Skip to comments.Pet Reunions Rare After the Storms
Posted on 12/03/2005 11:54:17 PM PST by green pastures
NEW ORLEANS - Dakota the dog is finally back in New Orleans. It's another tearful reunion. It's also extremely rare.
Despite efforts by hundreds of volunteers, unprecedented cooperation by animal groups, millions of donated dollars and wide use of the Internet, the reunion rate of owner and pet separated by Katrina is less than 15 percent.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
A site listed in the story has much information about the pet rescue and pet/owner searches in the Gulf region. For those interested, that site is ericsdogblog.com.
In addition to the petfinder disaster web search page, pet harbor and other similar sites, there is also a web site with pictures and stories of lost pets being sought desperately by their owners at www.lostkatrinapets.com .
For those who may want to help-- there is a group called Stealth Volunteers who work from a displaced pet toward finding an owner. There is another group called Buddy System who work from the owner side toward finding a pet.
And another good forum related to this is at the pet rescue forum of nola.com: http://www.nola.com/forums/animals/index.ssf
In addition to those people desperately seeking pets lost during Katrina, there is another side to this story. There are still many pets loose on the streets of New Orleans and surrounding parishes.
There are animal rescue groups still working to set up feeding and watering stations, and to rescue those pets.
"There are animal rescue groups still working to set up feeding and watering stations, and to rescue those pets"
That is great news, saving our pets isn't our first priority, but we sure hate facing that reality when great tragedy's happen, and we are thankful to find out someone is at least giving them a fighting chance, and it is wonderful that 15% of owners are reconnected with with their pets, I hope that percentage climbs.
I probably shouldn't be posting so late, and I'll need to sign off pretty soon. Just wanted to add more info about the animal rescue groups--
They need help-- they need more volunteers, financial contributions, even aluminum lasanga pans for setting out food water.
And in some parishes they are being met with adversity.
The LA state vet's office has declared they have everything under control, there is no problem.
Another good website that is related to the ongoing animal rescue operation is here:
P.S. About the 15% figure-- I hope it climbs too.
I think another of the frustrating situations faced by many owners missing their pets is they know their pet was rescued-- either due to notes left at their home, or finding their pets picture posted on the disaster section of Petfinder. But the trail dead-ends. Paperwork was lost, animals were shipped all over the country (and Canada), some animals were stolen from the emergency shelters. So many pets have been "lost in the system."
(I know in the case of the "lost in the sytem pets" that the owners are, on one level, glad to know their pet was rescued. But exceedingly frustrated that they are "so close and yet so far.")
And there have been many shelters receiving the pets who have been less than cooperative in providing information about those pets. A condition of taking the pets was that their info and picture be posted on Petfinder (the disaster section). But once these shelters had the pets in their possession, they haven't complied. Still other shelters have given misinformation in response owner inquiries, or volunteers' inquiries on behalf of the owner.
And for those shelters who have put pictures up-- well we're grateful to those who've put up halfway decent pictures. But after looking through thousands of pictures, you'd swear that a large percentage of the pet population rescued from the Gulf states following Katrina were also in the witness protection program!!!
"I probably shouldn't be posting so late, and I'll need to sign off pretty soon. Just wanted to add more info about the animal rescue groups--
They need help-- they need more volunteers, financial contributions, even aluminum lasanga pans for setting out food water. "
I remember the pet rescue group from Atlanta came home with various allegations of mistreatment by the NO police.
Does anyone know if that litte boy ever got his dog, "Snowball" back?
"Does anyone know if that litte boy ever got his dog, "Snowball" back?"
Sadly, according to this website, he has not.
You're right. I'd read that the Humane Society U.S. received about $17,000,000 in donations from Katrina. Yet where are they now a few months afterwards? You'd think they could put some of that money to use now for feeding etc. I wrote to the them asking how that 17 mill was used and received no answer. And I had a real name & email address to write to. Still no response.
I wasa quite involved (e-mails, phone calls)when the story first broke, trying to get more media attention about Snowball.
I have reason to believe, as do many others that the "Snowball story" was a fake.
GovernmentShrinker, did you ever hear any more about this "story"
It is heartwrenching for humans to be separated from their beloved pets. It's wonderful that some of them are reunited. I hope all the Katrina animals find loving homes.
