Katrina Animals Pets ~ September 12, 2005
The Katrina Animal Rescue Resources webpage remains current. Posts for Katrina Animals Pets News from September 11 to August 28, 2005 are below today's post.
Katrina Animals Pets Issues
Volunteers Rescue Pets in New Orleans
Voice of America
When Hurricane Katrina cut a path of death and destruction through the US Gulf coast, many animals were left stranded. ...
... Officials estimate that as many as 10,000 animals may need assistance in the areas devastated by Katrina. They add that the demand ...
Katrina Pet Information
THOUSANDS OF PETS WERE LEFT STRANDED BY HURRICANE KATRINA, AND MANY THOUSANDS ... EVACUATED PET, FIND SHELTER INFORMATION FOR EVACUATED AND RESCUED ANIMALS, OR GET ...
Local pet rescuers make big difference but still need your help
... been coming to the rescue of hundreds of pets left stranded by Hurricane Katrina. ... They're working to save 2-thousand animals at their shelter and are still ...
Louisiana Humane Society Moves To Ohio
... Thousands of animals need to be rescued in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. ... needed to rescue and continue adoption efforts for thousands of stranded pets. ...
Rescued animals have their own evacuee camp
Denver Post, CO
... Bernard Parish. One of the Colorado Guard units has been feeding stranded pets, while another is rescuing them. (Post / Craig F. Walker). draft horses. ...
Oregon Humane Society Hurricane Mission Changes: From Search And Rescue to Food And Water (And Love)
Portland, Oregon - Saturday morning, the heat and humidity did not change, the fact animals were still in the destroyed city did not change, the desire of our Animal Rescue Team to forge ahead and save as many lives as possible did not change. What did change is that the emergency animal shelter in Gonzales is at maximum capacity. Our team is now providing food, water, and love to those pets still left behind.
Oregon Humane Society volunteer René Pizzo offers this insight into what the OHS Animal Rescue Team is now facing: "We have a different mission today. The emergency animal shelter is overfilled, so we are going in today with lots of food and water. We'll break into homes and check on the animals, feed and water them, and make a list of who needs continuing food and water so future teams can get in and do it. We will only take out animals in dire straits. We don't want to take them out of a bad situation and put them into a worse situation, which is what the shelter will become if we can't adequately care for who is there. We are up to 2,000 animals in the shelter."
OHS now has the 4 member rescue team working the streets of New Orleans, as well as other staff and volunteers working in the emergency animal shelter.
Animals being turned away from state shelter
Sept. 11. Red tape stymies rescue efforts as rescuers can’t drop animals off
The Lamar-Dixon facility is now being managed by the state Department of Health and the authorities in Ascension Parish, and the Louisiana state veterinarian’s office has placed a mandatory hold on the animals housed there.
Animal rescue groups have been working together to try to resolve this issue with state and parish authorities, and there are other shelters within Louisiana and surrounding states with room to take animals from Lamar-Dixon once they are released. In addition, thousands of people have been put on waiting lists after offering to provide foster homes for rescued animals.
But the rescue groups are limited as to the action they can take -- the final authority rests with state and local authorities, and they can decide to suspend an organization’s rescue efforts at any time.
[The above situation is resolving itself; animals at Lamar Dixon shelter in Gonzales are now being released/transferred. But I found the statement I highlighted above incredulous. Why would these national animal rescue groups “be limited as to the action they can take“ in fear of being suspended from participation. Separately or together, they cannot protest? They are assisting the state of Louisiana with a historic crisis; by their own accounts they are providing millions of dollars and unprecedented manpower and resources.]
On the ground in New Orleans, another post from GulfSails:
Pet Rescue... Fighting On.
