Monday, January 09, 2006

Belinda's Letter and What Pepe's Owner Has Been Through

This post speaks to 2 different Issues: 1) The search for Pepe.
Pepe's Story (and the story of many New Orleans pet owners and what they went through) 2) the struggle of Belinda to get her animals returned from the MC SPCA in Maryland

If you didn't live through this flood then you have no idea what horror it must have been.

Many of you have been helping in the Search for Pepe. Unfortunately it has been learned that Pepe did not make it. However, read the story below to understand what these people went through BEFORE judging them as a bad pet owners and doing things like refusing to return their Pets. Eric

Letter Recieved Last Night in Reference to Pepe.

Before I tell you the news I want to tell all my friends who have been helping me search for Pepe, William Wright and his dog Harley a few sincere words from my heart. I want to express my sincere thanks with all of my heart for all your prayers, sweet words of wisdom emails, cards, key ring with Pepe's picture, websites, research reports....on and on all the hard work every night since 9/4/05 you have been with me and I thank you! My Mom thanks you! Please keep in touch with me...who knows maybe Oprah will hold a Cyberspace search and rescue reunion for all of us???? I will email each of you and keep in touch.

I sit here trying to type this note to all of my friends who have been helping me night after night through cyberspace searching, sending emails and questions back and forth so we could piece this nightmare of a puzzle together...................and we did. My Mom's story turns out sad.

I received a phone call today from a lady who found William "Bill" Wright's parents and then found William. William called my Mother today and told her the story of what happened to Pepe.

Remember Mom, Pepe, her neighbor William Wright and his dog Harley were rescued on 8/30/05 from a neighborhood rooftop after sleeping on the rooftop all night. All four were taken to The University of New Orleans. On 8/31/05 little did the remaining people know this would be the last helicopter brought in to take anyone out and to a shelter. Little did they know there would be no more food or water brought in for them. Little did they know how riots would break out, prostitution, rape, drugs, and fires. Thank God William made Mom get on the last helicopter out of there; even though she was forced to leave Pepe. William told her he would take care of Pepe and he tried very hard.

William told me after Mom was taken that afternoon on the 31st of August to Veterans to take a bus to Nicholls State University in Thibodeaux, LA what awful events took place that evening - it was shocking to hear what happened. William took Pepe and Harley and went out of the University of New Orleans classroom to an open field; however staying somewhat close to the building with a few people he could trust. They witnessed fights, women screaming, rapes; children were there, elderly who could not defend themselves from the stranded wicked, mean and evil people.

William told me that they did not have any water, food or supplies brought to them after 8/31/05. William said when he would find food or water he always gave some to Pepe and Harley. He told me that after Mom left Pepe stopped eating and drinking water and sat looking glazed. On September 2, 2005 William left Pepe and Harley under a tree where they had set up camp so he could quickly go to the restroom and when he returned Pepe had died.

Pepe had surgery on his rear end around July, 2005. He had a cyst removed that was cancerous. Pepe had been feeling bad for about a month. William felt so bad about Pepe and did not know how to get in touch with Mom. He only knew his neighbors as Audrey, Malcolm and Pepe.

The story goes on....William decided after 5 days that if he was going to survive he had to get out of there. William and Harley walked 14 miles to Lamar Dixon in Gonzales, LA. So my friend out there in cyberspace that found the video clip with a guy named William and his dog Harley who walked 14 miles to save their lives...you were correct! William helped with the animals being rescued at Lamar Dixon until a shipment of animals was taken to California. William and Harley rode with the shipment and started a new life.

William told us the awful experiences he had at The University of New Orleans. William lost everything just as Mom did and her friends and neighbors. It is so sad what all the people in New Orleans experienced and we wonder why most of them are so bitter. It is really sad that the insurance companies cannot decide what to pay; that Fema hesitates to help these victims. Very, very sad and disappointing how these Americans - human beings have been treated.

Needless to say, Mom is very upset this evening. She had honestly held on with hope and prayer thanks to all of you who have been helping us; then to see the sadness in her eyes and hear it in her voice is crushing! You can tell her to hold on to the good memories; however we all know it hurts to loose your best friend, companion, and the pet that is there loving you unconditionally and trusting you to take care of them until death do you part and you are forced to leave them behind because a city that resides on water, a fish bowl as Dad use to call it, did not have a plan, did not have a heart….why would they make these poor people leave their pets…it is beyond anything I can comprehend. The shelters that cannot be patient long enough to find the owners of the pets scattered throughout the United States…they threaten to euthanize them…WHY???

This email is dedicated to Pepe – we will always have him in our hearts and we will love him forever! Thank you for all your efforts and great job well done!


Dad (in heaven), Mom and Pepe at their home once in New Orleans for over 45 years.

Belinda's Letter to MC SPCA. Just for everyones information, Belinda made several lost dog reports on PF. It would have taken all of an hour to find her if anyone had wanted to be serious about reuniting these dogs with owners.


Click to Enlarge:

78 Comments:

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello everyone.

I wanted to publically send a *HUGE* THANK YOU to everyone who played
a role in Smokey's reunion with me and the rest of the family.

I saw the story even made the first and third pages of my old local
newspaper, The Sun Herald. :) LOL

I was forced and almost literally dragged out of my house (by my
family) when Hurricane Katrina was only about 18 hours away. I took
my caged pets with me, knowing that if some water got in the house
they may drown. I also knew that I could somehow sneak the little
ones (a cockatiel, 2 guinea pigs and several small lizards) into a
storm shelter and hide out with them somehow. My 55 pound dog and
large noisy cat would not have been easy to sneak in.

After Hurricane Katrina happened, one of the first videos I saw coming
from my town of Biloxi was taken on my street. There was really
nothing left of my end of the street except I very clearly saw my
landlord's car that she had left behind...the car was sitting in the
street and when the camera panned around to where her house used to be
(and mine was next door) I was stunned and shocked to say the least.
There was absolutely nothing left of my landlord's gorgeous big brick
house. The camera only panned a little more to the right towards my
house, but the glimpse of it I was able to see was horrifying. My
house was totally gone. The only thing that remained was the concrete
front steps from what I could see. They showed the clip over and over
on CNN, as it was one of the first few images to come out of Biloxi.
I was heart-sick. I new that my two beloved pets had been there. I
couldn't imagine they would have survived something so terrible. I
spent weeks trying to reach anyone down in the area (and trying to
reach friends who hadn't left) to see if there was anyone who may be
able to go check on my pets (and to check on the safety of my friends
too of coarse).

The first time I was able to get to a computer about 3 or 4 days after
the hurricane (a public library in Alabama), I posted lost ads on
Petfinder and everywhere else I knew to post with ads for Nola and
Smokey (thank goodness I had pictures of them saved on a photo hosting
site). I knew that they both had their names, my name, and my cell
phone number on their tags...so if by some miracle one of them had
made it out, hopefully someone would be able to reach me. I kept my
cell phone close 24 hours a day. Then for weeks I watched the horror
stories and the news with images of my city and everywhere surrounding
that was just completely destroyed. I tried hard not to give up hope,
but at times it was very difficult, friends and family tried to tell
me that my pets surely had perished in the storm and tried to comfort
me and help me get past it.

But part of me would not give up hope. My hope and prayers paid off a
few weeks after the storm. I was finally able to reach my landlord.
She and her adult children had been able to rescue my dog Nola, and
were caring for her only one town away at her daughter's home, which
had not sustained any serious damage. Nola was trapped for somewhere
between 9 and 11 days in an area near my home. She went without food
or clean water. Nola was not in the best of shape, but was alive and
was given vet care thanks to my landlord and her daughter. I was able
to go back and get Nola in October, thanks to a family member who
loaned me enough money to get a rental car for 2 days to get down
there and pick her up. (Nola has since made a full recovery and has
been loving life in her new home and her good-sized fenced yard where
she likes to play when she is not being a couch-potato.)

All that was keeping my family from being complete was my still
missing cat Smokey. I waited for weeks...and weeks turned into
months. My hope was fading. It had been nearly 4 months since I had
last seen Smokey. Ads had been placed on probably nearly 100 websites
all over the net looking for him, I had made hundreds of calls to
hundreds of shelters that had received Katrina pets. A few days
before Christmas, while shopping at an area pet store for a gift for
my dog (yes my pets always get gifts at Christmas), I saw some cute
cat items and started absent-mindedly looking at them. It only took a
couple seconds for me to realize I had no cat to buy for. I got a big
lump in my throat, but couldn't hold back the tears. I quickly exited
the store and sat in my car until I could compose myself. I blamed my
self every day for leaving my pets there. While in my car, a lady
tapped on my car window to ask if I was ok. I said yes, that I was
just a little emotional, and briefly explained about my cat. The lady
put her hand on mine, gave it a quick squeeze, and told me not to give
up hope...that she had heard that there were still pets being reunited
and that I should try to think positively and pray. I thanked her for
her kind words. I said a little prayer. All I asked for was to know
one way or another if Smokey had made it through the hurricane, and if
he did, just to see my big lazy cat again someday.

Little did I know how quickly I would receive just that. I hate to
use the word "mircale" but I do believe it was.

The day after Christmas I was at work when my cell phone rang. I saw
the Mississippi area code but didn't recognize the number. When I
answered the lady on the other end said, "hi my name is Natalie, your
number was on the collar of this cat I've been feeding..." She said
some other things, but at the time my mind was spinning and trying to
process what she had said. Smokey was alive, well, and being fed. I
thanked the lady repeatedly and told her I would be back in touch with
her when I had a way to get Smokey before I hung up. Then I posted
ads everywhere, asking for assistance in at least finding a temporary
home for Smokey or if anyone knew how to get him home (he was still
living outside since the family feeding him was in a small FEMA
trailer themselves). A rescue group helping the Humane Society of
South Mississippi trapped Smokey and took him to the shelter. Around
this time, I received the first e-mail from Celene, offering help in
any way she could. Many e-mails went back and forth before the actual
details were worked out.

