Saturday, September 10, 2005

Katrina Animals Pets ~ September 10, 2005

The Katrina Animal Rescue Resources webpage remains current.
Note: The Katrina Animals Pets posts on this blog are mainly focused on larger or national animal rescue group efforts along with the local animal groups in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas. There are many local efforts of animal groups across the nation. Check your local newspapers and media outlets or ask your local animal groups.

As before, I direct you to:
Katrina National Animal Rescue Groups - Katrina Animal Action Daily Updates:

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Noah’s Wish
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UAN/EARS
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HSUS
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Best Friends
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ASPCA
*
AHA
* Katrina.Petfinder.org

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Katrina Animals Pets Issues ~ September 9, 2005

Today's Katrina Animal Pets News

[CNN just had an animal news segment (6pm ET). They reported that HSUS had not been able to get into the most affected areas. Why????? I have not seen an update from HSUS for two days. I did not have a satisfactory response from their rescue number. CNN interviewed Terri Crisp of Noah's Wish who are based in Slidell, LA and doing quite well there with home rescues and reuniting pets with owners; of course, a far different situation from New Orleans.

I highlighted in one of the news articles below and saw this on CNN as well, aerial spraying of New Orleans is to take place tomorrow, Sunday. What about the animals still there?????]

Local animal control officers heading to Gulfport
WBBH
FORT MYERS
"It looks pretty bad, like they need all the help they can get," said David Levitt, a Collier animal control officer. It is so bad that officers, who typically spend their days in Collier County with dogs and cats, are headed to the flooded area of Gulfport.

Animal rescues lift human spirits
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Pass Christian, Miss. — The animal rescue team has come back for Nike the cat. Tramping through the debris left by Hurricane Katrina around the white clapboard house, they see his fresh prints in the dark brown mud. They'll return with a trap, trying to coax him in with a can of Friskies.

[Thanks to Cathy for this one!]
The Latest News From the Gulf Coast and What You Can Do to Help
September 10, 2005, 3 p.m.: PETA Team Pulls Animals From "Intense, War Zone-Like Setting"

Katrina Survivor Reunited With Cat in Hospital Room
PrimeZone (press release), CA
59-Year-Old Man With Chronic Kidney Failure Stood On Chair in 5 ft. of Water for 3 Days Holding Cat Who Meowed to Keep Him Conscious
[Excerpts]
SLIDELL, La., Sept. 10, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Volunteers from the animal rescue organization Noah's Wish and Slidell animal control officers reunited a 59-year-old Katrina survivor with his beloved cat "Miss Kitty" in a Mississippi hospital room yesterday.
"It was the most exciting rescue I have ever been a part of," said Troullier. "This is what it's all about." A 15-year veteran of Slidell Animal Control, Troullier lost everything when his house flooded and he does not have insurance. Nevertheless, the dedicated animal control officer has been working around the clock for two weeks straight.

Troops shift from evacuation to recovery
Sun-Sentinel.com, FL
[Excerpt]
The stream of survivors to a main evacuation point near the convention center slowed considerably yesterday. Among those who did show up for a helicopter lift to the airport were many elderly people and lots of people with pets
From the Louis Armstrong International Airport, they would be heading to shelters all over the country.

ASPCA Provides Emergency Relief to Animal Rescue Workers in Louisiana.
Yahoo! News (press release)
[Excerpt]'
Saturday September 10, 9:00 am ET
- Organization Issues $830,000 in Emergency Funds
- ASPCA Rescue Team Works Around the Clock to Save Animals in Disaster Zone
GONZALES, La., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has given more than $830,000 in aid to the animal rescue efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
To date, the organization has received an unprecedented $5.5 million in donations with almost $1 million yesterday alone.
Emergency funds have been issued to 16 organizations in the affected areas to help with all aspects of the search and rescue process including emergency evacuations, animal food supplies, and the development of an infrastructure in order to facilitate the process of caring for the animals. All monies sent to the area have been for the direct care and comfort of the animals affected by this tragedy.
Once rescue efforts have been completed, the ASPCA will grant funds for rebuilding the animal shelters in the affected areas.
Animal relief workers in the field have reported that the animal coalition, lead by the ASPCA, has now rescued more than 2,000 animals as well as 40-50 exotic pets (lizards, snakes, etc) and about 200 horses. The animals as being housed at both the La-Mar Dixon Exposition Center in Gonzales, LA and Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, LA. Animals will begin to be transported to another facility in Monroe, LA as the Gonzales and LSU sites have reached their holding capacity.
[That is great. What is the number of animals rescued from homes in New Orleans or elsewhere, animals that were not pre-evacuated? How many requested rescues have been checked off the lists?]

