Sunday, June 04, 2006

LA state vet continues to show they are in the dark.

These are probably some of the dumbest comments in the history of animal welfare. I have made bold the ridiculous ones for your enjoyment.

Silly comments from the below article:
1. "State vet not in business of helping evacuate animals" -- Eric Comment, "Seems like they should be. I know I would be looking for a way to get involved if I were a state vet"
2. "Keep shelters secret" -- Eric comment - this is one of the most bizarre statements I have ever heard.
3. "Animals removed if owners don't take care of them" -- Eric Comments -- Lets see people's houses destroyed and families spread all over the place (maybe dead) after a disaster and you don't want to help them with animals. Confusion and stress for them and you are going to do what? turn the animals out into the streets? How about inviting people like me to man the shelters and take care of the animals. How about caring about your citizens. Of course it is a good idea to have those that can take care of their animals.
4. “will never again allow out-of-state vets to come in” - lets see they only helped save 10,000-20,000 animals but I doubt the state vet stopped by Lamar Dixon to notice what went on. Maybe I should send some video of the hundreds of animals being worked on at one time.
5. "Credentials Required" - I am fine with that but they seem to blame us for them not being at all prepared for this. Had Mrs. Poirrier been prepared I would not have been needed. They seem willing to sacrifice the lives of animals to prove a point. Lets us no forget that many thousands of animals that would have died behind closed doors were saved.
6. Final Comment - They are all focusing on the "rescuer." In the typical disaster they only need a few dozen or a few hundred in the field rescuers. However, what will save more animals is shelters and help for people to get to the shelters. In every disaster and every potential disaster/evacuation in process they need thousands of volunteers to man shelters, direct traffic, hand out flyers letting people know shelters are available. They need this days BEFORE the disaster. They need people to take care of the animals of thousands of people and an intake system that is fool proof and security guards who have been vetted BEFORE the storm. They are focusing on one small part of this. This is what none of them especially Poitter gets. I'd be begging people to come down to LA to take a 1-2 day course called "Evacuating and Sheltering LA animals in Disaster" 100's of volunteers could be on call by week. If the hurricane is headed that week you are asked to respond even if it doesn't hit.
7. Final Final Comment - They don't pass the Trump test. Love him or hate him the Donald would pull together a team that got this right. These people don't live up. They wouldn't make it in my world. None of them. Not one of them has stood up for common sense, its all about "saving face" not doing the right thing. 100% Period. They have been outed. I saw the incompetence and lack of will with my own eyes.
How do I apply?

The below article reprinted from the Best Friends website. Please visit and donate to one of the best organizations in the country.

May 4, 2006 : 12:00 AM
© by Laura Allen, All rights reserved

The Louisiana State Veterinarian’s Office announced Saturday that it is not in the business of evacuating animals during an emergency. Dr. Renee Poirrier stated it is each individual’s responsibility to evacuate their pets in an emergency. The state vet’s office plans to have a few temporary shelters, but their location will be kept secret from the public until a disaster hits. It is not clear how people will find these shelters in an emergency. Also, the state vet’s office will require pet owners to take care of their pets in the temporary animal shelter. It is not clear how this will work if people are forced to evacuate or where the pet owners will stay during this time. Dr. Poirrier warned animals would be “removed” if a pet owner did not come and take care of the pet for two consecutive days. In other words, in Louisiana, as far as the state vet’s office is concerned, you are on your own in trying to save your animals during a disaster.

This announcement came during a meeting at the Hotel Crown Plaza in the New Orleans French Quarter of several rescue groups including Best Friends Animal Society, Southern Animal Foundation, St. Francis Animal Sanctuary, and Muttshack as well as officials from the American Red Cross and the City of New Orleans. The state vet’s office used the meeting as a forum that seemed to discourage help from private animal rescue groups and particularly, out-of-state veterinarians during a crisis. Dr. Poirrier stated unequivocally the state vet’s office which is actually headed by Martha Littlefield “will never again allow out-of-state vets to come in” and help save animals stranded and dying as a result of a disaster. She made clear all veterinarians working in Louisiana during a crisis must have proper credentials from this state. She did not even offer a relaxed licensing plan for vets to help during an emergency. Russ Mead, Best Friends Animals Society’s attorney and representative at the meeting, told Dr. Poirrier he could have offered $10,000 per week for a vet after Katrina but there simply were none to be found in the area to help with the Best Friends Animal Society’s rescue effort. She had no response to Mr. Mead’s comment.