Michael Lohr, a civilian from Los Angeles, who finessed his way to the front lines specifically to help in the pet rescue worked his ass off today. He is EXTREMELY upset with major nationwide animal rights groups who are still to wary of potential security issues to come down here and help. Everyone needs to realize, most of these rescues are being done by various Louisiana Humane Societies, people who are determined enough to come in individually from around the city, the state and the country who are what I've been classifying as animal radicals, and your average New Orleanians who are horrified by the stories trickling out of the desparation and plight of these animals... and trust me, we're not talking hundreds of people here.
You don't even want to begin to hear the horror stories percolating out of St. Bernard Parish.We have not seen a whit of any national groups down here at our site. None at all. And are not hearing about much outside assistance throughout the devastated parishes and coastal Mississippi.
I'm a civilian and I'm starting to rant... back to accolades.
HSUS - September 11
Animal Rescues Continue as Storm of Public Outrage Builds
It was the most closely watched race this weekend, this ongoing push to relay the names and locations of animals from the database maintained at The HSUS headquarters in Washington, DC to the field workers on the ground in Louisiana. On Saturday and Sunday, in the shambles that New Orleans has become, animal care and control personnel and volunteers from around the nation acted both creatively and decisively to find, rescue, and sustain animals struggling to survive almost two weeks after Katrina flogged the city. Those animals they could reach and collect, they saved. Those they could not catch, they did their best to feed and water, to keep them alive and give them a chance to survive until the next attempt at rescue.
[How about an update as to how many animals have been rescued off the animal rescue request hotlines?]
Today, officials of the Louisiana SPCA and The HSUS received approval from federal and state authorities to transfer 400 animals out of the emergency shelter set up at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana.
The agreement marked a resolution of tensions over the viability of Lamar Dixon as a temporary holding facility for the exodus of animals from the stricken landscape of the Big Easy. It was a hopeful sign on a weekend that saw the nation sharpen focus on the harsh and self-defeating outcome of state and federal disaster protocols that forced people to choose between their personal safety and the lives of their pets.
This afternoon, Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The HSUS, who on Saturday night appeared on Larry King Live to make a direct appeal for complete federal and state cooperation in the rescue effort, traveled to Louisiana to meet with The HSUS staff members and other responders in the field.
[When did animal groups first realize they needed help and request help from government responders?]
Canine refugees head to California on flight funded by oil tycoon
Times Picayune, LA -
The Continental Airlines flight from Baton Rouge, La., was chartered for about $50,000 by Texas oil tycoon Boone Pickens and his wife, Madeleine, in a movement dubbed by organizers as "Operation Pet Lift."
About half the dogs on Sunday's flight were headed toward the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego, with the rest bound for the Marin Humane Society at San Francisco International Airport.
Austin, Texas-based PetRelocation.com was organizing Sunday's move.
"I have a feeling from here on there's going to be a whole bunch of help," said PetRelocation.com President Kevin O'Brien.
He said Pickens arrived in Baton Rouge Sunday morning on a private jet.
"Rather than just donating the money, he actually got involved and went and helped load the dogs," O'Brien said. "Here you have an iconic philanthropist who was actually loading dogs with his bare hands."
Pickens' spokesman Jay Rosser said the oil magnate hoped to motivate others to pitch in.
"The goal was to help rescue 200 dogs," Rosser said. "They're overjoyed that they were able to rescue 80, but clearly disappointed and dismayed at the bureaucracy which prevented them from taking the full 200."
Kelly Harrington, director of disaster response services for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said a makeshift shelter for up to several thousand dogs had been set up at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La., about 45 miles northwest of New Orleans.
She hoped additional dogs would be flown out in the coming days, but said the effort was taking time.
"There are legal issues on moving animals that are potentially owned," Harrington said. "Every animal has to be vet checked, vaccinated and microchipped ... so we can track these animals in case an owner does find them."
Petfinder.com was setting up a database of pet pictures to help reunite owners with lost animals. Andrew Rowan, executive vice president of operations for the Humane Society United States, said animals must be moved out of the Gonzales facility quickly to make room for "maybe 50,000 or more dogs and cats in New Orleans that need to be rescued."