PETA OFFERS URGENT INFORMATION FOR SAFEGUARDING ANIMALS DURING HURRICANE
PETA (press release)
Group Warns Against Repeating Deadly Mistakes Made During Katrina

For Immediate Relase:
September 10, 2005

Contact:
Daphna Nachminovitch 757-622-7382

Myrtle Beach, S.C. — With South Carolina now in the path of Hurricane Ophelia, PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of animal companions. Please alert people in your area to the following information, which could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds, and other companion animals who need to be included in disaster-preparation plans—as Hurricane Katrina has graphically illustrated:

· In the event that your area is evacuated, never leave animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren’t any better equipped to survive disasters than humans are.

· Know your destination ahead of time. Shelters often do not accept animals, but motels in the area will probably accept dogs, cats, and other small animals in an emergency. Call destinations in advance and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals. Do not plan to leave animals unsupervised in a car because they can suffer from heatstroke if the temperature rises above 70°F, and cars are generally unsafe (unless people remain in their cars with them).

· Place small animals in secure carriers. Dogs should be leashed with harnesses because frightening circumstances may make them bolt. Bring along water and food bowls, a towel, and enough food for a week.

· Put secure, legible I.D. tags on your animals in case they become separated from you. Having your animals microchipped for identification is recommended.

· If you truly have no choice and must leave animals behind, leave them inside the house, with access to upper floors. Leave out at least 10 days’ supply of dry food and water. Fill multiple sinks, bowls, pans, and plastic containers with water, and leave the toilet seat up. Do not turn animals loose outside to fend for themselves, and never tie them up or leave them outside in cages, where they will be unable to flee rising floodwaters.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The government failed the animals in zones affected by Hurricane Katrina. People in the stricken areas didn’t realize they would be gone for as long as they have, and, as a result, animals are still perishing—a full two weeks after the initial evacuation. Underestimating the storm could mean death for your companion animal. As Hurricane Katrina has shown, the lives of tens of thousands of animal family members can be put at risk by a lack of preparation.

PETA is also sending its disaster-preparedness public service announcement hosted by William Shatner to area radio and TV stations. For more information, please visit HelpingAnimals.com, where you can also find a list of animal shelters and accommodations that allow animals in your area.

NO Police Say They Are Regaining Control
New York Newsday, NY
[Excerpts]
NEW ORLEANS -- The first street-by-street sweep of this swamped city revealed far fewer corpses than originally feared,
Police and soldiers had been marking houses where corpses were found, or noting their location with global positioning devices, so that the bodies could be collected later.
Health officials also noted that aerial spraying of pesticides will begin Sunday to curb mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus.
In a shift, the military began providing cages to homeowners to allow them to evacuate with their pets. "We got the capacity, and it seemed like the right thing to do," said Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore.
[Yes, great. But what about all the other animals that are still in the city? How many animal rescuers are in the city? Who is helping them? Each animal rescue takes time, and time is, has been, running out!]