Dr. Poirrier also announced private animal rescue groups will not be allowed in the state during an emergency unless they have proper “credentials”. The state vet’s office will also, according to Dr. Poirrier, require daily reports from any private shelter or rescue group operating in the state during a disaster.

When Mr. Mead asked her about the criteria for obtaining credentials, Dr. Poirrier said they have not worked that out yet. (The credentialing required is likely FEMA courses such as ISCS 100, ISCS 200, NIMS 700 and NIMS 800). She then turned on Best Friends Animal Society, questioning whether that organization had any experience in emergency response and sheltering. Her criticism provoked an outcry from the other rescue groups present. They actually applauded Best Friends and told Dr. Poirrier they could not have saved the animals they did without the help of Best Friends.....SEE CONTINUED....

Final comment from Eric - "these people have lost it. they should get some people in from Florida who know how to do this stuff and stop trying to act like they have any experience"


At 12:08 PM, Anonymous eRIC rICE said...

Nonetheless, Dr. Poirrier pressed on with the state vet’s office’ apparent campaign to interfere with the efforts of private groups to rescue animals in Louisiana during an emergency. She announced all animals must have a health certificate before they can be transported out of the state. When pressed on the feasibility of this during a disaster, she said people have 30 days prior to a disaster to obtain a health certificate for their animals if they are planning to have them evacuated out of state. It is as if the state vet’s office thinks the dates of disasters are known to everyone. Of course, keeping current health certificates in case of an emergency evacuation is expensive. It will be prohibitive for many rescue groups to obtain a health certificate for each animal they save and try to place in temporary foster care out of state. Dr. Poirrier did not explain where the vets to issue the health certificates will come from during a disaster.

Dr. Poirrier also stated the state vet’s office is the lead agency for any pet evacuation. Her office must approve of any memos of understanding between parishes and private rescuers. S.B. 607 has prompted a plan to have rescue groups enter into memos of understanding with local parishes that they will provide rescue and animal sheltering services during a disaster. Mr. Mead asked Dr. Poirrier for the statutory authority that gives the state vet’s office control of all animal evacuations in the State of Louisiana. She first said she did not know of any such authority. She then admitted there is no such law. She said she believes working with the state vet’s office is a courtesy.

It may be difficult for private groups to spend time and resources extending courtesies to the state vet’s office when they are trying to save animals that are abandoned and dying in areas where there is no water, no electricity, no gasoline, no food, and no phones.

The state vet’s office gave lip service to support of the state Pet Evacuation Bill, S.B. 607. Dr. Poirrier made clear, though, the state vet’s office believes the cost of S. 607 is very high. She had no numbers to back up her claim. Perhaps the state vet’s office effectively opposes S.B. 607 because it gives them no specific authority over all aspects of pet evacuations.

As with Katrina, rescue groups will be forced to work around the state vet’s office. The passage of S.B. 607 would help. There is no question the bill will save animal as well as human lives. Hundreds if not thousands of them. But the bill is in trouble. Don’t let the state vet’s office play politics with the lives of animals. Please continue to write the Governor and Commr. LeBlanc as well as all the state senators in support of this bill. The representative from the City of New Orleans admitted during this meeting the city has no plan at all to evacuate an estimated 7,000 animals that will need help in the event of an emergency. Louisiana needs your help. Even if you are not from Louisiana, this bill could be a model for other states, but it must pass!

Jerry Luke LeBlanc, Commissioner of Administration
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
local ph: 225-342-7000; toll free: 800-354-9548
fax: 225-342-5653

Governor Kathleen Blanco
Office of the Governor, Attn: Constituent Services
P.O. Box 94004; Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
ph: 866-366-1121, 225-342-0991 or 225-342-7015; fax: 225-342-7099

CENTRAL FAX NUMBER, when the Legislature is in session. Faxes are placed
directly into each senator's mailbox: 225-342-0617

CENTRAL PHONE NUMBER, when the Legislature is in session: 225-342-2040

Senator Robert Adley
611 Jessie Jones Drive; Benton, LA 71006
ph: 225-342-2040, 318-965-1755; fax: 318-965-1757

Senator "Jody" Amedee
2109 S. Burnside Ave., Suite A; Gonzales, LA 70737
ph: 225-644-1526; fax: 225-644-7392

Senator Diana E. Bajoie
Post Office Box 15168; New Orleans, LA 70175
ph: 225-342-0752, 504-568-7760; fax: 504-896-1301

Senator Robert J. Barham
Post Office Box 249; Oak Ridge, LA 71264
ph: 225-342-2040, 318-244-5582; fax: 318-244-5015

