Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Katrina Animals Pets ~ September 13, 2005

The Katrina Animal Rescue Resources webpage remains current. Posts for Katrina Animals Pets News from September 12 to August 28, 2005 are below today's post.

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: [such as they are!!!]

Noah’s Wish
Best Friends
* Katrina.Petfinder.org

See also Animal Rescue Resources on Katrina Help Wiki
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Katrina Animals Pets Issues

ASPCA.org Rescue Diary September 12 update is now posted online. Scroll down to second paragraph. Gives info on turn-aways and challenges at Lamar Dixon (Gonzales LA) and Baton Rouge shelters.

Priorities today include:

* saving New Orleans pets
* Government Hearings this week

The Latest News From the Gulf Coast and What You Can Do to Help
September 12, 2005, 6 p.m.: PETA Team Grows by 10 Members; Congress to Hold Hearings.
This Thursday, the House of Representatives Government Reform Committee will hold hearings on the federal government’s response to Katrina. Please ask the committee chair, Rep. Tom Davis, and its ranking minority member, Rep. Henry Waxman, to make the plight of animals affected by disasters such as Katrina a part of their hearings. Let these public servants know that the suffering of Americans was only heightened by the federal blockades that prevented humane agents from coming to the animals’ rescue and by evacuators’ widespread insistence that animals be abandoned to die. Tell Davis and Waxman that the United States must set an international example and that animals’ interests and the interests of their guardians must be taken into consideration in any disaster response plan.

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Change on http://www.vetmed.lsu.edu/ LSU Vet Med webpage late yesterday (Sept 12):
For each category except one*, people are now directed to contact the online
Animal Emergency Response Network which is the Petfinder.com database.
* Evacuees Seeking Pets That Were Boarded in Veterinary Clinics - This category contact info remains the same.

Also, several days ago, a reminder that this directive was added to the section:
Request a Rescue of a Pet Left Behind in the Disaster Area
"Residents are now being allowed back into certain parts of the Greater New Orleans areas. While we will do everything we can to rescue as many animals as possible, your pets will have a better chance if you can get in and rescue them yourselves. Please watch the news media for announcements of which areas residents may re-enter.

If you do rescue your pet yourself after requesting rescue through this shelter, please notify us so that we can remove your name from the waiting list."
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HSUS Update September, 11 11:03 a.m. - [Shows MS areas HSUS has entered]
While The HSUS Disaster Animal Response Teams span out across the Gulf Coast, working against the clock to locate and rescue animals, Laura Bevan and Diane Webber, co-coordinators of The HSUS's disaster response teams operations in Mississippi, are on the road to Waveland, Mississippi to establish a site to begin treating and receiving animals—strays, and those pets who stricken people can no longer keep.
Since arriving in Mississippi right after the hurricane passed, The HSUS disaster teams have established help sites for people and pets in Jackson, then Hattiesburg, then Gautier, then Gulfport.
[See also: Katrina Animal Rescue Staging Locations ]

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Today's Katrina Animals Pets News

Sunken thoroughfare a search launch point
Residents looking for pets, pieces of their past gather at impromptu boat dock for rides to submerged homes
Denver Post, CO
... a launching point for rescue workers and for residents looking for anything left behind - especially pets. After Hurricane Katrina's devastation, residents ...

