the address, there were two dogs and four cats of which you did not own. Consequently, these animals were impounded as strays according to local law. The dog that you claimed as your own was left in your custody and not impounded.

The stray hold is 5 working days, not including the day the animals arrived at the animal control facility, which was the 21st of November 2005, which means they were available for adoption, transfer or euthanasia on November 26, 2005.

The four cats we impounded were feral and therefore qualified for the Louisiana SPCA’s TNR program, which sterilizes and releases cats that are negative for feline leukemia and/or feline immune deficiency. Three of the four cats will be spayed or neutered and released; one of the cats tested positive and was therefore euthanized on November 30, 2005.

One of the dogs, a severely under-socialized Shepard mix, escaped from one of our newly hired animal control officers as it was being moved from a holding run to triage. We made every effort to recover the dog, but we have been unable to re-locate her. We are still on the lookout for her in the area.

After combing through our lost reports to see if the second dog (the one with the leg injury) had been reported as lost, and holding him beyond the holding period (November 26th), he was euthanized on December 5th, 2005. Sadly, partnering shelters were unable to accept this dog into their adoption program. He wasn’t a transfer candidate.

We are transferring all animals that we can to other shelters. Dogs who are under-socialized are housed in a special tent so that staff and volunteers can work with individual animals so they qualify for adoption with another facility. Dogs that are nearly feral are far more difficult to place. Feral cats are being fixed and released.

If you are aware of owners that are looking for their pets, please have them contact us directly at 504-368-5191 or they may visit us at 701 Thayer Street in Algiers. Our animals are being posted on petharbor.com. We suggest that people look on both petfinder and petharbor websites.

Thanks for being concerned about our city’s animals and offering your love and support.

From: Gary D. Otten [mailto:animalrescue@fuse.net]
Sent: Fri 12/16/2005 12:39 PM
To: Laura Maloney
Subject: Re: 1501 Desire Street and Subcontracting


Hello, I understand you have been out of town, I know you are very, very busy. I was just wondering if you or someone there, has been able to gather together a response to the below email.

Also we have been unable to verify that there were arrest warrants for anyone at the property that day, which doesn't surprise me. If you have any information in that regard that would be great too.

Thanks so much, if there is anything I can do to help let me know.

Gary Otten

----- Original Message -----
From: Laura Maloney
To: 'Gary D. Otten'
Cc: gloria@la-spca.org
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 6:20 PM
Subject: RE: 1501 Desire Street and Subcontracting

Hi Gary,

Let me look into this for you and get back to you.


From: Gary D. Otten [mailto:animalrescue@fuse.net]
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 2:40 AM
To: laura@la-spca.org
Cc: gloria@la-spca.org
Subject: 1501 Desire Street and Subcontracting


In regard to the animals taken from our house at 1501 Desire. Could you give us full accounting of the animals that are in your possession which were taken from this address. We would like to know the following things. Where are they physically located? Are they still in good health and alive?

The cats were all trapped in the same area. We were contacted by the potential owner of some of the cats and we were making arrangements for him to drop by our house to view the cats, it was at this time that the raid occurred. We will notify him of your possession of the cats. Who should we tell him to contact there?

The dog with the bad leg, which is a birth defect, is respectfully requested to be returned to us for fostering . We rescued this dog, and have taken the dog to the veterinarian. We have numerous pictures of the dog and will list him on petfinder we didn't want this dog to get destroyed just because he has a medical problem. We request your co-operation in placing the other animals up for fostering, if any of the dogs are not easily able to be placed because of their demeanor then we request to be able to arrange for transport to one of the 501c groups that we have worked with, that are transporting animals to their location, and we will have a behaviorist work with them and then arrange for fostering. There were a few cats that we think were feral, if they are not owned by the person that contacted us, then we request to be able to spay/neuter and release them in the area they were picked up in.

We really want to work with you to resolve all these issues, we want to make sure the animals that we rescued find their owner or are placed in a good foster home.