Senator Walter J. Boasso
100 Intermodal Drive; Chalmette, LA 70043
ph: 225-342-2040, 504-270-9258; fax: 504-277-0113

Senator Sharon Weston Broome
P. O. Box 52783; Baton Rouge, LA 70892
ph: 225-359-9352; fax: 225-359-9353

Senator James David Cain
Post Office Box 640; Dry Creek, LA 70637
ph: 225-342-2040, 337-328-7266; fax: 337-491-2027

Senator Joel T. Chaisson
P.O. Box 1255; Destrehan, LA 70047
ph: 225-342-2040, 985-764-9911; fax: 985-764-9686

Senator Sherri Smith Cheek
9973 Mansfield Road; Keithville, LA 71047
ph: 318-687-4820; fax: 318-687-4077

Senator Donald R. "Don" Cravins
Vice Chairman, Judiciary B Committee
200 West Pine Street; Lafayette, LA 70501
ph: 225-342-2114, 337-234-9695; fax: 337-234-7019

Senator Jay Dardenne, Judiciary B Committee Member
Post Office Box 94183; Baton Rouge, LA 70804
ph: 225-342-9788; fax: 225-383-3733

Senator Ann Duplessis
6600 Plaza Drive, Suite 211A; New Orleans, LA 70127
ph: 504-243-7795; fax: 504-246-7689

Senator Reggie P. Dupre
P. O. Box 3893; Houma, LA 70361-2016
ph: 985-876-9902; fax: 985-873-2016

Senator Noble E. Ellington, Judiciary B Committee Member
4272 Front Street; Winnsboro, LA 71295
ph: 318-435-7313; fax: 318-435-9885

Senator Cleo Fields
Post Office Box 94183; Baton Rouge, LA 70804
ph: 225-342-9793; fax: 225-219-4354

Senator Heulette "Clo" Fontenot
Author of SB 607, Pet Evacuation Bill
P.O. Box 1238; Livingston, LA 70754
ph: 225-686-0108; fax: 225-686-2161

Senator "Nick" Gautreaux
209 E. St. Victor Street; Abbeville, LA 70510
ph: 337-740-NICK (6425), 1-866-740-NICK (6425)
fax: 337-740-6400; email:

Senator D. A. "Butch" Gautreaux
1103 Eighth Street; Morgan City, LA 70380
ph: 800-562-3204; fax: 985-380-2447

Senator Francis C. Heitmeier
3709 General DeGaulle; New Orleans, LA 70114
ph: 504-361-6014; fax: 504-361-9794

Senator Donald E. Hines
Post Office Box 262; Bunkie, LA 71322
ph: 318-346-4619; fax: 318-346-2301

Senator Ken Hollis, Judiciary B Committee Member
2800 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Suite 365; Metairie, LA 70002
ph: 225-342-8325, 504-828-9300; fax: 504-828-9355

Senator Lydia P. Jackson
610 Texas Street, Suite 201; Shreveport, LA 71101
ph: 318-676-7029; fax: 318-676-7034

Senator Charles D. "C.D." Jones, Judiciary B Committee Member
141 Desiard Street, Suite 315; Monroe, LA 71201
ph: 225-342-2366, 318-362-5469;
fax: 318-325-2647; email:

Senator Robert W. "Bob" Kostelka
Post Office Box 2122; Monroe, LA 71207
ph: 800-508-5572; fax: 318-329-9150

Senator Arthur J. "Art" Lentini
6620 Riverside Drive, Suite 312; Metairie, LA 70003
ph: 504-780-8700; fax: 504-465-3463

Senator Max T. Malone
610 Marshall Street, Suite 722; Shreveport, LA 71101
ph: 318-676-5733; fax: 318-676-5734

Senator Robert "Rob" Marionneaux
Chairman, Judiciary B Committee
P.O. Box 577; Livonia, LA 70755-0577
ph: 225-637-3623; fax: 225-637-3124

Senator Joe McPherson
880 Robinson Bridge Road; Woodworth, LA 71485
ph: 318-484-2211; fax: 318-445-2872

Senator Michael J. "Mike" Michot
P.O. Box 80372; Lafayette, LA 70598
ph: 337-262-1332; fax: 337-237-1185

Senator Willie L. Mount
P.O. Box 3004; Lake Charles, LA 70602
ph: 337-491-2016; fax: 337-433-8080

Senator Edwin R. Murray
1540 N. Broad St.; New Orleans, LA 70119
ph: 504-945-0042; fax: 504-942-5968