Saving New Orleans' animals
BBC News, UK
Saving New Orleans' animals
By Matthew Davis BBC News website in New Orleans
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the fate of thousands of abandoned or missing animals was a low priority compared with human safety.
But as the search for the remaining human survivors nears an end, there is growing attention on one of the largest animal rescue efforts the US has seen.
Yet the fate of their pets is a hugely emotional issue for many people who survived Katrina and its aftermath.
With security restored in New Orleans and the waters slowly receding, thousands of volunteers from all over the US are in Louisiana to help reunite people and their animals.
'I have been distraught'
On Friday, the BBC spoke to a crew of female volunteers from a local animal welfare group who were launching their first boat mission to find stranded pets.
Volunteer Tara Barth says she was separated from the 15 cats and two dogs when she had to evacuate her house in the New Orleans lakefront area.
"I thought I would get the chance to go back and get them but we were then moved out of the city - I have been distraught.
"Leaving them was the hardest thing I have ever had to do."
Ms Barth and fellow rescuers loaded their boat with dozens of animal cages and during their search intended to visit the homes with animals noted by the BBC.
Meanwhile, families scattered about the region are searching for pets with the same intensity as they might hunt for a missing relative.
In a sign of the controversy over the issue, Saturday's edition of the Washington Post was carrying a advertisement assailing the policy of forced abandonment of companion animals in the evacuation of New Orleans.
Forced at gunpoint
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group said thousands of animals perished because federal authorities denied animal relief workers access to areas where stranded dogs and cats were known to be.
At a hotel in Baton Rouge, one man told the BBC he was forced from his house at gun point and ordered to abandon his dog.
But many rescuers have been allowing animals onto their boats - both as a means of persuading reluctant residents to leave, and because of their own love of animals.
At the Louis Armstrong International Airport, from where more than 22,000 people have been airlifted out of New Orleans, teams of Army veterinarians have been checking pets.
Sheriff John Crawford, a volunteer from Michigan, says he and his team had been collecting dog food to feed the strays they encounter during their search for human survivors.
"They tug at your heart strings, and although we can't help them all we do what we can," he said.
Of the 1,400 animals at the New Orleans Zoo, just three were reported to have perished - two otters and a raccoon.
More than a dozen staff stayed behind to care for animals at the facility, which is situated on higher ground, and which escaped flood damage.
Turtle saved
But at the Audubon Aquarium in Canal Street, one of the US's leading aquariums, there was worse news.
Although the institution was not badly hit by the waters, many aquatic animals perished because life support systems failed amid damage to the power grid.
Some were saved however - including a green sea turtle named Midas - and police officers reportedly stepped in to help feed the penguins.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare is another group that has been searching door-to-door in New Orleans for pets displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Over the past two days, IFAW has rescued 43 dogs, 41 cats, a snake, a bird, an iguana, a hamster and a 300-pound potbelly pig.
The only way to get the swine into the boat without capsizing the craft was to build a makeshift floating ramp on the spot, the IFAW said.
Other unusual finds include a couple of chinchillas and 16 dogs that had been left in the Louisiana State University Medical Center.
A major part of the campaign is a joint effort between the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), as well as dozens of local organisations and thousands of volunteers from across the country.
Pet website
The Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in nearby Gonzales, Louisiana, has been serving as a base of operations for the rescue effort and as a makeshift animal shelter.
The centre has nearly 1,000 horse stalls and often hosts rodeos.
On arrival, the rescued pets are photographed and entered into a database. Owners have 15 days to claim the animals, then they go up for adoption. Those looking for their lost pets can log on to www.petfinder.org or call 225-647-0712.
Animals unable to be housed at the centre are being moved to temporary shelters in other areas of Louisiana and Texas.

In swamped New Orleans, pets need rescuing too
Reuters
... and increasingly dehydrated and hungry, tens of thousands of pets have probably been ... the city deserted by its citizens when Hurricane Katrina approached almost ...

[An opinion piece by Karen Dawn of DawnWatch.com]
Best Friends Need Shelter, Too
Washington Post, United States
... While Marriott hotels welcomed the pets of Katrina evacuees as "part of the family ... She had begged him to leave, but he was afraid to abandon his animals. ...

Very little animal rescue after hurricane
Akron Beacon Journal, OH
... pet owners in the aftermath of Katrina. The world watched in horror as a rescue worker wrenched a puppy from the arms of a boy. Thousands of animals have been ...

Public howling turns tide for four-legged evacuees
Chicago Tribune, United States
... that 50,000 dogs and cats were stranded in Hurricane Katrina's wake--have ... effort to organize veterinarians, boats and food to help save displaced animals. ...

Animal rescuers race against death
Salt Lake Tribune

Exiled from their La. labs, scientists assess their losses
Boston Globe, United States
NEW ORLEANS -- Hurricane Katrina devastated scientific research in this city, claiming thousands of laboratory animals, ruining valuable caches of tissue, and ...