Rest assured, if I ever have to evacuate my home again for any reason,
all of my pets will go with me no matter what. I will not be bullied
by hurricane shelters telling me they won't allow my pets in anymore.
I would rather drive somewhere far inland and take my chances
sleeping in a car than to ever have to leave my pets again. But
hopefully, after this years disasters and hurricanes, something will
be done to insure that pets are not left behind and are allowed in
the same shelters that house people during these terrible events.

Long story made a little shorter: THANKS to Celene, Ellen, Julie at
HSSM, the rest of the HSSM staff, and many others along the way who
offered help and advice, I finally have my cat Smokey at home with me.

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE!!! My family is finally whole again.

With Love and Sincerest Thanks,

Aprylla Hall (Smokey's mom)
Damien Sentell (Smokey's dad)
Bill & Caroyln Hall (Smokey's grandparents)
Smokey himeself
Nola (the dog)
Boss Hogg and Wookie (the Guinea Pigs)
Button (the cockatiel)
and the whole crew of uromastyx lizards

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To bad MD SPCA doesn't want to make a miracle happen like above. People left pets for many reasons. Many of us would never have done so but I am not realy to punish people who did by never letting them have their pets back. Many of them have learned their lesson and are paying for it with despair that we can't imagine due to the inability to locate these animals...It is a shame that when someone does find these animals spread all over the country a heartless person like Desario would make sure to be the judge and jury INSTEAD OF TAKING THE HIGH ROAD and making these people whole again. The loss of a pet is ranked right behind death of a family member in life's stress scales. Shame on MD SPCA . Just do the right thing.

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.dawnwatch.com

The Canberra Times, the largest paper in Australia's capital city, includes a
piece in the Monday, January 9 edition, on the issue of human treatment of other
species. I generally summarize long pieces, providing a link to the article for
those who wish to read the detail. I am somewhat pleased, however, that I cannot
find a link to this piece on the paper's website and must send out the article
in full. The piece is already a summary of Professor Mirko Bagaric's paper "No
absence of Malice Towards the Gallus - Animal Cruelty the Shame of a Generation
in the Environmental and Planning Law Journal Generation (with Keith Akers)."
It does not waste words.

Bagaric details some of the cruelty we inflict on other animals, then argues,
cogently, for the elevation of their moral standing, via incremental steps, to a
point where it is universally considered wrong to consume them. There are those
in our movement who argue, also persuasively, that incrementalism interferes
with achieving that ultimate goal. They will not agree with all of Bagaric's
points. What most in our movement with will agree on, however, is that it is
terrific to see this searing indictment of the way we treat members of other
species published in a leading newspaper.

The piece opens the door for letters to the editor regarding our relationships
with other species. I hope many people will send appreciative notes to the
Canberra Times. Few papers print pieces such as this; the Canberra Times should
be commended. The paper takes letters at http://tinyurl.com/cl8hp

Canberra Times
January 9, 2006 Monday

SHAMEFUL JAPANESE NOT ALONE

The Moral black spot that we have towards animals is so gaping that it will
shame us in the eyes of future generations.

That's the message we should take from the Greenpeace activists that are
harassing the Japanese whaling fleet as it goes about its brutal task of
fulfilling its self-awarded licence quota of killing 935 minke and 10 fin whales
this summer. The Japanese don't have a monopoly when it comes to dishing out
doses of human savagery towards animals. All countries engage in the practice at
obscenely high levels.

The killing of whales is a particularly distressing example of animal cruelty.
Whales scream in terror as they are being massacred in a killing process that
often lasts for several hours. Unlike humans, they are not blessed with a
consciousness shut off valve that kicks in when they are subjected to extreme
levels of pain. Their suffering continues as their flesh is repeatedly harpooned
and ripped apart.

The rivers of blood that are now filling the Antarctic ocean should jar our
moral psyche into overdrive to reassess the manner in which we treat animals.

Looking back on history many of us are bewildered at the barbarity displayed by
previous generations towards the interests of certain agents. More enlightened
future generations will regard the callous disregard with which we treat animals
as on a par with the repugnant ways that our forefathers treated groups such as
women and people with dark skin.

We eat millions of animals annually, despite the fact that animal products are
not essential (and in some cases are detrimental) to our dietary needs. In the
process we often farm and kill animals in cruel ways. We have no qualms about
inflicting the cruel death of gentle creatures so that we can salivate on the
transient delight of a yummy burger, even though we would salivate no less on a
vegetarian meal, properly prepared.

Don't be conned into thinking that we don't inflict suffering on animals in the
process. Just go to your local battery hen plant for a visit. There you will
notice that within one to 10 days of being hatched, chicks will be debeaked,
which involves amputating about half of their beak with a red hot blade or wire.
The pain involved is so intense, that some chicks die of shock or injury.
Shortly after this they are placed in 50cm x 50cm wire cages with up to four
other hens, where they stay for the rest of their lives. They will never
experience the ''luxury'' of walking or spreading their wings. Many hens lose
all their feathers from being pecked by others and some even die from pecking
injuries. All this so that we pay a few cents less for our omelettes.
Mercifully, the laying capacity of battery hens reduces quickly and after one or
two years most are slaughtered for pet food or flavour concentrates.

We also intentionally inflict pain on animals in scientific experiments that
have less than remote chances of success and use their skins to keep us warm and
enhance our looks, despite the fact that we have an oversupply of synthetic
material which can satisfy these ''needs''.

Rarely is the benefits and burdens scale so grossly distorted. It's time for the
carnage to stop.

There is no wriggle room on the animal cruelty front. It is unquestionably
morally repugnant. Animals can't speak in ways that we understand. Their
intellect is not high and they don't have an awareness of themselves as
continuing entities over time. Yet they are entitled to be treated with concern
and regard because they possess the most important attribute that qualifies an
entity for moral standing: the capacity to feel pain and suffer.

Suffering is suffering, whether experienced by animals or humans. The
physiological process is identical.

It is always agonising to endure and often as agonising to observe. That's why
few people who witness the excruciating death of a whale would contemplate
eating whale flesh and the best advertisement for free range eggs is a visit to
a battery hen processing plant.

To remedy this situation we need to be cognisant of the lessons of history. Full
moral status is not accorded quickly to repressed agents. Thus, we need to move
towards incrementally improving the plight of animals. The first stage of this
process involves ceasing to engage in activities that are cruel to animals,
unless there is an overwhelming benefit to be obtained from such conduct. This
means that it is never permissible to kill animals for food by painful means,
given that we do not need animal products to maintain a healthy diet. Cruelty in
relation to scientific experimentation should be only permitted where the
objective of the research is to advance human or animal health; the potential
benefits of the research are significant; the research goals cannot be achieved
without animal experimentation and there is a high level of confidence that the
research will achieve its stated outcomes.

Once the moral standing of animals has been elevated to a point where it is
accepted that it is impermissible to treat them cruelly, the next stage involves
a recognition of the fact that it is wrong to kill animals (even using painless
techniques), or otherwise mistreat them, for our consumption. Until we reach
that level of moral understanding our behaviour towards animals will continue to
be the shame of our generation. Mahatma Gandhi correctly noted that: ''the
greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its
animals are treated''. It's not only the Japanese that stand condemned at this
point in history.
----------------------
Professor Mirko Bagaric is the Head of Deakin Law School. This is a summary of
his paper No absence of Malice Towards the Gallus - Animal Cruelty the Shame of
a Generation in the Environmental and Planning Law Journal Generation (with
Keith Akers).
(END OF CANBERRA TIMES PIECE)
----------
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the
media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can
learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To
unsubscribe, go to

 
At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diamond Emergency item 1
by crazybirdldy, 1/9/06 20:06 ET
just recd from girlfriend in MI CROSSPOSTDate: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 08:26:01 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)Please see web site for full article text: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Jan06/dogs.dying.ssl.html
FYI - Important - Cornell Vet College: Dogs keep dying: Too many owners remain unaware of toxic dog food

Dogs keep dying: Too many owners remain unaware of toxic dog food

By Susan S. Lang

Even though Diamond, Country Value and Professional brand dog foods have been recalled for containing highly toxic aflatoxins, they have caused at least 100 dog deaths in recent weeks, say Cornell University veterinarians, who are growing increasingly alarmed. Some kennels and consumers around the nation and possibly in more than two dozen other countries remain unaware of the tainted food, and as a result, they continue to give dogs food containing a lethal toxin.

To better screen affected dogs so they can be treated as soon as possible,Cornell veterinarians report that they now have a new test, adapted from one used in humans, to accurately assess aflatoxin poisoning in dogs (see companion story). Currently, about two-thirds of dogs that show symptoms after eating the tainted food die.

This cocker spaniel, Sad Sack, succumbed to aflatoxin poisoning recently at Cornell's Hospital for Animals.

"Entire kennels have been wiped out, and because of the holiday these past few weeks, the dispersal of recall information was disrupted," says Sharon Center, a professor of veterinary medicine who specializes in liver function and disease at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell, which is emerging as a central clearinghouse for information about the dog food poisoning.

The Cornell Vet College is continually updating its Web site to keep the public and veterinarians informed as new information on the poisonings emerge. Cornell's Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) is analyzing blood and liver samples from sick dogs around the country, testing suspected dog food, conducting autopsies and collecting as many livers as possible from dead dogs to confirm cause of death, tracking dogs that have died and following up on the health of dogs that survive the food poisoning.

The AHDC has information for veterinarians on its Web site: http://diaglab.vet.cornell.edu/news.asp .

"We suspect that dogs have been dying since November, perhaps even October, but it took the perfect storm of circumstances to get the diagnosis," said Karyn Bischoff, the veterinary toxicologist at Cornell who first identified aflatoxin as the culprit in the recent wave of deaths.