I was and still am of the belief that all of us should have been volunteers or subcontractors for you and operate under your leadership/authority, I was sorry that we didn't follow you to Algiers after Lamar-Dixon, of course I don't know what was all involved. I can imagine you might have had some problems with Janes group because of various issues, I distanced myself somewhat from Jane's group as well after we left Lamar, I was unhappy with the way the rescue list was processed , in that it didn't guarantee hitting every house and the fact that it didn't integrate with the database the chameleon group was using. I always felt that the animals should have been tracked in a fed-ex, postal service type of manner with as much feedback to the person that made the rescue request as their contact info would allow. The fact that we don't work under you results in all kinds of rumors about rescuers such as the one that must have been told to Pam Curoso, I think she is under the impression that animal rescuers are stealing animals or that we are interfering with your good efforts.

That said we would like to subcontract our trapping efforts through you, we have close to 20 traps, this way you/we would be sure that the animals trapped by us, would be processed correctly and that we would have a place to bring our animals to each day, without the aggravation of not knowing on a day to day basis if there would be a place to bring animals we trapped. We were doing blanket trapping in the 9th ward, often times with military and police assistance, they were patrolling the area to keep it secure so they were in a good position to let us know where they saw pets. I found all of them to be very concerned about the welfare of the pets that were still out on the streets

Myself and those I worked with were a very effective team, we captured/trapped a lot of animals. From about Oct 27 to Nov 21 we were responsible for a majority of all the animals trapped or captured by out of town rescuers, our efforts were limited only in the last week of trapping by the lack of space for new animals, which is why we had animals at our location in the first place. We used a variety of methods to locate puppies after we trapped the moms, and also we were successful in capturing the mom after we had the puppies. We have computer programming experience, electronic surveillance experience, phone system experience, GPS systems experience, construction/demolition experience and lots of animal control experience. We united some owners with their pets by making attempts to contact owners directly. You can check out our website at http://www.uspetrescue.com All the people I worked with would be very happy to work directly through you. As subcontractors we could continue to work very long hours, and use our own equipment. You would have to set some kind of price per animal like some of the other parishes do. This is mainly because we are not a 501c, and do not have access to donations. I spent about $10,000 of my own money while I was down there for two months, I helped a lot of animals so it was worth it, but there are a lot of expenses for vehicle maintenance and other cost that add up, it would be better to be able to recover these cost. Also the escalating friction between your organization and rescuers created some problems for us which could only be resolved by us operating with your authorization, I do own a for profit corporation and we are registered with the department of defense as trapping contractors.


Gary Otten

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Louisiana Resident said...

Regarding the LA SPCA, an animal shelter is only as good as its Manager and the Board of Directors that governs him/her. The Board of the LA SPCA is mostly comprised of socially prominent citizens because their names look impressive on the letterhead. Many of them can't even be bothered to attend Directors' meetings. Their main interest is in their annual Black Tie affair, the "Howling Success Ball" where they can raise a lot of money and hobnob with other snobs in the name of helping animals. The tickets are so expensive that the average animal advocate can't afford to attend so they keep out the riff-raff from their society functions.

Laura Maloney, the Director, was hired by this Board and she had absolutely no background - zilch, zero experience in humane society work. She worked for zoos previously. It should be apparent she is on some kind of ego trip by trying to run all the rescuers off so that she will be in complete control of the animal situation. I can tell you for sure she doesn't have many local fans after the way she has acted during this tragedy. It should be further apparent from her own letters that she is far more interested in spouting the law than in saving animals....and would rather kill a dog or cat than to allow someone she personally considers unqualified to foster hurricane animals. Example: Cajun.

Management at the LA SPCA has lost all concept of what they should stand for. I pity any animal that winds up at that hellhole. The biggest animal rescue effort in the history of America could have made Laura Maloney a star if she had only possessed the right attitude. She's a star all right, a falling star. I know a whole bunch of people who would be very happy to see her replaced by a Director who has some compassion and the best interests of the animals at heart.