Senator Ben Nevers
724 Avenue F; Bogalusa, LA 70427
ph: 985-732-6863, 1-800-881-2749; fax: 985-732-6860

Senator Julie Quinn
3330 North Causeway Boulevard, Suite 438; Metairie, LA 70002
ph: 504-219-4640; fax: 504-219-4639

Senator Craig F. Romero
300 Iberia Street, Suite B-150; New Iberia, LA 70560
ph: 337-364-8006; fax: 337-364-7355

Senator John T. "Tom" Schedler
3840 Highway 22, Suite 200; Mandeville, LA 70471
ph: 225-342-2040, 985-727-7949, 1-800-836-9581
fax: 985-727-9904; email:

Senator Derrick Shepherd
2009 Ames Boulevard; Marrero, LA 70072
ph: 504-371-0263; fax: 504-371-0265

Senator Kenneth M. "Mike" Smith
Post Office Box 1381; Winnfield, LA 71483
ph: 225-342-0637, 318-628-3075; fax: 318-628-5286

Senator Gerald J. Theunissen
Post Office Box 287; Jennings, LA 70546
ph: 337-824-0376; fax: 337-824-4780

Senator J. Chris Ullo
2150 Westbank Expressway, Suite 705; Harvey, LA 70058
ph: 504-361-6690; fax: 504-361-6691

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone once told me "You can't stop animal lovers from rescuing animals" This is the most incompetent office in the entire state (state vet). They did such a good job during Katrina.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Vince said...

unbelievable. I like your blog, ill keep reading

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At 7:49 PM, Blogger lanekry said...


And that's putting it nicely. Words can't express how assine and evil this people are. My God. What is up their *sses.

They are prepared to let a bunch of animals die again this year. I would ask for God to have mercy on their souls but honeslty I'd rather see them rot in hell.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really sad. It makes me wonder how they treat their own animals and children. Is life so cheap? Maybe this is why so many people did not go back. What is the state's vet office for anyway? (control of dog/rooster fighting and graft?) The whole world knows that Katrina was the tip of the global warming iceberg. Next time (soon) one of two things will happen. The world will gasp at the images on TV and steamroll right over them and go in to rescue or turn around and walk away.

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Another terribly sad example of ~bureaucracy~ at it's very worst:(

Nothing against the majority of the good citizens of Louisiana; BUT maybe if the entire state were to get entirely wiped off the map during the next hurricane season> THEN the LA state vets office ~wouldn't have ANYTHING to worry about anymore~ .... (or in other words> business as usual!!)

Unfortunately those who don't learn from past lessons are forever doomed to repeat them (in this case at the expense of the pets and their families in LA)...

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At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

secret shelters?? Whats next, changing emergency services phone from 911 to an unlisted number?

Best advice to louisiansa residents - time for a major political housecleaning. 2 out of every 3 of you are pet owners. Your governing body does not have you or your pet's interests at heart. You need to send a powerful message to these clods - or start a mass exodus out of the state and into one that puts the people who live there's interests BEFORE their own agendas.

I actually LIKE the idea of people caring for their own pets in the shelters, but there has to be a contingency plan for those who are unable to do so. To me making reservations at the nearest known shelter would make far more sense. They could actually plan for an anticipated number of people, their specific pets and their needs.
The way it stands, it would probably be a good idea to organize your own neighborhood and devise a plan to save yourselves rather than depend on a governing body that is far more concerned about political posturing and appearances than about doing what is necessary for the benefit of their constituents.

At 12:01 AM, Anonymous emily said...

You know what, Eric, what pisses me off isn't that they're trying to be more prepared and require official credentials for future rescues. Training and preparation is always a good thing. What bothers me is the way that not only the state of Louisiana, but also (it seems) HSUS is COMPLETELY ungrateful to the people who put their lives on hold to go down and help. I'm not going to say that all of the rogue rescuing was good. I think a lot of animals got lost that way. But the best way to proceed is to funnel all the volunteer interest into something useful, and encouraging training, rather than being all exclusive. I'm getting more and more annoyed that all I seem to hear from the state vet's office, and from HSUS (which seems to be the organization that had the memo of understanding with the state of LA, and many other states, I suspect) is how disruptive the rescuing was and how unqualified everyone was and how everyone needs credentials. I spent a lot of money and put my life on hold to go clean up pit bull poop. I followed directions when they existed. The problem, as I see it, is that the LEADERS had no idea how to lead -- it isn't the case that all the volunteers caused problems. If I read one more piece of garbage about how out of state volunteers caused all these problems, I'm going to rethink volunteering my time after all. And I did not go around NOLA rescuing. I handled aggressive dogs and cleaned cages at Lamar-Dixon. I don't really know why a $300 disaster response training would better qualify me to do that, but if that's what they want, then I say "fine." Let the certification mongers (all ten of them) fight over who gets to clean poop. Maybe people won't be so willing to go help next time. I mean, a simple "thanks" from HSUS would be nice. I signed the volunteer form when I got there...they have my info. Emily (

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Carolyn said...