The shelter now "looks like Woodstock," he said.
"There are vans and cars and trucks all over the place. Dogs are barking, cats are meowing. It's a tremendous logistical operation to provide the care that these animals need."
The Humane Society's Dave Pauli, the incident commander for the Gonzales facility, said the site is "bursting at the seams. We're beyond capacity."
He said 200 animals were shipped out Sunday by truck to Houston, but rescue teams were expected to bring in about 300 more in the afternoon.
"And we've had about 200 animals reunited with their owners here at this facility. That's what keeps us going. Every one of them brings a tear to your eyes and makes these sleepless nights worth it," Pauli said.
In 26 years, "this is by far the largest animal rescue experience I have seen or been involved with."
The Marin Humane Society north of San Francisco has offered to take in 1,000 dogs. The group was set to receive about 50 canines Sunday, with an additional 400 expected Monday, said spokeswoman Sheri Cardo.
"All of the shelters out here have agreed to hold on to them and facilitate any reunions with their families that can be made," Cardo said.
Help is coming from across the country. The Web sites petfinder.com and craigslist.org list dozens of people who are offering to take in furry Katrina refugees. The ASPCA has received at least $5 million in donations to its disaster relief fund.
And corporate America is caring, too. San Diego-based Petco has raised more than $600,000 for relief. Huntington Beach-based PetProTech said it would divert money targeted for a pet oxygen mask project to relief projects for the rest of the year. Glendale-based D.E.L.T.A. Rescue shipped several truckloads of dog and cat food to the region.
"Time is of the essence," Cardo said. "If they don't start moving these animals out, they're going to have a killing field down there."
[Time has been of the essence for thirteen days. Wonderful that 200 animals have been reunited at this facility and other animals are being transferred (albeit far away) to make room for more rescues coming in. Surely hope many of these are later reunited with guardians/owners. What about the other potential thousands needing rescue, especially in New Orleans?]
As human crisis abated, animal rescues began
The Christian Science Monitor
NEW ORLEANS – For seven days, Nancy Stein circled a locked-down New Orleans, looking for a boat, a canoe, anything, she could use to rescue those who had been left behind on Fontainebleau Street.
As helicopters plucked people from rooftops, she waited for her chance. When it came, she barely made it back before dark along flooded streets. But in a cage in the bottom of a commandeered boat, she had her quarry: her cat, Dash.
"You can't stop a mother looking for her babies," a relieved Ms. Stein says.
The plight of human beings took precedence in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Yet as airlift lines shortened and rescue boats came back empty, a shift occurred. Rescuers began taking notice of the many left-behind dogs, birds, pigs, mules, and chinchillas in a city where 69 percent of households have pets.
By Tuesday, it had become the largest pet-rescue operation in the short history of such efforts, which date back to hurricane Andrew in 1992. As dozens of humane agencies descended, even soldiers turned at least a passing notice to lost, displaced, and left-behind pets. Two shelters - one for dropped-off pets at the Coliseum in Baton Rouge and another for rescued ones in Gonzales, La. - held more than 1,000 animals. More flowed in by the minute. Ninety percent of the rescued animals belong to someone.
Since human shelters won't take pets and it's illegal to keep pets in motels in Louisiana, many residents left their pets behind. Some left doors open so pets could fend for themselves. Others showed solidarity with their animals.
"There are a lot of people who wouldn't leave without their pets, so this has become a human safety issue, too," says Renee Bafalis, a United States Humane Society spokeswoman.
Pets who were left behind - thousands of them - seemed to stare morosely from front porches or roam bewildered through soggy streets.
Before the official animal rescue began, residents had already reacted to images of displaced animals. On a makeshift boat ramp a mile from where the 17th Canal Levee was breached, gregarious mutts Big Nasty, Hurricane, and Stinky were given care by a pair of homeless French Quarter mimes.