Trying to save dogs

Over the recent holiday weeks, Center and her staff worked around-the-clock to try to save the 17 poisoned dogs admitted to Cornell's Hospital for Animals. "I've been working with liver disease in dogs for 30 years, and I've never seen such miserably ill dogs," said Center, noting that severely affected dogs suffer from intractable vomiting and internal bleeding. "Despite our understanding of this complex toxin, we have no direct antidote for this poisoning. This has been an immensely sad holiday and one that will leave an indelible mark on the owners that lost their cherished family members."

Of those 17 dogs, Center euthanized 12 when it became clear they could notsurvive; five are still being treated. Dogs that have survived had consumed a smaller amount of the food than dogs that died, Center said. "Some dogs were stealing food from the kitchen counter. Others just stopped eating the food and begged for treats. Unfortunately, some owners used gravy and other mixers to entice their dogs to consume what they thought was safe, quality dog food."

"It's devastating to dog owners who feel responsible for poisoning their beloved dogs," said Bischoff...

 
At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diamond Emergency item 2
by crazybirdldy, 1/9/06 20:12 ET
Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 12:29 AMSubject: URGENT - PLEASE READ - NEW INFO: DIAMOND DOG FOOD, ANIMAL DEATHS
PERMISSION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO CROSSPOST THIS -

PLEASE READ: URGENT UPDATE ON DIAMOND DOG FOOD AND ANIMAL DEATHS

Please pass this along. Long, but needs to be read in it's entirety.

Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 9:12 AMSubject: DIAMOND DEATH ON DOG TODAY...PLEASE PASS ON

Today, an Alaskan Malamute that I had rescued and fostered DIED today and he literally did BLEED OUT! This 2 year old dog ate Diamond Premium mixed with Diamond Puppy form the dates that I have purchase receipts on, the dates were Nov.24th and the last bag bought was the Dec.13th. Once I personally knew about the recall this dog and 2 others were taken off the food, I immediately told my vet, she told to keep an eye out for anything suspicious, but she did say there would be little if anything I could do, cause once it destroys the liver, well it is over...So from the 13th on, he has been on Diamond Lamb and Rice, supposedly unaffected, well I am not so sure now, anything from the Gaston, SC plant is safe! He has for the pass week been under the weather, was taken in by his new owner to my vet, where the owner is also a vet tech, well last Thursday seems like he was developing pnuenomia, so was given antibiotics for that, seem to be well otherwise..On Friday morning, Yesterday, he literally bled from both ends all over the house, so bad, that carpets in two rooms will have to be rolled up..I drove his body to the SC STATE VET where all the cases should go, whole bodies is best, he is CASE 296 and 2 more coming in on Saturday. So I beg everyone not to believe Diamond that there is not many DEATHS or cases nationwide, in fact he is 4115 case NATIONWIDE... And to pass the word on to QUIT!!! Any Food coming from that Gaston, South Carolina plant, whether recalled or not!!! I now could loose 2 more, maybe, my Catahoulas ate the same Premium as this dog did, but seem fine so far, but tests will tell, and I can only hope that Catahoulas are a BREED APART from other dogs...I am thankful, I could of lost many, dear, dear dogs to me here, cause at one time, years ago I fed Diamond to everyone here, but quit, when my dogs from no reason had upset stomachs and I could not get them over it..So everyone here, which is 12 dogs, including one rescue eats Candidae, and I can only keep my fingers crossed for my Catahoulas...who since Dec. 13th have been eating Candidae....Will be up to ten days before all results are back, due to the many cases at the State Vets HeadQuarters, but he did tell me that as little as ONE SERVING can kill a dog, and once it destroys the animals' liver and its ability to clot and the factors, there is NOTHING you can do! Nothing!!!I feel horrible this happened to a dog and a wonderful dog, that had been through so much, had a new wonderful family and now at the age of 2 years is dead, just like that!!Will post any results, when I know any, myself, may be awhile....

PLEASE CROSSPOST TO ANYONE OR ANY GROUPS

Melissa WeatherfordKsarahs Alaskan Malamutes

 
At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric--looks like no one gives a damn about Belinda and are looking to post unusually long posts diverting attention. just my opinion, of course.

 
At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I was down working at Camp Katrina there were "rescuers" (and I use the term very loosely here) that felt owners didn't deserve to have their dogs back. This angers the shit out of me...how dare these people judge who was/wasn't a good owner. "I wouldn NEVER leave my pet at home" was the usual response to why the owners didn't deserve their pets back.

It breaks my heart to see letters like the one you've posted. As if its not bad enough that people have lost everything they own...but then not to know whether their pet is alive or dead because some selfish "rescuer" as played judge and jury and deemed the family "unfit" to have their animal back. This without knowing what that family went through.
Shame on these damn people.

 
At 1:56 PM, Blogger no one said...

Tonight, I walk my dogs in honor of Pepe.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger no one said...

Tonight, I walk my dogs in honor of Pepe.

 
At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sum of the relationship between a loving guardian and their animal is greater than the two of them and must be honored and respected.

Any rescuer or shelter worker who stands in judgment of pet owners by refusing to reunite a beloved pet with their rightful and grieving owner had better find a new hobby or pasttime to make themselves feel important and stop hurting people and animals.

Shame on you for playing God.

And for anyone else out there in the possession of a Katrina animal you haven't gotten around to posting yet, it isn't too late. New animals continue to be posted each day. Please post it, with all the information and a good picture and useful contact information, at http://disaster.petfinder.com/emergency/

And when the rightful owner comes forth please extend them some courtesy and compassion and give them their animal back.

It's good for the animal, too, you know.

 
At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Shirley Mondeaux said...

Eric, thank you for posting Pepe's story on your blog. It is heart wrenching to read what these poor people have been going through for the past four months!

As a Stealth Volunteer,I have been listening, crying and praying with pet owners for months who are consumed with remorse for having left their animals behind!

No one can find these owners more guilty than they find themselves for the loss of their pet. They are reliving every day of the hell that they went through, most of them not evacuating because they did not want to leave their pets behind! They all felt that they would be safer in their home than on the highway or a shelter that would not allow their beloved pet.

Some paid dearly with their own lives, others are now frantically searching, knowing that their pet is probably already adopted out.

The system is for the most part failing them. Lost records, not reported records, incomplete records have made it a nightmare for the most experienced computer person to cope with finding them.

Most of these people lost everything! Everything from their toothbrush on up! Think about it people, thousands of displaced persons trying to just survive a flood that literally washed them away. Once their family is safe, now they are looking for the only other thing that matters to them....not their bank accounts, jewelry, cars or possessions, but their pets!

I think it is time for a national campaign, thanking everyone for stepping up to the plate and rescuing, fostering and even adopting these pets, but also to encourage them to do the right thing and help to find the owner!

Shelters are now being very cautious about the animals they have, as they don't want to be hit with a lawsuit for adopting out early or for not posting them on Pet Finder as they had promised.

The time has passed for pious judgements...put yourself in their shoes for one day....go without any of the modern conveniences that we enjoy, electricity, running water, ice and see how well you cope. Then roll up your slevees and help reunite these people and their lost pets! I have seen for myself that through the internet a few people can make a difference! All that is needed is for people to care and take action!

 
At 7:13 PM, Anonymous teri Meier said...

Subject: its me tlmeier here is one story that maybe you can get some
>attention on
>Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 16:09:12 -0600 (Central Standard Time)
>
>
>
>Betty Bush was rescued from her flooded home by Natl. Guard during
>Hurricane
>Katrina. She had been there clinging to a ceiling fan in 9 feet of water,
>with her little Yorksire Terrier tucked under her chin. By placing him on
>a
>very high shelf, diving into this dirty, toxic stew and standing on a
>window
>sill was able to break a grate above the window to scream for help. The
>Guardsmen took her with her dog “Sweetpea” that she had had for 12 years to
>the New Orleans Convention Center where they endured chaotic and very
>miserable conditions--lootings, rapes, near starvation-- for four days.
>They had very little water. Betty drank soft drinks that had spilled on the
>floor near her. She slept with Sweetpea always near her on the floor near
>the convention center entrance and sometimes made it outdoors for a little
>while to watch for evacuation buses, although Betty was suffering from
>pneumonia. She said that on the last afternoon before being evacuated by
>Coast Guard helicopter to a med. station in east New Orleans, there was a
>rally outside by people from Westwego. She talked with an official, a
>blonde man whom she thought was from Westwego--that 's all she can
>remember.
> He commented on how cute her dog was and told her that dogs would not be
>allowed on the buses. She told him she would not leave without her beloved
>little dog. He gave her a roll or biscuit he had. That night, as she
>slept
> her dog disappeared and when she woke because of the noise and lights of
>the Coast Guard choppers, she saw that her dog was missing. She feels that
>this official might know what may have happened to the dogs left behind at
>the convention center. We have been unable to find any information about
>him or any information about the dog through the petfinder or petharbor
>national databases, internet ads, and contacting shelters who took Katrina
>dogs. Betty Bush, the owner of "Sweetpea" was hospitalized and is grieving
>very much for the loss of her dog, blaming herself for leaving him behind.
>She is 78 and has lost everything. This is Sweetpea's description:
>
>
>SWEETPEA BUSH
> --male, neutered, Yorkshire Terrier
>-- 12 years old (1993)
>--mostly black/dark bluish color with tan tipped ears and tan near legs
>-- weighed about 6 lbs. and was "about as big as 1 and a half kleenex
>boxes"
> with feet about 6" long
>--was wearing a slim green collar with black speckles on it, one brass
>bell,
>3 tags, and a religious medal that says "Blessed by a priest." One tag
>names his vet as "Dr. Michael Gibson." (owner does not remember #'s on tags
>except for vet's which is no longer working)
>--has missing front teeth, top and bottom, that make his tongue hang out on
>left side when he is tired.
>--bobbed tail
>--upright ears
>--small, squat stature
>--he was learning how to do tricks: he could "come" when you clapped twice
>and said "come,Sweet!”; he could "sit" when you pointed your finger on
>the ground and said the word; he could "lie down" when you lay your hand on
>the ground and told him to "lie down"
>--when last seen at the New Orleans Convention Center, he had a ribbon from
>a child's Barbie doll on his collar, like a little leash (children
>sometimes
>played with him there)
>Thank you for your kind help.
>Linda Graf for Betty Bush
>

 
At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT IF there is a bigger agenda at work that has become evident right after Katrina?
WHAT IF that agenda was preplanned and implemented without the knowledge and consent of the populace of the Gulf Coast States?
WHAT IF that agenda included something people couldn't comprehend such as a major clean out of the area?
WHAT IF people and animals have no value to that agenda?
WHAT IF the clean out included levees being blown and flooding everything in sight within minutes?
WHAT IF that agenda purposed to leave people and animals to fend for themselves?
WHAT IF the orders to leave animals behind was given in order to bring despair and hopelessness to the people?
WHAT IF that agenda includes doing everything possible to keep people from going back to their homes, finding their lost pets, not paying insurance or monthly assistance?
WHAT IF that agenda doesn't want people to return to their homes?
WHAT IF all of this is true?
Would you still feel the same way about the people who were forced to leave their pets behind as you did before this possibility?