At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Louisiana Legislature in a special session passed a statute that suspended, interrupted or revived ALL legal delays and time periods, including "without limitation" liberative, peremptive, and acquisitive prescription periods running or that expired between Katrina and December 31, 2005, for the affected Parishes. That would include, in my humble opinion, the 5 day "stray hold" period. The same statute that revived or interrupted the legal delays and time periods for doing an act also states that if the time period otherwise (without the special statute) would have expired during the time period between katrina and December 31, 2005, also set January 4, 2006, as the expiration date. Thus, it would appear to me that if someone had 5 days to claim a purported "stray" as their own, which 5 days commenced the day after the pet's seizure, and that 5 days ran during the time between Katrina and Dec 31, that 5 days, by statute, did not run and does not expire until Jan 4.

At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. I also believe that the foregoing special statute nullifies whatever "dates" were put into these HSUS or ASPCA "contracts" regarding when a receiving satellite shelter could adopt out a pet or otherwise is stated as "owning" someone else's pet as of that date.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Hexa Prinne said...

Please itemize or put in a table all the ratings of the animal charities and their performance. I am disgusted with the performance of the Humane Society & ASPCA. They took My generous donation, did the minimum & split, leaving all these animals in the streets, and leaving all vulnerable to Abusers--in uniform or not.

Ya know, I think it's rich that the "authorities" shipped all these people zillions of miles away to live in Hotels/temp housing...using up disaster money. ...when they should've been sent back if possible, ASAP, with tents, sleeping bags, hammers and building supplies and start a MASSIVE Habitat for Humanity project rebuilding their homes.

God forbid anybody live in a tent for awhile, that's INHUMANE---my mom lived in a tent for 2-years while her dad built their home in S. Oregon in the 1940's. It gets cold, but they had a woodstove.

Now the Katrina money is running out, they are far from home, and no money, stuck high & dry.
Plus while these folks are living in hotels, their animals are starving and roaming the streets in packs, not to mention nothing being done to fix their homes.
When this all started, I figured this was a deliberate disaster, similar to the "Trail of Tears" for the Indians, to separate them from the land, so it could be converted to a New Vegas.

Anybody thinking the US Gulf Coast should NOT be rebuilt because it's not Salvageable, below sea-level, etc, should take a real serious look at Holland, Venice, Italy, water cities of a lot of Asia---Oh, and hundreds of thousands of coastal cities in the US.

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more and her puppies are on their way home. Seems that little momma got jumped at the ST. Bernard Parish jail while waiting to be rescued and now has four pups to prove it!

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Anita from PWC said...


Buster the Hurricane Katrina dog is back with his owners. He was picked up by Angelo Kingvalsky and his mother Lydia on Saturday, Dec. 17, from Camp Wolfgang, in Ennis, Texas, a shelter for German shepherd dogs.

"It was immediately obvious this was Buster's family," said Wallace Swanson, who operates Camp Wolfgang. "He was ecstatic. He ran to them and licked their hands. His tail was wagging like it never wagged here."

The Kingvalskys were understandably happy to have Buster back.

"It was great. He was very happy to see us ... especially when he saw Mother," Angelo Kingvalsky said via telephone Monday.

Kingvalsky and his mother remain in temporary housing in Dallas for the time being.

"He's with my mother," Kingvalsky said.

"We were very concerned about Buster. I returned (to New Orleans) when I could and didn't find him. We were hoping the worst hadn't happened," he said. "We prayed, and evidently our prayers were answered."

Buster's story began on Aug. 29 when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The Kingvalskys had evacuated their homes in New Orleans' Ninth Ward and eventually found temporary housing in Dallas.

Buster, a German shepherd mix, was rescued and taken to a mass shelter in Gonzalez, La. There, along with eight other dogs, he came under the care of Sue Schmidt of Silt who drove to Gonzalez with others from Colorado to offer their services in rescuing dogs displaced by the hurricane.

Schmidt brought the dogs back to Colorado and they were subsequently taken in by Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) in the hopes they would be reclaimed by their owners or adopted out locally.