Troops began grabbing animals. National Guardsmen plucked two of Stein's cats - Cassis and Dot - from her house, though they hid that fact from their captain. By midweek, animals were being allowed onto helicopters airlifting the sick from the city.
Most of the animals "are in pretty good shape," says Ms. Bafalis at the Gonzales shelter. Mostly dehydrated, they're washed with a hose and given a clean cage. For the unclaimed, there's a 15-day wait before officials begin adoption procedures. Meanwhile, crates of food with well-wishing messages arrived on pallets from Massachusetts, Ohio, California, and Georgia.
"It's wonderful, y'all!" says Cathy West, a cat rescue worker from Lousiana.
Animal rescuers had permission to bust into homes, if needed, to grab forlorn pets.
A man Ms. West calls only "Mr. Muscles" returned to his house to find the front door broken open: "He told me, 'I knew it was either a break-in or the humane society.' "
Since nothing was stolen, his hopes rose. On Wednesday, he was reunited with his cat. The big bruiser of a man was in tears over finding his fluffball.
Animal shelter reorganizing
The Lamar Dixon Expo Center, an emergency shelter for rescued pets from New Orleans and surrounding parishes, stopped accepting animals Saturday night and Sunday to give veterinarians, volunteers and workers time to "reorganize and sanitize," said Larry Hawkins, public information officer for the joint public and private team directing the animal rescue effort."We have over 300 horses and in excess of 1,500 companion animals," Hawkins said Sunday. "We reached the capacity of the facility? Today is sort of a stand-down day in terms of accepting animals," he said.Until the situtation is improved, he said rescuers are putting food and water out for animals in the flooded and evacuated areas."Our teams are feeding and watering animals on site," until the privately owned expo center can resume accepting them, he said. Some rescuers are continuing to pick up animals, taking them to other facilities, he said. Plans are to move some of the animals now residing at the expo center. They are treated by veterinarians, photographed and implanted with microchips for identification, he said."Then they can be moved out to other temporary shelters," some out of state, he said.None had been moved by Sunday afternoon, Hawkins said, but he said they might be moved later Sunday or Monday. "It is a logistical processing issue," and he could not speculate on the timing, he said.Meanwhile, food and water is being hauled to the New Orleans area for companion animals and livestock that are either lose or in flooded areas, he said.Earlier this week, video shot by Dallas Morning News photographer David Leeson of a St. Bernard Parish Sheriff?s deputy shooting a dog from the back of a moving vehicle prompted a flood of e-mails to officals and comments at forums about animals.State Sen. Walter Boasso (R-Arabi check ) said he did not see the video, but he has received hundreds of e-mails about dog killings.Boasso said rescue groups have been in the parish gathring stray dogs and cats."I don?t condone shooting animals. All I can tell you is when we went and got our shots Wednesday morning?doctors warned us about dogs, because some dogs."St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stephens could not be reached Sunday, but earlier this week he said deputies had shot some dogs that were vicious.Leeson said the dog in the video was friendly, and he intended to try to feed it just before it was shot."We did pull up on another dog they had shot and that dog was still alive and writhing on the ground," he said.But Leeson said he endeavored to be fair in the report, including information from an officer explaining that there were aggressive dogs in many neighborhoods, and that he also nearly was attacked. "There really are some dangerous dogs, some of them are starving. They?re basically freaked out," he said.
"I don?t think anybody expected a Category 5 storm that would turn New Orleans into a ghost town," Hawkins said. "I believe that more animals will have been rescued in response to this emergency than in response to any other natural disaster in American history."
[Yes, likely more animals will have been rescued in this disaster; ultimately we'll hear the final count. I hope this isn't set-up for justification of efforts, if potential thousands more are still hanging on to life and waiting in hell for thirteen days?]
Humane Society of Louisiana
New Orleans Animal Rescue.
Nowhere to go for rescued pets!
NEW ORLEANS, SEP 11, 2005