 
At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

I have just spent hours attempting to seach the lost animal files in Petfinder because of your comment about how easy it is. Unfortunately, I am not as computer literate as you and perhaps you could post EXACT directions as to how those of us fostering Katrina animals might be able to search for owners based on Petfinder lost animal reports.
Thanks

 
At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE : 'What If' poster

What if YOU had any credible evidence of the conspiracys you speak of ! lol

 
At 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHELTERS AND FOSTERERS!!!
If anyone who is sheltering or fostering an animal from Katrina would like help looking for the owner, please contact me at sfz@u.washington.edu or call our tollfree number (877) 707-2969. We will find someone from the Stealth Volunteer group to do the search for you!

We are a group of volunteers who have been staring at PetFinder records and looking up addresses on the internet for the last 5 months. Let us do the searching - you can concentrate on caring for the pet.

Susan Foster-Zdon
Stealth Volunteer
sfz@u.washington.edu

 
At 3:07 AM, Blogger WillowLu said...

Arrow Kitty was found with an arrow through his body, shredding his gallbladder, spleen, lung, intestines, and nearly every organ except his heart.

SEARCHING FOR HIS OWNER believed to live in/near Richard Lane Trailer Park in Poydras, St. Bernard Parish, LA.

He may have been a High School evacuee.

Graphic photos here:

Arrow Kitty - Photo 1
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b175/WillowLu/ArrowKitty1.jpg

Arrow Kitty - Photo 2
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b175/WillowLu/ArrowKitty2.jpg

Arrow Kitty - Photo 3
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b175/WillowLu/ArrowKitty3.jpg

Link to duplicate CL post w/ photos here (please cross-post widely)
http://neworleans.craigslist.org/pet/124372950.html

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

My name is Dana Liebert.I lived in ST.Bernard Parish, Louisiana for the past 35 years until
08-29-05 the day my lift changed forever. That sunday, the day before Katrina hit us, I was staying home I figured I would ride the storm out. I put everything up on my comp. desk thinking if I get water, it would never go 4 feet. My mom came over that sunday morning and insisted I go stay by her house with her. She lived 10 blks up from me.
My home was two blks from lake Bourne canal. Barely my potbelly pig was 180 lbs. I tied
open his gate for he stays inside the shed but has a trap door that goes in and out. I figured if water comes in the shed he would at least get out. Gina my cat I left her inside
the front bedroom and open the closet door. I packed an overnight bag and took tobias
my dog with me and left with my mom to go around the corner. mom, dad & I stayed for
katrina and thought we would ride it out. Little did I know that night My whole world would
fall apart and be gone in just a moment. Early monday morning the wind starting blowing hard from the hurricane coming thru. the kitchen window starting licking water and I help put towels there to sap it up. a hour later the den window blew out. I just begin to start
take the two doors off the hinges in the hallway to put up against the blown window to control the water blowing inside the house. my day like a fool stood holding the door up against the window and he was rocking back and fourth. He was trying to prevent the water blowing inside the house. I kept checking the streets. it was up to the curve on the street. a little while latter, it was to the mail box post on the street. then i look out the back outside where the window blown and the water in just 5 mns later was above the bottom of the french doors. the blown window, water then begin to start pouring inside and my dad just left it go.no control.then the two french doors which was boarded up on the outside busted open like when the red sea was departed. It poured into the house in waves. we had a two story. I was video taping how the water arose but when it busted open this lake of waves of water exploded into our house. we hauled up the stairs with it following us behind our butts. we climbed up the latter to get into the attic. we prayed for the water to stop rising. and it did it stopped right below the office chair in my dads office.
me,mom, my dad, tobias and zoe were in the attic for about 10 hours. we waved a
pom pom for when i was in school out the port hole window for help. our neighbors stayed and seen momma shaking the pom pom and rescued us out. we had to go back down into the water bust out the 2nd story window. slide down the roof and they got each one of us
onto the boat. our parish was gone. about 8 of us on the boat. ducking under power lines,
and riding on top cars and buses all over the place. for when we were in the attic i watched my moms car float out of her driveway and down the street. i was in shocked and scared to death. they brought us to chalmette high school gym. we got out one at a time.
slid down the roof of a flooded car and someone helped us out and into the school with our
rescuees. soak and wet and freezing. tobias and zoe still with us. we sat inside chalmette
high school for three days to where no one came to get us. people were dying inside of there.people were slipping and falling down the stairs. men in boxer shorts and ladies in pj's and people barefooted. it was sad.no bathrooms, no showers, no water or food, no electricity, no communication with the outside world. on tues, firemen and cops started bringing us water, softdrinks, chips, honeybuns they got from the grocery for we all needed to survive. we got nursing supplies for all the sick and bleeding people. we sat on bleechers and laid on concrete for three days. dogs relieving themeselves on the ground floors of the school. a lady let her 3 year old boy pull his thing out and pee right there and below him was a man's sleeping quarters. we had set up a 50 gallon drum and made a bathroom inside of a room where the janitors keep all there things. it was hard and my back was killing me. I have scholosis disease, a steel herrington rod in my back, a fractured pelvis. We didnt sleep. We were promised for two days someone was coming to get us but no one came. on wednesday, the cops told us if you can walk it out then to do so for they didnt know when help would come for us. Me, my mom and dad who are 60, mr. joe who is about 70, mr kent about 70., all stuck together and had to walk out. mr. joe had no shoes but my dad went around and found him 2 left footed shoes for we had to walk back into the water, mr. kent though was still barefoot. he had diabetes and was sick and fell about three times onto the gym floor. we were told that once we hit the levees you could not bring your pets onto the boats.I couldnt carry tobias for 5 miles in water for he weighed 24 lbs. and we thought if we couldnt take them with us onto the boats that it was safer to leave them inside a dry place on the very top of the bleachers on the left hand side then to leave them loose on a levee. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do as to walk out leaving my baby there. Everyday, each morning, before I go to bed that picture of my dog tobias and zoe waiting there for us to come back kills me. but they wouldnt let you take your dog. I had to worry about the humans lives that were with me.
they were all up in age. you dont know what your stepping on and tripping over walking in water up to my chest. once we hit st.bernard highway the road was dry. but the walk was hard, hot and exhausting. i collapsed on the way there and told my mom to go ahead i cannot make it, but she made me continue on. I envisioned in my mind how jesus christ did it walking all the ways he had to walk carrying his cross on his back and collapsing like he did. That is what i thought as i walked to safety, rescue, and help. everyone was walking.
it was horrible and something you see in movies never believing you will go thru it yourself.
we made it to the ferry. the coast guard took us to arabi at the chalmette slips. conditions were a little better. we each got our own plywood sheet to sleep on. still no water or food or bathrooms there yet. the same clothes i had on were so wet and digusting. It was a smell i will never forgot as long as i still breathe. for i sat in my own urine for three days and it poured into my tennis shoes. my feet were burning and getting sores on them. Well the lord blessed me for our new neighbors on the next plywood over helped us so much.
they were my heroes, along with the policemen, the firemen and the cititzens of st.bernard parish. for they were the ones going thru the pain with us and rescusing people off of roofs and out of attics. the citizens of our parish pulled together and saved us.the guys on the next plywood, gave me a size 10 pair of tennis shoes, a tee shirt and shorts. i felt so much
better to take all the urine saturated clothes and shoes off my body. i wear a size 7 1/2 shoe so my feet looked like clown feet(lol).we stayed in the slips until fri.or sat. i really dont remember. although we felt forgotten for the old cranker radio we used the media only focused on new orleans. nothing about st.bernard parish.i thought no one would come get us out of there. one guy was shooting up heroine right next too me. at night when. the police caught him and thru the spoon, needle and lighter onto the ground. katrina brought the worst out in people or the best out in people. anyway they took him and locked him up. its sad because they had about 7 people they arrested and put inside a holding cell they made out of some fence. they had a 3 mnth old baby and a 7 mnth old baby in there and they had nothing. baby misty her formula bottle was empty and she was beautiful. the guys next to us when into the stores and got us survival supplies and diapers, baby wipes, water, food, drinks, batteries, flashlights,baby food...I felt like a hero just filling her bottle up with baby formula. she had a huge smile. that made me feel good too help someone else eventhough my back was in so much pain i could hardly walk. we
starting getting mre from the military, and water, and port o lets . it was a blessing. we had toilet paper and a bathroom. the little things in life you take for granted how much you appreciate it when you dont have to not wipe or wipe with cardboard anymore. how blessed that felt. we knew then when supplies came they knew we were in there.
it was a long week of hell. but we found laughter in there and prayed and ministered to
drug addicts, ex convicts and people who were lost and only knew drugs as a way to fix what was missing in their lives. we held hands and prayed and they prayed for me for i was fading into dehydration and spasmns inside my back and pelvis. on that day we were rescued from the slips by the military for now we were under marshall law. It felt good walking onto the ferry. but as we rode down the mississippi river. it was a war zone of fear and terror and sadness. everything burning by looters and helicopters flying in the air shooting down at these looters. between poland ave. and franklin ave., my dad's business was in that 9th ward section. we thought it was gone. my dad sat down and cryed and said 34 years i spent building my business and its gone in a day.but my mom said, there is the church and its not on fire and the business is two blks behind the church. downtown new orleans were buildings on fire and the windows glass blown out. i couldnt beleive all that i seen. it felt like a world war. once the military took us over to the westbank navy base. we got off there and stood in line to get on public school buses. looters were two blks away shooting and looting houses. we were petrified to death. we had to turn our heads to the right and close our eyes for the helicopters were taking off of left and right because of all the problems. we loaded onto the buses and the bus driver showed us how to pull up the windows if the looters start shooting at us. i was terrified to death. for
none of the buses could travel forward onto the route prepared we had to ride backing up slowly and silently for a few blks.i looked at my window and saw a looter walking down the street with a t.v. in his hands. we couldnt cross the greater n.o. bridge for it was guarded by military so they drove us the backroads to the new orleans airport. from there we sat in hot buses and i felt like the jews of what they went thru with the germans, war going on and we sat there and were only a number. i begged the military guy in control of our bus to please let me out for air. eventually he did and we got to breathe and i poured water on top my head to cool off. being under marshall law now we had to wait to see from their
higher commander where to send us. the airport had no room, they brought us to baton rouge and then we got onto another bus. from there we were being driven to dallas, tx.
once we got to dallas my body gave out. i begin going into a seizure, vomiting, my veins collapsed and i went into a diabetic coma. amubulance got me off the buses and brought me to hospital. from there my mom was able to call my family and let them were alive and not dead. my body was dehydrated and they pumped fluids into my body. once out of the hospital we were out of the shelter situation. from there my brother came and picked us up and we went to arkansas. from there after a day to tennessee. from there after a day to birmingham, al. a friend of ours took us in since then.Put us up in his home. From there, I
begin to start searching for my pets-Barely, Gina, Tobias & Zoe. People from all over have
blessed me by helping me look for them. In oct. A man was able to get into my home he said no animals were in there unless they were under the debris. I thought My babies made it out alive. When I was able to go back and see the devastation of my home town, I found my Barely dead under the debris and My gina on the highest shelf in my home. They both drowned to death. The water was over my roof over my once beautiful home I treasured and loved. Everything wiped out and gone. Mud was up to my knees in my home.
nothing to salvage. my automobile gone. my animals gone. the things inside my home I treasured from loved ones gone.my parish gone.I never ever would have dreamed I would be going thru something like this. This is what you see in the movies. But to live thru this and still here is amazing. I found zoe alive for my mom. and my precious precious tobias i have been searching for 4 mnths now and I cant find my baby anywhere. They have sent
all our precious pets from hurricane katrina all over the states. I want him back more then anything in the world. Im staying with my mom and dad in new orleans. a friend of ours is letting us stay in her apt free of charge. The business got 18 inches of water and wind damage and my dads rental property has gotten damaged from katrina on all the roofs. my
dad is fixing up the apt above his business so him and my mom have a place to live. i applied for a fema trailor and waiting for it to arrive. my cousin lives in slidell la and is allowing me to put a fema trailor behind his house. im seeing a doctor for my mental state of mind for all this is too much for anyone person to endure all at once. im healing a day at a time but its hard. im very depressed and cry all the time. for i want to go home but there is no home to go to. and i miss my animals and want so much to find my tobias. but i know that the lord will supply all my needs and hopefully one day in this 2nd life of which i live in now will be a little bit better. for everything in my first life is gone. i even tried to see if i can save anything out my attic and the water was above my attic. its heartbreaking and painful. for i just bought my home 6 years ago and took such pride in it. mud and water was in sealed containers even inside of them in my attic. I buried my pig and my cat a month ago. i buried them underneath his favorite tree. and my precious precious tobias its hard for you never have closure on something you dont know where he may be or if he is dead or alive. I gutted my home out and they took about over 50 wheel barrells of mud just out my home alone. all thats left is a shell of a house with bricks and studs. its sad and hurtful. It is painful to look at the before and after pic. of my home now and to watch
the video of that painful day of katrina taking over .

