MTF. Never changes!
There are a few threads around, but I find stuff fairly often, and people might be interested in it...so here we go. A sort of nice story from New Orleans.
BAYING forlornly, hissing at strangers and increasingly dehydrated and hungry, tens of thousands of pets have probably been left behind in the devastated US city of New Orleans, animal care agencies say.
Animal rescue workers from across the United States are combing the city deserted by its citizens when Hurricane Katrina approached almost two weeks ago. They wade through thigh-high muck, commandeer abandoned boats and use crowbars to bring stranded animals to safety.
"The cats are terrible. Out of every 10, nine are scratching and biting and hissing," said Jane Garrison of the Humane Society United States as she cuddled two terrified dogs in an aluminum dinghy.
Dogs often leaped into their arms, she said.
The society estimated that 60 per cent of central New Orleans' half a million people had pets of one sort or another, said spokeswoman Renee Bafalas.
How many of those were left behind when their owners evacuated is anybody's guess.
But judging from the numbers of dogs seen pacing around on roofs of flooded homes or in wind-savaged neighbourhoods and being brought out by rescue workers, the number is likely to be high.
On Thursday night, there were 1,700 animals at a pet collection center set up by the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society and its state branches at Gonzales, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Bafalas said.
Many others had already been united with their owners.
The rescuers are working off lists of stranded animals reported to hotlines by evacuated owners.
Invariably, though, when they turn up at an address where they know a pet has been left behind, they also hear or see other animals in the neighborhood that need rescuing. The countrywide SPCA and Humane Society workers operating in New Orleans have been given authority to break into houses where they think there are animals in distress.
Sometimes the only thing that greets their knocks and shouts at a locked door is a strong stench of death. More often, they find a live animal to return to its owner. Dogs in particular, the rescue workers say, have held up well.
"We've been surprised that most of them were in good condition," said Lieutenant Randy Covey of the Oregon Humane Society.
"Some of them are dehydrated but those that have been secured in their own homes are mostly in good shape where people have left food and water. Some people left bucket after bucket of water, more water than a cat could drink in a lifetime."
Bafalas said she did not think the animal rescue agencies were overwhelmed by the scale of the New Orleans disaster, if only because the response from SPCA and Humane Society organizations across the United States had itself been so overwhelming.
Tim Rickey of the Humane Society of Missouri was less sure.
"My guess is that before this is over, they're going to have to set up a second collection site. This is much bigger than they thought," he said.