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WMR
09-11-2005, 03:45 PM
Pet rescuers race against time
By Peggy Mihelich
CNN


Friday, September 9, 2005; Posted: 1:48 p.m. EDT (17:48 GMT)
Evacuees anguished at leaving pets behind
The search for Snowball
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Humane Society of the United States
Best Friends Animal Society Bestfriends.org
Petfinder.com
PET RESCUE INFORMATION
To report or pickup a missing pet call the Louisiana State University hotline at (888) 773-6489 or e-mail Katrina@ldaf.louisiana.gov

Source: Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine SPECIAL REPORT

(CNN) -- On the flooded streets of New Orleans you can hear the dogs barking for miles. They are trapped -- in houses, on roofs, tied to porches. They are frightened and hungry.

For the pets left behind after Hurricane Katrina, relief is on the way, but it's a race against time.

"It's a dire situation," said Melissa Seide Rubin of the Humane Society of the United States.

Rescue workers are worried most about pets locked inside homes and whose food and water supply may have run out. For them, rescue is their only chance of survival.

"It's one at a time, and it's fairly slow work," said Michael Mountain, president and CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, one of the first animal organizations allowed into the city to rescue pets.

"They are certainly all frightened," Mountain said. "The most difficult ones to work with are the cats who hide under furniture. The dogs tend to be easier. You can put out a treat for them, you can generally bring them to you."

With federal agencies and law enforcement agencies overwhelmed with rescuing people, it has been left to animal welfare groups and civilians to help stranded pets.

"We weren't allowed into the really bad areas until just recently, so now we are playing catch-up," said Rubin, the Humane Society's vice president of field and disaster services.

The American Society for the Protection of Animals, the Humane Society, the Louisiana SPCA, and the Texas SPCA are involved in the operation.

The Humane Society has 200 people in the field to handle the more than 2,000 requests it has received from people who have called a hotline or sent information.

The rescues are being conducted mostly by boat. Teams using inflatable rafts locate stranded pets and take them to a drop-off point, where they can be transported to a shelter.

Since Tuesday the Humane Society has rescued 90 dogs and 34 cats. Mountain estimates his group has rescued between 800 and 900 animals since entering the city on August 30.

As soon as the pet arrives at a shelter it is photographed and checked for ID tags. The health of each pet is evaluated, and fluids and medical treatment is administered as needed.

The information is put into a database that pet owners and rescue groups are feeding information into and that the Louisiana State Veterinary Association is maintaining. Efforts are then made to contact the owner of the pet. Unclaimed pets will be sent to area shelters and made available for adoption.

Jo Sullivan, senior vice-president of communications for the ASPCA, said most of the rescued pets are in good health but are scared.

"We haven't seen anything worse than some minor abrasions, and mild dehydration and, of course, some dysentery from unclean water," she said.

At the Lamar Dixon Center in Gonzalez, Louisiana, 50 miles north of New Orleans, hundreds of people come every day looking for their pets.

For one man, forced to leave his pet when he evacuated, there's a sweet reunion with his dog, Miller.

"Daddy came and got you, didn't he," the man said to his dog as he gave Miller a rub on the base of his neck.

For the rescuers and volunteers seeing a pet reunited with its owner fuels their effort.

"When people have lost everything and if you can reunite them with their pets, it makes such a difference in their lives," Rubin said.

Not without my dog
In the desperate race to pull human survivors out of the flood, rescuers haven't been able to accommodate pets. Some people have refused to leave without them.

"When this thing happened, everybody was shooting at everybody. The only thing I trusted was my dogs. I'm not going to leave them," said Robert, a New Orleans man who would not give his last name.

"The government has to understand that people are not going to leave their pets," Rubin said.

"When someone won't leave their pet we try and be there at the same time so we can take it for them, so that they can be assured that they can be reunited at some point," Rubin said.

On Tuesday afternoon a man needing medical assistance held up a "fleet of ambulances" on the Interstate 10 exit to Causeway Boulevard because he refused to leave his dog, Mountain, of Best Friends, said. A nurse in the caravan called Best Friends to see if the group could help.

"By the time we got there, they had to wrench the dog from him," Mountain said. "They had a few others [dogs] as well. They tied up three of them and took off. We had the description and managed to get hold of all three."

While, many national organizations were held up at staging areas just outside the city, Best Friends had boats in the neighborhoods rescuing pets. On Saturday, with the permission of the Jefferson Parish sheriff, Best Friends workers "broke in" to a pet store and saved about 140 pets -- from hamsters to snakes to tarantulas to birds -- Mountain said.