dana liebert

 
At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conspiracy? How about being there? How about knowing some of the developers who met in Dallas, Tx. the following weeks after Katrina and already have the land bought? How about oath agreements that were signed? What about Blackwater Ops that were there? The truth is there...open your eyes. Think outside of the litterbox.

 
At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sfz@u.washington.edu Email this email if you have Katrina pet and would like help finding the owner.

We are realists. Some owners are not looking and some didn't post Lost Pet reports on petfinder.com because they never even used the Internet before this let alone after they lost everything.

The saddest comments I get are when I tell someone to check on Petfinder and they ask what street it is on.

Eric Rice

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you so naive as to think the reason obstacles have been put in the way and no help has been there is incompetence? Is that the reason the "officials" and FEMA haven't helped in a timely manner? Is that the reason the evacuees were scattered to the four winds and put on buses and not told where they were going and sent to far away places such as Utah? Is that the reason why the paperwork has been "lost" on so many pets? If you think it is incompetence, I guess they were incompetent during Hurricane Andrew when the same thing happened. It is called "Perception Management" and you have bought into it.

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger GDF said...

OK, I'm succumbing to the temptation to join the "political" discussion, even though it is off-topic.
I have a hard time believing conspiracy theories. After almost 20 years working in corporations and in public school systems, I've found that business and government organizations only function at the level of their most incompetent members. Large-scale conspiracies simply require too much coordination, intelligence and discipline to exist in government.

However, the motives of greed and preservation of power can get large groups of people marching in lock-step. I think that's a stronger influence on the government and corporate response than a conspiracy.

I apologize for being off-topic.

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a blog about rescuing destitute animals and reuniting pets with guardians....or is it a podium for "what if" conspiracy theories and political agendas??? I personally feel we should be concentrating on the animals and express our political views on other forums that are dedicated to those subjects. It is tiresome to plod through individual posts not remotely connected to the purpose of this blog.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger GDF said...

From the Best Friends Website:
I'd love to know who the unnamed celebrity was...I wonder how many other animals they "rescued" were later lost/abandoned as Tink was...

Best Friends Hurricane Relief
At Long Last Reunion

January 10, 2006 : 12:00 AM
Lawanda and George Davis lived on Elysian Fields in New Orleans. In the days following Katrina, George, Lawanda and their dog Tink would go out from their flooded home by boat and help others get to safety and bring in supplies to those stranded. When the time came for them to evacuate they learned to their horror that their beloved Tink was not welcome so Lawanda went and George stayed with Tink. He made his way across town to the area of Bayou St. John where a celebrity was helping to evacuate pets for later reunion with their people…the whole thing was being filmed as part of a TV show highlighting different element of the tragedy.

George thankfully handed Tink off to the crew with the assurance of later reunion and left her at the Bayou St. John Post Office in a crate with a Whippet. He was delighted to tell Lawanda that their baby was safe, or so he thought. When the couple got to safety in Alabama and contacted the show to arrange to get Tink back, they were told that all animals had been reunited with their people and that they never had Tink! The bottom fell out of their world and they spent the next four months trying to find their dog. Without a computer or any leads they struggled through a confusing maze of dead ends until they came across a flier for the Best Friends Katrina Pet search event, which in turn led them to Celebration Station and finally to Tylertown and Tink.

Tink came into Best Friends care in early November, rescued from the street a full two months after being delivered to the supposed safety of the Post Office. An unlikely street survivor, Tink is a 30-pound Chow, the runt of the litter, blind in one eye with a congenital defect causing a permanently bald rump! But survive she did and she was thrilled to be reunited with her family. “God bless you and all you are doing here," Lawanda said. “You’ve made us a whole family. She is all we have. Thank you, thank you!”

Pictured: Tink with George Davis

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger TortoiseAid Annie said...

ANY organization/shelter refusing to reunite animals with rightful owners ought to be hung out and lynched!

I've now done 3 "tours" of LA, the last two in St. Bernard Parish.

I'm hoping to leave again next week for another 2 to 3 weeks.

Perhaps those "holier than thou" people purposely holding animals and not revealing proper info, or refusing to participate in reunification, should spend some time where I have.

At night..(I stay in a FEMA tent with local residents) I hear the sobbing of people who have lost everything, but still hold out hope for a pet they've lost. Others come up to me in tears, just wanting to be hugged when they see that I am wearing an animal rescue t-shirt. They thank me for caring...for being there. I get thanked a LOT. These folks need someone to talk to...someone who will listen to what's happened to them and the heartbreak they feel for a lost pet.

If these "shelters" haven't experienced what these pet owners are going through with their own eyes, they cannot begin to imagine the PAIN they causing to these people. These folks are going through emotional hell.

If you are a shelter or individual who is keeping a Katrina animal...PLEASE keep trying to find an owner. If you KNOW you have a match, stop the three ring circuses you are creating for these folks to get their pets back and DO THE RIGHT THING! You would make the life of someone who has lost everything (often including human family members) feel a lot less hopeless. You'd stop the sobbing of someone who grieves for a very loved pet.

I don't want to hear anything about heartworm because it is a shallow excuse. Its been a problem in Southern states forever. Stating animals should be North is just plain WRONG. Some local folks don't know about heartworm, but that doesn't mean they love their pets any less.

It's heartbreaking to see people grieving for their pets. People beg me to help them find their pets every single day.

I am proud to say that my hard work has paid off. I've reunited many people with their pets. It's been worth every second of frustration I've had to endure. My frustration is NOTHING compared to what residents are going through...and if any shelter is not cooperationg 110% with trying to reunite animals with their people, then they should have their licenses revoked.