Buster became the center of battle between Schmidt and CARE after the dog bit CARE director Leslie Rockey on Oct. 21, at Schmidt's house in Silt. After turning Buster over to CARE to be quarantined, Schmidt feared he would ultimately be put to death because the shelter had declared him unadoptable.

In an effort to regain custody of the dog, Schmidt sued CARE but dropped the case on Nov. 28, when the Kingvalskys were identified as Buster's owners. Although Schmidt said the Kingvalskys requested she take charge of Buster until they could take him back, on Dec. 8, he was transferred to Camp Wolfgang, which is near Dallas. Camp Wolfgang is a shelter and sanctuary that specializes in rescuing German shepherds and mixes and has expert skill in dealing with problem dogs.

Swanson said Buster was "not particularly friendly" when he first came to Camp Wolfgang, "which was understandable considering what he'd been through."

But day by day he got better, Swanson said. "He took a liking to a volunteer (who) has a rare way with dogs."

Buster came to accept treats from the man and even wagged his tail.

Swanson said there is hope for dogs with the toughest behavior problems.

"Just because a dog has bitten doesn't mean it should be euthanized," he said.

All dogs who come to Camp Wolfgang are "desensitized" he said. Of the approximately 20 dogs with biting problems that have come to the shelter, all but one have been successfully adopted out.

Swanson, who founded the shelter and sanctuary in the late 1970s, left a successful law practice in Dallas to care for abandoned German shepherds. The shelter has about 180 dogs in residence and has adopted out 700 between Washington state and south Florida, Swanson said.

"Buster is a very lucky dog," he said.

Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com


At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city of new orleans doesn't appear to be very concerned that pets are being adopted out. The city website (www.cityofno.com) has the following information posted. This is all that is available to the residents regarding their lost pets.

All animals not reunited with their families are available for adoption.

To find a rescued animal, visit www.petfinder.com.

How can I find my pet?
The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued thousands of animals left behind. Visit www.disaster.petfinder.com to help locate pets rescued after Hurricane Katrina. For more information, please call (800) 745-9151.
After the December 15 deadline, all unclaimed animals will be available for adoption in the city shelter where they are currently being housed. Over 8,500 pets are in shelters around the country.

At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Buster's happy ending. About doggoned time!!!!! He would be long dead if it had been up to CARE in CO. Thank goodness for the people who stepped up to fight for him. Bravo!

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous lynnm said...

anonymous said...TIPS FOR RETURNING RESIDENTS [snip] Visit www.disaster.petfinder.com to help locate pets rescued after Hurricane Katrina.

Is that word for word? If so, they need to make a major correction because that link will not work. I could not find where it says this on the site, so please, whoever saw this on the site, pls take note of the url you see this on and let the webmaster know that the petfinder address is incorrect. There should not be a www. in the url to petfinder. http://disaster.petfinder.com will work.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, verbatim from the city's website. I'll inform them.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teddy - CARE : Letter to Editor
by 4zoejandt, 12/29/05 2:20 ET
There was a letter to the editor in the Apsen Daily News entitled "A New Year's wish from Teddy". Someone posted it on another forum-- but the link they gave doesn't take me to the letter, which evidently appeared on 12/27/05. Not sure if it's my browser, or if they don't keep the letters to the editor up...

The link given is:


The letter to the editor as posted on the other forum is:

A New Year's wish from TeddyLetter to the Editor - Tue 12/27/2005 10:00PM


My current name is Teddy. I used to live in the New Orleans area. The big hurricane came to my hometown. My family could not take me with them and I was left behind. I thought at first that this was one of those occasions that a few hours later that they'll be back and I'll have my dinner and play with the little humans and then go to my comfortable bed. I waited and waited and it became very dark and I was very confused, scared, starved and so thirsty that I drank some very bad water, it was everywhere and rising. I kept going up to the higher places.