Donations and help
Organizations involved in the rescue have gotten support in the form of donations of money, pet food and medical supplies.

COLLAR FOR A CAUSE
Want to help? Buy a Humane Society dog "CauseCollar." The blue and brown collar is fashioned after popular "message" bracelets for people. The slogan on the collar reads "Be Kind" and costs $3.

Source: Humane Society of the United States "We've got stuff that was shipped in from well-wishers from all over the country," Mountain said. "Yesterday we got a pile of blankets that ran 15 feet high."

Nestle Purina PetCare shipped more than 33 tons of dog and cat food to the affected areas, spokesman Keith Schopp said.

"We are actually right now putting another donation together that will be coordinated through Louisiana State University," he said.

With supply needs met, agencies like the ASPCA and the Humane Society are turning their attention to the long-term needs of housing the displaced animals. Many shelters in the New Orleans area were destroyed by the hurricane or the flood that followed. They will need rebuilding.

"The best thing that people can do right now is donate dollars and let us buy what we need as we need it, Sullivan said.

CNN's Adaora Udoji and Christane Amanpour contributed to this report.

GAC
09-11-2005, 04:14 PM
Fido's carcass would be floating down Bourbon Street when it comes down to a choice of who is surviving. ;)

Red Heeler
09-11-2005, 06:16 PM
Fido's carcass would be floating down Bourbon Street when it comes down to a choice of who is surviving. ;)

Maybe for you, but there are lots of folks for whom it would be just like sacrificing a child.

Don't underestimate the human-animal bond. Here at the clinic at school, $5000 medical bills are commonplace. $10,000 bills happen fairly regularly. In the last month, I worked on two horses who had bills over $20,000. The owners of one of the horses has donated over $200,000 to the school out of gratitiude for the care that she has recieved. I have had two cases in the last two months where the owners have mortgaged their house in an effort to save their pets.

Our school has sent a tremendous amount of donated money and supplies to help these animals who were left stranded by the hurricane. Several of the clinicians have also gone to help with the relief efforts.

westofyou
09-11-2005, 06:43 PM
Many people don't have much in this world, sometimes unconditional love is the best thing for them. A pet to some people is more than a pet.

BTW Fido is latin for faithful IIRC, maybe it should go both ways? ;)

Johnny Footstool
09-11-2005, 11:45 PM
"Sorry we couldn't save your daughter, Mrs. Stevens. But we did manage to save your dog."

How does that sound?

LoganBuck
09-13-2005, 07:48 AM
PETA would be proud.

I prefer People Eating Tasty Animals.

GAC
09-13-2005, 07:58 AM
"Sorry we couldn't save your daughter, Mrs. Stevens. But we did manage to save your dog."

How does that sound?

Exactly. I fully understand the bond between pet owners and their pets. Especially among the elderly. But when it comes down to a choice of saving your life or the life of your pet, then yeah, I don't understand the stupidity on this issue. Yes, there may be some temporary grief over the loss of that pet. But that can be overcome at Pet Mart - you can't replace your life. Period!

And I guarantee that when presented with the scenario of flood waters - instinctively, Fido is gonna be more concerned (and smarter) about his own self-preservation and dog paddling his butt to safety then that of his owner.

Maybe he realizes he can always find a new owner? ;)

TeamCasey
09-13-2005, 08:21 AM
It's not stupid.

Spend some time in a shelter ..... see plenty of examples of irresponsible pet owners cavalier attitude toward their pets. It's disgusting. You should see the shelters after folks drop by their Pet Mart after movies like 101 Dalmatians.

I applaud the organizations working to rescue these animals, reunite these animals or find them new homes.

RFS62
09-13-2005, 08:35 AM
It's a simple fact of life in planning for a disaster that many, many people will not evacuate, no matter what the forcast, no matter what mandatory orders are given.

It's another fact that many, many people won't go because of their love of their pets and knowing they would be leaving them there to die. It's a fact. That's how many people are.

If you don't plan for those two facts as being basic fundamentals of the situation, you're living in an ivory tower world. You have to deal with reality, not what should be.

GAC
09-13-2005, 09:41 AM
It's not stupid.

Spend some time in a shelter ..... see plenty of examples of irresponsible pet owners cavalier attitude toward their pets. It's disgusting. You should see the shelters after folks drop by their Pet Mart after movies like 101 Dalmatians.

I applaud the organizations working to rescue these animals, reunite these animals or find them new homes.

I'm not knocking those private organizations that are attempting pet rescue. But right now, the federal government and various relief agencies down there are, and should be, more concerned about human life.