A shelter is a SHELTER, a place to keep an animal safe, warm, and fed until an OWNER is found, or a good adoptive home is found.

It is not (and should not) be a place where people sit in glass houses and pass judgement because an animal has heartworm...or because it "came from the south."

To any shelter or individual who thinks this is acceptable...

SHAME ON YOU. YOU ARE A DISGRACE to the animal welfare community.

Annie Lancaster
Director
TortoiseAid International
Apple Valley, CA USA
http://tortoise-aid.org/hurricaneherps.html

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dana: I do hope you find Tobias. It is so sad that you, your family and your animals had to suffer so much and though I cannot make it better, I still send you a big hug. The souls of your animals are fine, and in their memory the love you gave them.

 
At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the conspiracy theories. Have you heard the one about PETA folks taking and euthanizing dogs? Oh I forgot, that one is true.

Eric

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an article written by a Veterinarian who investigates animal cruelty cases. It has a happy ending but tells a powerful story.

By Dr. Max Rust, D.V.M., Tulsa, OK USA

I should warn you, I'm not James Herriott. My dog's story is not of the warm fuzzy genre, but is illustrative of a most pervasive problem....one which too few of you are aware.

It is often said that veterinarians must have an inordinate love for animals, but they also are often called on to deal with the very harshest realities of human and animal relations. If my dog tale lacks the cloying sanguinity of "All Creatures Great and Small," hopefully it is not totally devoid of optimism.

A year ago in June, on a hot Sunday afternoon as I lounged in torpid repose, Channel 2 News was airing a story about dog carcasses found in the back yard of a Tulsa residence. Two of the dogs were still alive, so I knew I would be involved in the case.

"Maggots was workin' on three of 'em and the fourth one's only been dead about two days." The sheriff's lieutenant continued in an impassive voice,"it's been alleged that they were fightin' pit-bull dogs in the garage, and when one would get killed, they'd just drag it out in the yard and let it deteriorate."

Feeling old, tired, and professionally burned out, I wondered why had I volunteered for the grim task of animal cruelty exams and necropsies. I guess, as depressing as it was, it seemed like important work. Maybe I just wanted something besides myself to feel sorry for. If that was the case, I was about to get my wish, IN SPADES.

The following morning after doing the spay and neuter surgeries and rabies observations, I headed for the pens housing the two dogs from the news story. (It's hard enough for me just to walk through the rows of dog runs at the shelter, knowing that most of the animals will have to be killed....sometimes I get the urge to open all the gates and set them free, but that would not solve their problem.) They suffer from that "most terrible disease," in the words of Mother Teresa, "of being unwanted." It's sad to say, but as outcasts, they are much better off in the shelter than anywhere else.

When I got to the first dog's run, it looked empty. I'm used to seeing dogs with sad faces begging for a crumb of attention or warily cringing against the distal parapets. There was nothing so animate as either in this run. When I first saw him, he was curled up so tightly, he could have been mistaken for a water dish.

As he tried to stand up, I could see the pitiful remains of a large pit-bull dog. Bones jutted out everywhere. He looked like a skeleton with hair, and what hair he had was in sparse, dirty little tufts between numerous fight wounds, scars, and mange. His ears had been clumsily chopped off and the unhealed edges made him look like a macabre Mr. Potato Head.



I recoiled in horror at the sudden thought of what this poor, wretched dog had endured. What sort of dissolute soul could do this to a helpless old dog?

After staring at him for what seemed an interminable period, I realized that I had five more animals for cruelty exams (each with another story), so I had to move on Driving back to my clinic, I thought how depraved it was to treat animals this way.......was it sadism, apathy, or stupidity? None seemed in short supply. I kept seeing the pit-bull's face, a swarthy apotheosis of the downtrodden. There are so many like him, I felt powerless as I pondered the enormity of the problem.

Animal cruelty is an epidemic that with only the most egregious exceptions escapes the public's notice. This poor dog had been beaten, starved, mutilated, forced to fight for his life, and, worst of all, socially isolated.

Dogs are very social animals....more so, even, than humans. How can humans be so inhumane? How can humane people let such things happen? I resolved to rescue him; even though it was a scratch on an obdurate surface, a drop in a very large bucket.

I couldn't just leave him there to be euthanized. That's the only way pit-bulls are allowed to leave the shelter.....dead. I wanted him to experience at least one good day on earth. If possible, maybe I could even show him what it's like to be loved and wanted.

It would take some string-pulling from the D.A.'s office before I could get him released from the shelter......after all, he was a pit-bull, the paradigm of canine incorrigibility. (That is what media mavens would have you believe.) The truth is, pit-bulls are the oldest registered American breed and have long been favored for their courage, (fanciers call it "gameness") loyalty, and intelligence.

Unfortunately, their fighting reputation has made them very popular with a lot of unsavory characters who have ushered in a spate of backyard-bred, people-aggressive curs. Real pit-bulls are selected to be so people-friendly, they don't even make good watch dogs. But the newspapers are sold by grinding angsts, not accentuating positives. Consequently, people who wouldn't know a pit-bull sitting at their feet, still consider them to be the snarling menace of their worst nightmare. So torturing and killing them is, I suppose, more acceptable, or at least easier to ignore.

I'm NOT a pit-bull fancier. In fact, I'm more of a cat person, but let us remember, as "Uncle Mattie" says, "There are no bad breeds, just bad breeding." We transferred the pit-bull to my clinic and started treating his multitude of problems. I had no idea what kind of dog he would be personality-wise, with all of the abuse and privation he had suffered.

His stone face was inscrutable...blank except for a sadness in his sunken eyes. He was easy to work on so with considerable effort from all concerned, along with lots of treats and loving attention added to the antibiotics, vitamins, and medicated baths, the 30-pound skeletal specimen was morphed into a solid 75-pound dog.

After a couple of months, a shiny coat hid most of his scars, and the glum look on his face had been replaced by an infectious grin that, adorned by his chopped-off ears, was reminiscent of a happy face drawn on a Pompeian ampulla.

Meanwhile, my jaded karma had been ameliorated by his astonishing progress, not to mention his buoyant, stiff-upper-lip charm. Somehow he had managed to come through unimaginable hardship, not only clinging to life, and maintaining a positive attitude, which was to me, an inspiration. We named him, "Pete."

Pete and I started going on daily walks, short at first because he didn't have much stamina. Soon we were doing three miles or more, and as we ambled our way through the bosky recesses of Boman Acres, we were getting to know each other pretty well. It wasn't long before I was feeling better than I had in years!

Dog walking is very good exercise for man as well as dog. Pete loves and is loved by all of the neighborhood children, and for the most part has even become a gentleman around cats and other dogs.

Transformed into a doting pet parent, I beam with pride at any compliment directed at my charge. With a cake and party hat, we celebrated Pete's unofficial birthday in July.

I think it's safe to say that Pete has helped me at least as much as I have him. When asked what breed he is, I've been known to answer, with a slightly cryptic grin, "He's my 'Healer.'"

So it was that Pete and I came to heal each other and in the process, became bonded in lifelong friendship. His case was not only a watershed to me, but a source of encouragement to the cruelty investigating team.

Pete's previous owner is now serving six counts of 5 years each. Judge Turnbull simply termed the case "unbelievable." I wish that I could agree with that assessment; but, although the brutality of Pete's former life is now only a distant memory, many other cases continue to pass through the shelter with oppressive regularity. It is all too believable for those of us that grapple with the gruesome, and often overwhelming problem of cruelty to man's best friend.

If ever you find yourself in need of a cure for ennui, or maybe just a dose of reality, I highly recommend a trip to the city animal shelter, where you will see that taking any kind of significant bite out of animal cruelty remains a formidable, if not impossible, undertaking.

Having learned from my friend Pete, I, for one, have no intention of giving up.

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger GDF said...

Thanks to whomever posted Pete's story. I needed that.

A dog-fighting arrest made the back pages of the Charlotte Observer yesterday. It happened in the boonies of Lancaster County, SC...50 miles and 20 years away, as we like to say. Two men were arrested on misdemeanor charges, made $1000 bail, and released same day. Misdemeanor charges, what a joke. The part of the story that got me was the blood splatter description on the walls of the trailer that they'd been using as a fighting ring. Like most animal cruelty stories, people really don't want to hear about it, know about it. Out of sight, out of mind.
But if it's a story about a pit bull attacking a child, it gets played over and over. In general, people like being scared and outraged, as long as it's something that doesn't call for any action on our part, as long as it doesn't make us morally uncomfortable.

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger no one said...

Dear TortoiseAid:

Belinda thanks you so much for your post about shelters withholding Katrina pets from their Katrina owners.
Your post brought tears to my eyes. I have been working tirelessly to get her pups home to her and it’s comments like these that keep me strong. I feel like Belinda and I are the David in David vs. Goliath. It is with this kind of compassion and this kind of support that keeps us moving forward.


Thank you.

Dear. Dr. Rusk:

What a thoughtful thought provoking tail.

 
At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subject: URGENT Letter to The EditorTo:montgomery@gazette.net Dear Editor,
I take issue with a January 11 Letter to the Editor in response to the January 4 article, "Fur Flies over Pets from the Gulf." The letter writer, Mr. A.J. Thomas, claimed that Ms. Sumrall, a hurricane victim, should not be reunited with her pet and that she had had months to reclaim her dog.

As a volunteer helping hurricane victims search for missing pets, I have found it rewarding, but extremely difficult to locate these dispersed animals. It is an enormous, time-consuming, often fruitless task to find a lost "hurricane" pet -- and I have resources and contacts available to me that are not easily available to displaced hurricane victims. For them, the logistics of daily living are challenge enough.

As I write this letter, pets are still being rescued. Often, those in charge of the found pets are not focused on reuniting them with their families.