Finally, I was one of the lucky 15,000 on four-legs rescued among 250,000 and we were housed at this very chaotic huge barn. I had gotten even luckier when a very kind-hearted lady, Mrs. Sue Schmidt, came from 1,500 miles away and jumped through a lot of hoops with Colorado Animal Rescue (that was the first time I heard this name, humm, I was thinking, CARE must be a nice, kind, and gentle heaven for us four-legs) to tke 10 of us back to Colorado, otherwise, I could have been left behind, again. Sue arranged foster homes for us in addition to her own home and was willing to assist CARE in every way in order to bring 10 of us. She even bought all the airline tickets for eight of us to fly there. Wow, what a trip that was for me - the first airplane ride.

You do understand that all of us had the worst experience of our little lives, don't you? We lost our guardians, the big wind and water killed most of our fellow four-legged friends. We were so confused, starved, and thirsty that some of us do not behave the way we normally do especially after we were dragged, catch-poled, caged and housed at this huge barn with thousands of others. Would you not think that this kind of bad experience would have messed up our psyches a little bit and we needed a little extra TLC to bring back our sense of security to fit in with the human world again? Would you not think that the group of humans called dog behaviorists (or trainers) would understand us most and would defend us and work with us gently and patiently to guide us back to trust again instead of labeling us as aggressive?

We were very happy and getting settled down at Mrs. Schmidt's ranch until Leslie Rockey (CARE's director) and Tracey Yajko (CARE's dog behaviorist) decided to take us back to CARE with them. My buddy, Buster, was so frightened by Leslie, who was towering over and looked down at him with a big pair of dark glasses on her face. It is common sense with anybody who has any experience with dogs that you do not look at a strange dog in their face wearing dark glasses! Buster bit Leslie and, boy, was he in deep trouble. Leslie immediately deemed him aggressive and unadoptable and was to be euthanized if an owner was not found by Dec. 15. His 80-year-old owner (not a drug dealer as CARE portrayed her as a reason to confirm their assessment of his aggressiveness) was found through the diligence of Sue and other animal rescuers in the New Orleans area (not by CARE). Thanks to Sue for bringing this issue to the public after her effort to negotiate with CARE failed, otherwise, Buster would have become one of the statistics at CARE and never see his mom again.

I have a sad story too. An hour after I arrived at CARE, the dog behaviorist, Tracey, the one who is supposed to understand our problems the most and work with us, did a temperament test on me even before I could catch my breath a bit. I was so starved that when she used the fake hand to tamper with my food bowl, my still very fresh starvation experience kicked in and I growled a bit. What a mistake that was! She deemed me aggressive and as a potential candidate for a crossing of the rainbow bridge.

All of us at the shelter have some sad experiences, otherwise we would not have gotten here. We need somebody who really has the experience and compassion to work with us.

I understand that there are about 50 fellow dogs euthanized so far. I also heard that some of them were just a little bit overactive, like Jake and Romeo; they did not bite anybody. They might just have been a little too much work for them or they just did not fit in their perfect profiles. I'd love to meet a lady named Ursula. I heard that she has never killed any of us and she even did not get any monies from any governments or the kind people called Annual Angels.
I also wonder if the Annual Angels of CARE will agree to continue to use their passionate gift to pay the salaries of these inexperienced staff that make mistakes often and result in killing us instead of finding good homes for us.

My New Year wishes are: 1. Mostly, I wish my family will come to claim me very soon so I will not be euthanized. 2. For all my fellow animals at CARE, we really need a new experienced, kind, compassionate and honest director and behaviorist with integrity to take care of us, the voiceless animals, who cannot appeal the wrong decisions made against us.

Teddy (as told to Charlie Jacobson) Carbondale

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Kitten Rescue - Hurricane Katrina Relief said...

I am curious what legal standard they are using to ban you from e-mailing a public official? You are not making threats. You are not spamming her. I'm not familiar with Louisiana law, except to know that it's the most confusing state law in the United States, but I would just love to know how they think they can order you not to send e-mail!

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the Iowa dog ID'd by owners but already adopted out-
The adoptors read the article on Dec 23 and promptly contacted the shelter to arrange return of the dog to its NOLA family.
A follow up article was posted in the Sioux City paper on 12/24.

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