I attended the HSUS conference last week and went to a session entitled “Coordinating Training for Animal Disaster Responders.” It was all about the, let me see, thousand or so courses one should take in order to become an animal disaster responder, and how only certain courses, offered by certain orgs, are legit. They talked about making a “brag book” where you listed all the various “credentials” you have as a responder. They must have mentioned learning how to pull a large animal (as in horse) out of rushing water five times.

At the reception later that day, I sat with EARS representatives (the National Director was on the panel at the session). They asked me what I thought of their training initiative, and I said they were over-thinking it, because not every volunteer in an animal disaster will be out in a boat or rescuing horses. They will be on the line in the “temporary” animal shelters needed, and what went wrong at Katrina was record keeping and tracking of animals. They need coordination at that level and they need a plan at that level. They need to realize that not every person needs specialized rescue training, and that there needs to be a real coordinated, supervised effort at the end of the rescue line.

I think there should be one “animal rescue” course that everyone should take (and I think many orgs should offer this course and be recognized as legit, so people from all over can take this course, lots of people). This course should have general guidelines on rescuing animals but should focus on major tracking/record keeping information, and animal care in an emergency with temporary sheltering. But, that should be “it” for the volunteers who are not going to be out in boats and rescuing horses out of rushing water. From there, sure, gather the major rescue responders and train, train, train. Make that “brag book.” But, don’t over-think this, don’t make this so grand that few can gather the courses needed to be accepted as animal emergency responders. Let rescuers in to these training sessions who are not part of their little click. It seems to me that too few courses are being offered, and many people are taking the courses over and over again (those in their little group). One person on the panel at the session said she had taken that water-training course five times. Wouldn’t that mean that she filled a slot four times when four other people could have attended?

Glenda, of lost JRT Max’s mom, attended the conference with me (she stayed in my house in Alexandria while attending). She and I went up to every person we could corner and asked about record-keeping, and where Max went (he disappeared from Lamar Dixon). It seems to me that basic record-keeping, tracking, and safety of the animals in their care once rescued are greatly important. Okay, I could say more, but I am done for now. If you want to know more about what I learned at the HSUS meeting, e-mail me

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Shireen Gonzaga said...

This is going to keep breaking our hearts, over and over and over ... Thanks, Emily and Carolyn, for your valuable comments.

At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Eric Rice said...

This is what they are all missing. In the typical disaster they need a few dozen or a few hundred in the field rescuers.

In every disaster and every "almost" disaster they need thousands of volunteers to man shelters, direct traffic, hand out flyers letting people know shelters are available. They need this days BEFORE the disaster. They need people to take care of the animals of thousands of people and an intake system that is fool proof and security guards who have been vetted BEFORE the storm.

This is what none of them especially Poitter gets.

Eric Rice

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and we have seen the animal orgs will NEVER work together. I have not met one yet that wanted to put together a national plan TOGETHER. They will always be off doing their own things. Look how many groups we have now.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Pat said...

They haven't learned anything. And they seem like the worst sort of ungrateful twits.

I would imagine it all hinges on who gets the money, from the feds/state and charitable contributions. They don't want anyone else to get a little credit or support funds.

How petty!

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Rebecca Poling said...

Yes, that's pretty much exactly what Dr. Poirrier said at a recent Animals In Disaster Conference in Washington DC. She made it clear that they wish no independent volunteers had ever been allowed into Louisiana and certainly will not be in the future. She sounded totally out of sync with all the other national and local organizations - all of whom had concerns about the accountability of independents but were more than willing to embrace them, train them, and prepare them for the next Katrina!

There also is a national plan of sorts in the works, and it includes the Red Cross as well. Those groups that simply cannot play well with others simply won't be able to contribute - but everyone else will be, with the appropriate FREE training and accountability.

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous courtney c said...

That is an awful lot of stipulation demanded by an office that isn't in the business of pet evacuation.
If indeed, they aren't in the evacuation business, one wonders why they simply don't leave the 'business' to those who actually would know how to conduct evacuations?
It surmounts to a desire to have all the control and none of the responsibility. What is more useless than that?

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