Lack of media attention and support for how to find pets, poor record-keeping and "rescuers" who make little or no effort to help reunite pets and their families haven't helped the situation. -- Now FEMA won't let pets over 45 pounds stay in FEMA trailers!

Then there's Mr. A.J. Thomas, who does not show a glint of awareness of the horror victims of hurricane Katrina and Rita experienced -- or what they are dealing with in the wake of disaster. Instead, he wants to blame the victims. In his Letter to the Editor, he proclaims it "unacceptable" that Ms. Sumrall left her pets behind.

Many folks stayed behind, not wanting to leave their pets. Some were later forced out after the storm by rising waters from the levee failure. Some stayed with their pets -- and died with them.

Residents tried to take pets with them as they evacuated. But police and other fficials would NOT allow them to bring their animals. Evacuees were allowed to take a garbage bag of belongings -- but not their most precious belonging, the family pet(s).

Red Cross shelters do not allow pets. Most evacuees in shelters were not affluent and had no options! To condemn them for leaving their pets behind is elitist, uninformed and totally unjustified.

Residents never thought that the levees would break. It was levee failure, not Katrina that caused the catastrophic flooding in New Orleans. As with past hurricanes, those of us who evacuated pre-storm thought we'd be back home the next day. That has been the experience, year after year, for those of us who live in the hurricane "zone." Yet even people who evacuated before the storm faced a dilemna: Could they find a motel anywhere -- especially one that would accept pets.

The attitudes expressed of Mr. A.J. Thomas and by the Montgomery County SPCA simply are arrogant and totally lacking in compassion. Ms. Sumrall and other hurricane victims have suffered losses that they obviously can never imagine.

Montgomery County SPCA cites the dogs' heartworm condition as a reason for not returning them to Ms. Sumrall, implying she is an irresponsible pet owner. They fail to recognize the real problem: A lack of awareness and education locally regarding heartworm disease.

Many of us involved in pet rescue and reunification efforts in New Orleans have noticed that local animal control authorities must do a better job educating pet owners about heartworm prevention and about the need for spaying and neutering.

I can tell you from experience in reunification: Hurricane victims love their pets and their pets love them. People who have suffered such loss need our help, not more loss. There are instances where residents in New Orleans committed suicide upon learning that after losing everything else they lost their beloved pet too.

To deny pet "owners" and their pet(s) their rightful place with each other is unconscionable.

Sincerely, Shannon H. Moore New Orleans, LA

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

makes you wonder why it is called "humane" treatment when humans seem to be the most lacking - thank heaven that there are dogs to show us the true meaning. my dogs made a miserable childhood bearable, and have enriched my adulthood with their wisdom, patience, friendship, and their vast capacity for understanding and a lifetime committment to demostrating their capacity for unconditional love. I weep for lost friends like pepe and max, angel girl, and gigi, and I marvel over the amazing people who have given so much of their time and effort to rescue and reunite, your pets would be proud of you. to err is human, to forgive is canine. Some people "are just animals", most animals are better than that,

 
At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>From: David Meyer DavidM@1-800-Save-A-Pet.com
>To: Shelters-Rescues@1-800-Save-A-Pet.com
>Subject: Publicity to get your pets adopted
>Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 08:46:39 -0800
>
>
>Dear shelters and rescuers:
>
>I am writing to tell you about a major publicity campaign that is about to
>launch to get your pets adopted. As you know, the media's coverage of
>animal rescue in New Orleans has been huge. Through our grassroots
>partner, Animal Rescue New Orleans, 1-800-Save-A-Pet.com has been saving
>pets in New Orleans since the hurricane first struck and we are continuing
>to get many media story requests. Since there is still a need to move
>Katrina rescued pets to shelters around the country, we have a new message
>for the media and the public: adopt ANY pet from ANY shelter or rescue
>group to save a life and help make space for others still being pulled from
>the destruction. "Operation Save-A-Pet", as we're calling it, will use the
>interest in Katrina to help all of your pets find homes, whether they were
>rescued from Katrina or not (check out
>http://www.1-800-Save-A-Pet.com/rd/OperationSaveAPet).
>
>Actor Pierce Brosnan and other celebrities will join Operation Save-A-Pet
>over the next eight weeks to spread the message about adopting any pet from
>any shelter or rescue organization- not just Katrina rescues. The public
>will be urged to call 1-800-Save-A-Pet or go online to
>www.1-800-Save-A-Pet.com to find a pet to adopt. If you are not currently
>posting pets, now is the time to start so they will benefit from this
>publicity. It is simple to post pets and if you keep your pet information
>in a database, you can use our new direct "autoupload" feature. We are
>non-profit and our service is free. If you are new to
>1-800-Save-A-Pet.com, just go to http://www.1-800-Save-A-Pet.com/post-pets
>to post your pets.
>
>Also, our partner in this effort, Best Friends Animal Society, is leading a
>coordinated effort funded by Best Friends, the Humane Society of the United
>States, ASPCA and United Animal Nations to rescue and transport the
>thousands of pets still left on the streets of New Orleans whose homes were
>destroyed. If your shelter or rescue group can commit to taking in ten or
>more Katrina rescues for adoption (not foster), Best Friends will cover all
>expenses to transport these pets to your facility, and we'll help you
>create a local media event when they arrive to get them and all your pets
>adopted. These animals will be microchipped and spayed/neutered, and if
>they are not adopted in 60 days, Best Friends will support you in your
>efforts to transport them to another facility that will work to find them
>homes. If you can take a minimum of ten of these pets, please go to
>http://www.1-800-Save-A-Pet.com/rd/katrina.
>
>Thank you for all you do for animals!
>
>from:
>David Meyer davidm@1-800-Save-A-Pet.com
>www.1-800-Save-A-Pet.com
>(800) 728-3273 ext 42
>Box 7, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
>Check out www.1-800-Save-A-Pet.com to adopt a homeless pet and
>get involved at www.network.bestfriends.org

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

^^Thanks to David Meyer and 1-800-Save-A-Pet.com. I printed the info out (on my computer pages 45-46) and will pass it along to my local shelter. Everyone else please contact your local shelters too. This is a tremendous opportunity for publicity to get homeless animals everywhere adopted out as well as to call attention to the ongoing rescue efforts & needs still left in Katrina's path.

suzysmom :)

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: kate [mailto:katebeez@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Sunday, January 15, 2006 9:05 AM
To: kbloomfield@lemle.com
Cc: sbpanimal@aol.com; Bongiornosusan@aol.com; 'Eric Rice'; dmadalon@24-7sol.com; 'Marilyn Knapp Litt'
Subject: Fur Flies over Pets from the Gulf vs. "Doing What's Best . . . "



Feed back, please. Should I send to the Gazette or shut the f up?



Dear Sir or Madam:



I am the attorney representing Ms. Sumrall and I forward this story to you because it stands in stark contrast not only to the actions (and inactions) on the part of Montgomery County SPCA, Inc. and Kim Deserio, it should shame the unknowledgeable response to “Fur Flies over Pets from the Gulf,” written as a letter to the editor by A.J. Thomas:



Channel 8, CBS, San Diego posted this story on its website at http://www.kfmb.com/features/local8pets/story.php?id=25847.

:

“Featured Story: Hurricane Victim Reunited With His Two Dogs
Last Updated:01-05-06 at 2:38PM
A Hurricane Katrina evacuee has been reunited with some pets he wasn't sure he'd ever see again.Bernard Williams was forced to leave behind his beloved Chow Chows, Missy and Champ. But the dogs were sent from a shelter in Louisiana to the Humane Society in San Diego.The Humane Society did some investigating and tracked down Williams, who believed that the hurricane had killed his dogs."No food or nothing. I guess they were... I can't imagine what they were eating. But they were drinking the water out there," said Williams.The Humane Society was able to fly Williams out to San Diego through its Hurricane Katrina Animal Relief fund.” Copyright © 2006 Midwest Television (emphasis added).

Are we to discern from these starkly contrasting stories that the West Coast cares about the plight of Katrina Victims whereas the East Coast is replete with cold, uncaring elitists? I hope not.



In response to A.J. Thomas’ claims that Belinda failed for months to look for her dogs, there is but one: the only thing worse than an elitist is an uninformed elitist.



It would behoove all who speak to speak from knowledge, not a cold uncaring unknowing heart. Does Thomas know anything at all about what Belinda did to help and to find her pets?. Does Thomas know anything about whether Belinda had been in contact with field rescuers and family and friends throughout September and early October? Does Thomas know whether they all told Belinda her dogs were fine and were being watched and taken care of and fed and watered right up until the time her dogs, Sandy Marie and Coco Ree, were snatched from her life? What does Thomas know about whether, upon finding the promise of reunification note the dog snatcher posted at Belinda's home in October, Belinda constantly had been trying to get her dogs home, calling Alley Cat Allies (identified in the posted note), the sheriff's office, and other phone numbers that had been provided to her? Does Thomas know whether a volunteer who properly had dedicated herself not only to rescue pets, but also to help the victims find them, returned from her tour of duty in St. Bernard Parish in October and then helped Belinda by searching throughout October for Belinda's dogs? Does Thomas know that Belinda’s contact information was plastered throughout the pet databases and any legitimate rescuer could find her information?



Thomas knows nothing of these efforts, yet feels compelled to speak out merely based on the little Thomas does know: that his or her east coast elitist friends changed the names of Belinda’s pets and then sat on their east coast tails doing nothing to find Belinda, yet once finally found, refuse to return Belinda’s pets to her. How sad when other field rescuers had no problem finding Belinda, calling her and her sister, but unfortunately, thanks to the misleading information left by Deserio at Belinda’s home, could not find Belinda’s pets.



Sadly, it appears that the east coast disaster response is not only elitist, but also lazy and uncaring.



Sincerely,



Kathryn S. Bloomfield

(318) 934-4001

401 Edwards St

Shreveport, LA 71101

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO READ THIS AND SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, AND ANYONE YOU CAN SHARE THIS WITH IN YOUR NETWORK OF FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES....WE NEED IMMEDIATE HELP TO KEEP ON OPERATING.

