Wednesday, September 07, 2005

No Pets

They are not letting evacuees take their pets with them on the busses. Here is a link to a video from Oprah. A couple of dogs get out, no thanks to FEMA, which is forcing most pet owners to abandon their companions to certain death.

The Humane Society is putting together an emergency effort to rescue pets, farm animals and captive wildlife thoughout the Gulf Coast disaster zone.

And the Baton Rouge Advocate reports:

    NEW ORLEANS -- David Woodsum poked his head out the attic window of his flooded house on Gladiolus Street on Tuesday and yelled at the men sitting in the flat bottom boat.

    "I'm not leaving," Woodsum said. "I won't leave my two cats." Pets appeared to be the No. 1 reason many of the estimated 10,000 residents still holed up in their flooded homes are refusing to leave.

    "I don't know why the government won't let us take these people's pets out," said Steve Miller of Dutchtown, a volunteer who navigated his flat bottom boat down the flooded streets trying to persuade residents to leave.

    "But FEMA has 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."

    "Please come with us," Duke Ramey, one of the men in Miller's boat, yelled at Woodsum. "No one is going to bring you more food and water. The boats and helicopters aren't coming back. This could be your last chance to get out."

    But Woodsum was steadfast.

    "I'm not leaving my pets here to die," Woodsum yelled at the men in the boat.

    "But if you don't come with us, you might die," Ramey said.

    Woodsum was undeterred by the arguments. He refused to leave and Miller had no choice but to start the boat and move on.

I wouldn't leave my cats either.

And from PETA:
    On August 29, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. In addition to the human misery that the storm left in its wake, Katrina left many thousands of animals dead and dying. But the greater problem has turned out to be state and federal governments adding to this toll—and causing the slow and agonizing deaths of many thousands of much-loved dogs, cats, and other animals—through its failure to allow animal protection agents to rescue animals.

    Worse, although the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) guidelines on animal handling in a disaster were carefully crafted years ago in cooperation with PETA and other animal organizations, our government has evidently thrown them out the window, even going so far as to order citizens to abandon their animals under threat of arrest—animals who in many cases were considered members of the family and were all that these people had left.

    Volunteer Steve Miller told The Advocate in Baton Rouge that "FEMA has told us we cannot take the pets" along with the distraught human victims that they are evacuating. "They told [us] 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."

And William Shatner makes a plea for people to rescue animals.

Earlier: Criminal Policy

Today's New York Times has a superficial piece about animal rescue Shelters for Pets Fill with Furry Survivors, mentioning the scope of the tragedy without even ever alluding to one of its main causes, the refusal of FEMA to allow people to take their pets with them when evacuating. Of course they also miss the point that people are refusing to leave because of this inane policy. How is it that the reporting in the New York Times lacks the depth of the Baton Rouge Advocate ?

UPDATE 9/8 Most of the animals at the New Orleans zoo were saved.

UPDATE 9/9 Officials are now shooting dogs in Louisiana. (via PETA)


At 9/08/2005 7:13 AM, Blogger John said...

Love the blog. Amazed not have seen it b4.

Pop over to C&S sometime>



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