I fully understand the reality of the situation, and the bond between pet owners. But it is ridiculous for a person to refuse evacuation or rescue, when earlier in this whole process the rescue teams were concerned about finding and saving human life, and were not able to accomodate pets (as the article states), then, after finding someone, having them respond - "No. If you can't take Fluffy, then I'll stay here and risk possible death together."

or this situation from the article...


On Tuesday afternoon a man needing medical assistance held up a "fleet of ambulances" on the Interstate 10 exit to Causeway Boulevard because he refused to leave his dog

I'm glad alot of people with pets showed common sense and got them, and their families, out of there. That is the first order of business.

As far as animal welfare agencies going in later on, and trying to rescue those pets and reunite them with those owners, then I support and applaud that effort.

But in a disaster of this magnitude, and where the loss of human life could grow even higher - then I'm not concerned about pets at this point. But any collateral efforts that are made afterwards to rescue and reunite these pets with there owners - I applaud.

Johnny Footstool
09-13-2005, 09:50 AM
Spend some time in a shelter ..... see plenty of examples of irresponsible pet owners cavalier attitude toward their pets. It's disgusting. You should see the shelters after folks drop by their Pet Mart after movies like 101 Dalmatians.

I agree. It's disgusting, and it makes me sick to think of people taking in a pet, then dumping it.

But in a disaster, you've got to prioritize. And no pet's life is worth a human life. It's misguided to spend money rescuing pets when there are hundreds of thousands of humans in need.

What do these pet rescue groups say when they pass homeless people living on the highway?

"Sorry, but we can't help you unless you grow some fur."

"We'd love to buy you a sandwich, but all our money is earmarked for Meow Mix and Kibbles 'N' Bits."

No doubt these people's hearts are full of compassion and caring. But I truly believe it should be directed towards helping their fellow man.

Unassisted
09-13-2005, 10:01 AM
Should saving live pets take priority over retrieving dead humans?

Tough choice for the politicians and the rescuers. The sooner the bodies are retrieved, the less expensive and simpler it will be to identify them for their survivors.

Tough choice for me, too.

Johnny Footstool
09-13-2005, 10:03 AM
Should saving live pets take priority over retrieving dead humans?

No, IMO, because failing to retrieve dead humans can further contaminate the area and lead to more death.

TeamCasey
09-13-2005, 10:10 AM
There are organizations dedicated to both.

WMR
09-13-2005, 11:28 AM
I wouldn't leave my dog to evacuate. It isn't rational, but I don't care. If there was absolutely no way for me to leave the city, I'd take Teddy and find higher ground.

I couldn't leave him behind. I just COULD NOT DO IT.

As irrational as it is, I would risk my life to save his. Would I expect someone else to risk THEIR life for MY dog? NO. BUT, I *would* put myself in harm's way for Teddy's life.

Johnny Footstool
09-13-2005, 11:54 AM
Would I expect someone else to risk THEIR life for MY dog? NO. BUT, I *would* put myself in harm's way for Teddy's life.

I agree. I would do the same thing for my cats.

Red Heeler
09-13-2005, 06:55 PM
I fully understand the reality of the situation, and the bond between pet owners. But it is ridiculous for a person to refuse evacuation or rescue, when earlier in this whole process the rescue teams were concerned about finding and saving human life, and were not able to accomodate pets (as the article states), then, after finding someone, having them respond - "No. If you can't take Fluffy, then I'll stay here and risk possible death together."


You don't understand the situation, though. To many of the clients at our hospital, leaving a pet behind would be exactly like leaving behind their own child. I'm sure many of those in New Orleans feel the same way.

Those animals left behind will die without help. Just like the corpses of people, they will decay, contributing to a major health hazzard.

I just recieved an email today requesting veterinarians with large animal experience to come and help with the relief. Cows and horses in rural areas of the coast are dying simply due to lack of somebody who knows what to do for them. If I could, I would be on the way down there right now to help out.

LoganBuck
09-13-2005, 11:09 PM
You don't understand the situation, though. To many of the clients at our hospital, leaving a pet behind would be exactly like leaving behind their own child. I'm sure many of those in New Orleans feel the same way.

Those animals left behind will die without help. Just like the corpses of people, they will decay, contributing to a major health hazzard.

I just recieved an email today requesting veterinarians with large animal experience to come and help with the relief. Cows and horses in rural areas of the coast are dying simply due to lack of somebody who knows what to do for them. If I could, I would be on the way down there right now to help out.