SET ABLAZE IN BAJA

Animal Shelter Set on Fire in San Felipe

On Saturday night, January 7th, at about 10pm, THE SAN FELIPE ANIMAL RESCUE in Las Minitas was broken into and vandalized. The double wide trailer which houses our clinic and ALL our supplies, food and medicines, as well as newborn puppies and sick dogs was set ablaze and literally burned down to the ground. Thirteen dogs were needlessly destroyed. Other outside kennels were vandalized as well, but fortunately, no other dogs were harmed.

SFAR was started by a concerned group of Americans in 2003 when it became a non-profit organization based out of ! Arizona. Since its beginning, SAN FELIPE ANIMAL RESCUE has spayed and/or neutered nearly 2000 stray and indigent dogs and cats, in an effort to surgically alter 75% of the 8000 street, camp, desert and beach dogs and cats by 2008. Zero population will be achieved when that goal is reached.

Ronda Walpole, founder of SFAR, and a resident of Show Low and Queen Creek AZ, was devastated when she and group of volunteers showed up Sunday morning to assess the damage and loss of precious little lives. "We will rebuild, and continue our mission, but we need help and support. Everything critical to running a rescue of this size was in that building and lost in the fire," said Walpole. "Because we are based in the desert, all our water will have to be trucked in due to the damage to pipes and pumps. However, we will continue to provide shelter and care to the other 100 plus animals on site that were not harmed." SFAR takes in some 25 strays every week and! has a successful adoption program thru PetSmart in Mesa, AZ.

A formal investigation is underway and many, many residents of San Felipe have stepped up to help out.

If you'd like to donate to help us rebuild please use this link: http://sfanimalrescue.org/g/
Or you can visit our website at: http://sfanimalrescue.org/g/

Or email us at: BAJAANIMALRESCUE@YAHOO.COM (@YAHOO.COM)
or call 577-2708
From the US call us at: 707-320-0054
Contact: Steven Forman
or mail: SFAR / PMB 194 - BOX 9019 / CALEXICO, CA 92232

#########################################################

....and now an update on the fire and losses at SAN FELIPE ANIMAL RESCUE in Baja...it was one week ago today that SFAR was vandalized and set ablaze....speaking for myself, the week has been long and emotional, but very rewarding....for those who adore animals as we do at SFAR, the loss of 12 puppies and a sweet mama dog named "CRYSTAL" has been not less than devastating...everything else simply costs money and can be replaced. If the vandals had just taken what they wanted and left...NO BIG DEAL....but why burn us to the ground? Unfortunately, we have no idea who did this to SFAR, and don't know if we ever will. CSI SAN FELIPE, where are you?!?

Many San Felipe residents have certainly stepped in to help with clean up and money, and above all have given solace and comfort. Many others from around the country have been incredibly supportive as well. It's nice to know that what we are doing has touched the hearts of so many, and that people not only care, but insist that we keep on doin' it!

We plan to rebuild a block building in place of our trailer with lots of security and full-time residents on site. Ronda, and a small group of us met last night to discuss plans of the physical structure of this new clinic..

Although many of you have donated money, food and supplies, cages & kennels, blankets and towels, bleach and 409, so much of what we need to replace has got to be bought with cold hard cash. When we went to the States on Tuesday to shop for day to day items to run the clinic and the on-site office, confronting the losses became extremely real for us. So much of what we had accumulated was donated over the years and now it all needs to be replaced. We estimate $100, 000 in expenditures to rebuild and restock what we lost.

We will be stronger and we will be better and more efficient, I assure you!!!

Please donate what you can and above all please share our story with your friends, family and associates. Unlike the animals that were effected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, we do not have the eyes and ears of CNN and FOX NEWS listening to us. We really need financial help.
I'll be in touch next week to keep you abreast of our progress.

If you'd like to donate to help us rebuild please use this link:
http://sfanimalrescue.org/g/?page_id=9

Or email us at: BajaAnimalrescue@yahoo.com
or call 577-2708 in Mexico

From the US call us at: 707-320-0054
Contact: Steven Forman
or mail:
SFAR
PMB 194 - BOX 9019
CALEXICO, CA 92232

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger GDF said...

I've been thinking a lot lately that evil really does exist, but not in the form of a devil and a place called hell. It exists in human selfishness--the selfishness which allows the average American to look away from the injustice, cruelty and need around her. This week, the relative of a coworker was arrested for setting her house on fire and killing her 8 and 10 year old children inside. For the first 2 minutes of the 911 call, all she's concerned about is twisting her ankle, spilling her purse, and not being able to find her cell phone. It was all about her.
This afternoon I went out to feed feral cats on a route I do twice a week. One of the sites is behind a motel. Originally the owner sought our group out to manage the colony there, and even donated money to help have some of the cats altered. But in the past few months he's become unhappy that the cats are still there. Today I found one of the cats dead--from the remnants of food and blood around her mouth, the rictus of the body, no signs of obvious trauma, it looks like she was poisoned. Someone, in some sick, selfish way, justified to him/herself, that it was right to do this.
All humans are selfish--I know I am. It is a really difficult tendency to overcome. But in this era of a purported "culture war", and a war on terrorism, the evil we need to fight is within ourselves.
I know this is rambling and off-topic--but I'm still shaken up. I can't begin to fathom the depth of pain and shock for the rescuers in the gulf, or for the members of SFAR.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger no one said...

This is a sample bring 'em home letter. Feel free to modify for whatever obstacle you are facing:

Dear Sir or Madam:
I am just ill over the reports I have received from volunteers dedicated to returning, for many Katrina victims, the only remaining meaning in their lives—their pets. Sadly, these reports evidence a cavalier attitude on your part towards the other end of our Katrina pets' leashes--their owners. You reported that you sent one of our Katrina pets to a lawyer, seemingly smugly suggesting that fact alone would forever bar the rightful owner. I, too, am an attorney and I am fighting for my neighbors to the south to assist them get their pets home.
I sincerely hope your group honored its obligation to care for the animals of my state, Louisiana, and its obligation to use its utmost best efforts to locate their owners. Apropos the utter obstreperousness that we have faced from shelters nationwide, who represented themselves capable of these tasks, together with what seems to be a disdainful attitude you have towards my South Louisiana neighbors, I have reason to suspect that your group has not.
Shelters are adopting our pets out, although they have tags, without taking appropriate steps to reunite the pet with its family. Shelters are hanging up the phone on owners, after first judgmentally chiding them as bad owners, or worse, as they did to New Orleans Police Officer Ned Gonzales, who reported for duty at the superdome and worked his ten day shift, screamed that he had abandoned his two beloved pets, Nemo and Lucky, a beautiful shepherd and a lovely jack Russell terrier, and then promptly hung up the phone and proceeded to delete from its web site, pictures of what likely was Lucky, the jack.
I have thus far been able to instigate the return of every pet improperly or prematurely adopted out ot otherwise held hostage by these so called shelters. One pet, Coco, a beloved cockapoo, had a microchip implanted with full details of the rightful owner. The other, Shane, a poodle whom the owners had “adopted” when Shane was dropped on their doorstep ten years ago, had a collar with tags that led directly to the owners. Shane’s dad rescued him, along with his other pets, and five other pets of neighbors, rode out the floods, was evacuated to high ground, where officials forced him to leave them, refusing to take the animals. An unscrupulous, uncaring shelter got ahold of Shane and because of its poor practices, never ever ever posted Shane on petfinder, chastised a volunteer there who complained for their unethical practice of getting rid of the tags and collar, and then turning around and adopting Shane out. That shelter now has broken multiple hearts of multiple families. The adopter has agreed to return Shane to the rightful owner. Another one was Bojo, an 11# handful of energetic pomeranian mix. A call to a cooperative shelter who respectfully contacted the adopter and shazam--the adoptive family knew what the right thing to do was and they selflessly returned Bojo. Bojo is home.
The beloved Miss Coon, a labrador/dachsund mix: she who wound up in a shelter that unlawfully apprised the owner that it was "state law that he had to come to the shelter to identify his dog." This it said to a 75 year old man who was airlifted out of harm's way and forced to leave Miss Coon. Miss Coon is home, notwithstanding the fact the shelter denied Roger's ownership, claiming his description of her as an oversized black dachsund was insufficient (although that fit her to a tee) and the little girl didn't like men and snapped at them. Odd, the moment we got Miss Coon out of there, whose lap did she first jump up on? A strange man's. Didn't like men, eh? Well, her man, Roger, rode out the floods in St. Bernard Parish, escaped to high ground at the local jail with his pup, only to be forced to evacuate without his Miss Coon. Four months later, she is home, despite a shelter which cavalierly dismisses owner inquiries.
I also have facilitated the locating and then return of yet another Katrina pet, Lexus, a gorgeous white husky girl with Paul Newman eyes. Although the shelter knew of the obligations to post her on petfinder; it chose not to. Nonetheless, tracking the paperwork, although misleading, and interviewing the driver of the transport, we found her anyway, notwithstanding the shelter's denial that it ever even had her. She's home now, too.
It is disheartening to see what this nation is doing. I thought it would rally to help the victims of these horrible tragedies. Instead, what I am seeing is heartless, cruel unabashed injustice and just plain meanness.
Sincerely,

Kathryn S. Bloomfield

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger GDF said...

I don't get why so many shelters and adopters are holding onto Katrina pets when their rightful owners want them back. There are literally 100's of 1000's of homeless animals in local shelters, who are in just as desperate need. Giving a Katrina animal back means your home and heart can open to another animal in need.

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly I think part of it is the novelty of owning a "Katrina pet" and the free publicity for the shelters. Even more unforunate is what is going to happen to all these poor little furbabes when the "novelty" wears off? They need to be returned to their rightful families who will always love them.

 
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