The whole story was a fake? I thought there was film footage!
It tears me up to think about having to get on a bus and not being able to take my 3 dogs with me. I know there are lots of dogs in shelters and vet kennels around Houston who are still lost from their owners. I guess some owners are making no effort to find them but you know that others are searching.
At this point, I certainly hope they are adopting dogs out without hesitation about sleuthing who and where owners are... if they haven't claimed them by now, they've given them up for dead.
I do not believe the Snowball story was fake. I'm sorry apackof2, that after several months you now believe that to be the case.
So many dogs were forcefully taken from owners. In this case I'm specifically talking about those trying to board busses and get out of New Orleans. But some even had their dogs shot in their homes to force them to leave.
But back to Snowball. Because of all the animals forcefully removed while people boarded busses, and because early on they didn't allow the animal rescue groups in right away to take the animals to a temp shelter, the animals were taken and just let loose in many instances. There was also talk of a stairwell where many dogs were placed together, all loose, to fight it out amongst themeselves with no food or water.
There are a 'few' Snowballs, sadly. Yes, _the_ Snowball cruelly taken from the little boy. But there was another dog shown in some video footage that may have been the companion of an elderly woman. [She said, "There goes my companion of 9 years."]
What has been unclear is whether the footage of the dog standing up on it's hind legs looking at the bus doors is actually Snowball or one of the other dogs forcefully taken from his/her owner.
There's quite a bit of information here:
There are various speculations about what may have happened to Snowball. They have pictures from in the Superdome pre-landfall of a little boy with a little white dog and they have the story of a different little boy who has a new little white dog in TX after that dog ran into the mom's skirt at the bus loading site. It's possible Snowball was taken to the "stairwell" . It's also possible that someone picked him up, took him home and never heard about Snowball. It's also possible he was simply turned loose, is in a pack of strays or deceased.
There are many owners out there trying to find their pets still.
Go to www.lostkatrinapets.com to see some of the pets owners are still searching for.
Reunions are still happening. Just this week the owners of a 14 year old Shar-pei were reuinited with the dog.
And did you read what I wrote earlier about Lost In the System pets? Max from the NBC story is one of those that made it to LaMar Dixon (emergency shelter set-up for animals post-Katrina), then disappeared. No one can tell where he went after he got there.
Please go back and read post # 5 for just some of the issues owners who are seeking their pets are facing.
There was also Cheddar, a beagle, whose owners thought they had found him. They contacted the shelter who had taken responsibility for him. The shelter said they didn't have him, when they did. The owners still pressed them for more info. In the meantime, even knowing the owners were looking for him, the shelter adopted Cheddar out.
HSUS has asked that shelters not adopt out until 12/31, and also the pet is supposed to be posted on the Petfinder disaster site for at least 30 days first. HSUS' initial recommendation was 10/15. Many shelters have gone by that initial date, and have never posted pics on Petfinder.
Sleuthing? I don't mean to paint all shelters with a broad brush, because some have been excellent, some asking for long term fosters for these pets. But some had the people's contact info from the pet's tag, and didn't even try to contact them.
Some owners haven't "claimed them by now" because they have given them up for dead. But some haven't "claimed them by now" because the system of tracking pets (lost paperwork, no centralized database, no standardization of information collected, etc.) isn't a very good system at all, fraught with roadblocks, red tape, etc. And it's very much internet driven-- many of the owners haven't worked with computers, weren't aware of the pet resources on-line or had no computer access.
There's a woman who just set up an information booth in the 9th ward-- those residents just got to go back into the 9th ward on 12/1-- for information about how to search for pets, report pets they're looking for, etc. She was told by one person that she had asked the LASPCA about how to go about finding her dog and the LASPCA told her not to bother, they were all adopted out by now.
Very good question, Shannon
I would keep pressing them on them, and continue writing them about the situation-- And I especially encourage those folks who donated to them to write and ask about this.
I don't mean to appear to criticize your work, while I sit far away and uninvolved.
I just would think at this point finding home for the pets is paramount over reunions with owners that may or may not ever find them.
If I had left a pet behind, I would rather my pet be adopted quickly into a home, than spend months in a kennel cage.
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