For the cows and horses, either penicillian or a .22mm dose of lead. Animals need 4 things feed, water, shelter, and care. What is the problem down there that they can't figure out?

Red Heeler
09-14-2005, 07:21 AM
For the cows and horses, either penicillian or a .22mm dose of lead. Animals need 4 things feed, water, shelter, and care. What is the problem down there that they can't figure out?

Many of the animals down there need medical attention. The is just a little bit more to veterinary medicine than penicillin or a bullet. BTW, a 22 caliber bullet won't kill a good sized cow consistently.

LoganBuck
09-14-2005, 07:28 AM
Many of the animals down there need medical attention. The is just a little bit more to veterinary medicine than penicillin or a bullet. BTW, a 22 caliber bullet won't kill a good sized cow consistently.

Done properly it would.

I know plenty about large species, animal husbandry. What is the issue? I am guessing this is mostly a horse issue, isn't it?

TeamCasey
09-14-2005, 07:28 AM
The is just a little bit more to veterinary medicine than penicillin or a bullet.

:)

Red Heeler
09-14-2005, 07:35 AM
Done properly it would.

I know plenty about large species, animal husbandry. What is the issue? I am guessing this is mostly a horse issue, isn't it?

A .22 will occasionally bounce around in the frontal sinus without entering the cranial vault. The skull of a cow is very thick. Anyway, this has nothing to do with the issue.

The issue is that there are plenty of supplies, but no roads and not enough people or equipment to move and administer the supplies.

LoganBuck
09-14-2005, 07:52 AM
I was thinking about this a bit more and realized that your comment "The is just a little bit more to veterinary medicine than penicillin or a bullet." Is very sad. The margins and profitability of most in agriculture makes the choice between a shot of antibiotic, slaughter, or a bullet, the most common choices before higher cost more advanced veterinary procedures. To say that there is more to veterinary medicine than those choices is obviously true. But to say that it would be truely affordable, would not be. I have some pedigree show cattle, and am apt to hang on to them and take the extra measures more often than I should, most of the time, the end result is the same as cutting your losses to begin with. I once took a cow to Ohio State that had an infected coffin joint. She was x-rayed and they drilled a few holes in her foot, for drainage. Brought her home and she went down the next day. She died the day after. Total cost of vet care $850, Value of dead cow $40 cost of disposal, Value of cow if sent to slaughter at that time $600. Not sending her to slaughter cost me nearly $1500. Providing top notch veterinary care is one thing. Paying for it is another.

GAC
09-14-2005, 10:05 AM
You don't understand the situation, though. To many of the clients at our hospital, leaving a pet behind would be exactly like leaving behind their own child.

I understand the thinking - but it's not the same as a child. My kids, at least, don't sit over in the corner licking their butts, and then try to lick me in the face afterwards. ;)


Those animals left behind will die without help. Just like the corpses of people, they will decay, contributing to a major health hazzard.

I stated that the only scenario where they should be left behind is during the height of a disaster, and the choice came down to me or Fido losing our life or hindering rescue operations.

I commend those private animal welfare organizations that are going in after the fact, and now tring to rescue/reunite these pets and their owners.


I just recieved an email today requesting veterinarians with large animal experience to come and help with the relief. Cows and horses in rural areas of the coast are dying simply due to lack of somebody who knows what to do for them. If I could, I would be on the way down there right now to help out.

Again - I commend that. But that is being done after the fact, and when it is safer to do so, and the risk to losing life is minimal.

Chip R
09-14-2005, 10:43 AM
I understand the thinking - but it's not the same as a child. My kids, at least, don't sit over in the corner licking their butts, and then try to lick me in the face afterwards. ;)


That reminds me of one of my favorite exchanges from The Simpsons:

Smithers: People like dogs, Mr. Burns.
Burns: Nonsense. Dogs are idiots! Think about it, Smithers. If I came into your house and started sniffing at your crotch and slobbering all over your face, what would you say?
Smithers: ... If you did it, sir? ;)

WMR
09-14-2005, 10:57 AM
That reminds me of one of my favorite exchanges from The Simpsons:

Smithers: People like dogs, Mr. Burns.
Burns: Nonsense. Dogs are idiots! Think about it, Smithers. If I came into your house and started sniffing at your crotch and slobbering all over your face, what would you say?
Smithers: ... If you did it, sir? ;)

http://www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_10.12.00/funny/photos/twin-b.gif

:laugh:

GAC
09-14-2005, 11:06 AM
Plus...

Kids don't shed all over the carpet.