September 12, 2005, 12 p.m.: PETA Team Makes More Sad Discoveries in New Orleans

Owners comb kennels for lost pets
TheAdvocate.com, Baton Rouge, LA

Local temporary shelter not yet housing animals
Northwest Arkansas Times, AR
... for animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina. ... She said all donations will to go disaster relief efforts for animals affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Rescuing pets could save people
2theadvocate.com, LA
Thousands of people apparently have refused to evacuate New Orleans. A lot of them reportedly have been unwilling to leave pets behind.
A news report Saturday said the military had begun providing cages to pet owners so they could evacuate with their animals.
"We got the capacity, and it seemed like the right thing to do," Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore said.
The military's action could save some people, as well as their pets.
Earlier, there were indications that some people were forbidden to bring their pets aboard rescue boats.
Pet owners could be risking their lives by refusing to board rescue boats without their pets.
Why would people do that? Maybe they think of their pets as family. Maybe they see it as a matter of responsibility. Maybe they figure the pets would die for them.
For whatever reason, some people take responsibility for their pets as seriously as others take their responsibility for children, siblings or parents.
The Advocate reported last week that Steve Miller of Dutchtown, a volunteer using his boat to rescue people stranded in New Orleans, said he didn't understand why he was not allowed to take pets aboard.
"I don't know why the government won't let us take these people's pets out," Miller said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency "told us we cannot take the pets. They told that we could not take one cat or dog in our boats," Miller said. "It's a stupid rule. More people are going to die because of that."
We thought Miller's observation made sense, so we put in a call to FEMA. Alyson Smith, with FEMA's Katrina recovery press desk, said the federal agency does not forbid evacuees taking pets with them.
We can't account for the discrepancy between what Miller and Smith said. Whatever the explanation, a lot of people apparently got the idea that evacuees weren't allowed to bring pets with them. There have been repeated reports of people turning rescuers away rather than leave their pets behind. That is potentially tragic.
We wouldn't want human lives to be lost because rescue boats were carrying pets rather than people. On the other hand, Miller has a point: Some human lives could be lost if people's pets are not welcome on rescue boats.
If rescuers have the capacity to save people and their pets without jeopardizing human lives, they ought to do it. As Honore said, it seems like the right thing to do.
Taking both people and their pets could help to persuade some holdouts to leave their homes and get out of flood-ravaged New Orleans.
It's obviously ill-advised to rescue a pet at the expense of a human life, but it's also unwise to refuse to rescue a pet at the risk of a human life.
[Note: This opinion piece of today’s date September 13, speaks about New Orleans residents currently not evacuating because of pets. Don’t know how many there are still of this category. Another category are thousands of pets left in N.O. by evacuees over two weeks ago who thought they'd be gone only a few days. These animals are slowly dying day by day, unless they are lucky enough to be found by the few animal rescue teams on the ground in N.O. For at least the past two days these teams have not rescued, but left food and water, hoping that later these animals will be rescued. This is because there are too many animals in the temporary shelter in Gonzales where animals were not being released. These evacuees were told to request rescues, which they‘ve done by the thousands yet many have heard nothing.]

Refugee pets swamp holding centers
Chicago Tribune, United States
Katrina separated thousands of animals from their owners, and caring for the rescued dogs, cats, birds, horses, snakes and more is a major challenge, the ...

Gulf Coast Pets Not Ready for Trip To Northwest Arkansas
Springdale Morning News, AR
... Services, had planned to bring back as many as 150 dogs and cats displaced by Hurricane Katrina. ... The hospital had been prepared to bring back up to 30 pets. ...

Rescued animals from Gulf Coast up for adoption
San Diego Union Tribune, United States
The 38 dogs and 12 cats came from an animal shelter in the Gulf Coast and won't have families looking for them, said Michael Arms, president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
He made a plea for other storm-ravaged animals.
"There are about 50,000 animals that are going to die because of Katrina and not so much because of the hurricane, but because of the bureaucratic red tape," Arms said

Leaving pets behind in peril is unacceptable
Vancouver Province (subscription), Canada
... poor, unfortunate people caught in disasters, their pets are all they have left. One volunteer, trying to rescue a man during Hurricane Katrina, eventually let ...

Katrina pet rescue unleashed
Los Angeles Daily News, CA
On Sunday, state and federal officials permitted more than 3,000 dogs at a full HSUS/SPCA temporary shelter in Gonzales, La., to begin relocating to other states.
[I believe what this should state is that a small number of the animals began to be released, not 3000.]
That means more room for the dozens of pets rescued daily from New Orleans that need aid. The Humane Society, which has a disaster team of 200 rescuers on the Gulf Coast, is looking to open a second shelter near Gonzales to cope with the overflow.
The HSUS and other groups have rescued nearly 4,000 animals from Louisiana and Mississippi, with 200 reunited with their owners. Petfinder.com is posting photos of the lost Katrina pets.

Urgent call for volunteer help, plus update on Katrina Disaster animal media coverage -- NEW YORK TIMES column, CHICAGO TRIBUNE front page, LOS ANGELES TIMES and Larry King -- Sept 11