Keep one awake at night barking at nothing!

chase their tails

have to wear a tic collar

need to be taken outside and walked (and you have to scoop the poop)

chase cars

defecate in the neighbor's yard

and drink from the toilet!

< Ok-the last one might be true > :p:

Reds/Flyers Fan
09-14-2005, 01:29 PM
Count me among those who wouldn't go anywhere without their pet. I just couldn't leave my dog Maddy.

Pets depend on their owners for survival. It's a responsibility undertaken by a person to care for an animal who otherwise wouldn't be able to survive.

I would like to know if there is any local shelter that is taking in Katrina pets. I would consider adopting a dog if there was a way.

Chip R
09-14-2005, 01:45 PM
Count me among those who wouldn't go anywhere without their pet. I just couldn't leave my dog Maddy.

Pets depend on their owners for survival. It's a responsibility undertaken by a person to care for an animal who otherwise wouldn't be able to survive.

I would like to know if there is any local shelter that is taking in Katrina pets. I would consider adopting a dog if there was a way.

Funny you should ask.

Shelters for Katrina pets (http://news.yahoo.com/s/wlwt/20050914/lo_wlwt/2933743;_ylt=ApdK2zC_vCrHZyyPi3VdMD3KxyYC;_ylu=X3o DMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl)

Red Heeler
09-14-2005, 05:17 PM
I was thinking about this a bit more and realized that your comment "The is just a little bit more to veterinary medicine than penicillin or a bullet." Is very sad. The margins and profitability of most in agriculture makes the choice between a shot of antibiotic, slaughter, or a bullet, the most common choices before higher cost more advanced veterinary procedures. To say that there is more to veterinary medicine than those choices is obviously true. But to say that it would be truely affordable, would not be. I have some pedigree show cattle, and am apt to hang on to them and take the extra measures more often than I should, most of the time, the end result is the same as cutting your losses to begin with. I once took a cow to Ohio State that had an infected coffin joint. She was x-rayed and they drilled a few holes in her foot, for drainage. Brought her home and she went down the next day. She died the day after. Total cost of vet care $850, Value of dead cow $40 cost of disposal, Value of cow if sent to slaughter at that time $600. Not sending her to slaughter cost me nearly $1500. Providing top notch veterinary care is one thing. Paying for it is another.

No doubt that there is a big difference between production medicine and "pet" medicine (whether the "pet" is a dog, cat, horse, cow, alpaca, etc.) Production medicine is almost entirely based on herd health with an both eyes kept on the bottom line. Nothing wrong with that, though it is frustrating for veterinarians to know that something could be done if not for the cost.

It is kind of odd, though. Occasionally, we will see a dog who could be saved with a fairly simple and inexpensive procedure, but the owner with the 2 carat ring on her finger doesn't want to spend the money. The next week we might see a farmer in his dirty coveralls spend a good sized wad of money to treat a favorite cow that isn't worth $0.75 a pound.

As I said earlier, though, part of the reason for providing care for the abandoned animals in the area is that they will become a major health hazzard if allowed to die.

WMR
09-15-2005, 09:50 PM
http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/object.adp?frame=article&type=photogalleries&id=4690&title=&photo=6

Look at this link! Poor little guy!!!

macro
09-15-2005, 11:20 PM
I'm wondering if those who have the most passionate feelings for their pets also have children, and that's a sincere question. The reason I ask is, after my wife and I got married, we collected three cats, and those cats were our "children". We even missed them when we went on vacation, and hoped they weren't lonely without us. (Someone stopped by once a day to feed them and clean their boxes, by the way.) They shared our bed and our couch, many digital photos were taken of them, and we shard stories about things they did with our family and friends. They even graced our Christmas cards one year!

After our son was born, the way both of us felt about our cats changed dramatically. They are no longer allowed in the bedroom, we don't discuss them with other people, and it has been years since a photo was taken of any of them. Don't get me wrong, they still spend 24 hours a day in the comfort and safety of our home and eat very well. They still get some attention, but not nearly what they did before our child came into the world. We still care for them and about them, but now see them more as animals. My love for them is one billionth of one percent (or less) of what I feel for my son. It will bother me a bit when one of them dies, but not enough for me to mourn.

WMR
09-16-2005, 06:12 PM
I'm a single, 22 y/o guy w/o kids, so I would agree with your premise Macro that it probably makes a difference as to your priorities when dealing with a situation such as that... when you've got a little person depending on you for security, naturally, your priorities change.

I could see putting myself in harm's way for my dog. If I had a child, however, could I put *their* life in harm's way as well? Of course not.

I'd still make every possible effort to save my dog.