"Time Is Running Out for Stranded Pets," Los Angeles Times
Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times, 09/08/05:
Time Is Running Out for Stranded Pets
"We were on the ground Tuesday, the day after the hurricane hit, but we were excluded from going in by state and federal authorities for the first several days," [Wayne] Pacelle (Pres., U.S. Humane Society) said. "We've received 2,000 e-mails and phone calls from people who evacuated from New Orleans, who left animals in their homes and are pleading with us to rescue them. That's just in New Orleans. It doesn't count surrounding areas."
Pacelle said there may be 50,000 pets trapped in New Orleans homes. "The clock is really ticking. It's tearing us up knowing that so many animals are in need and [we] can't get to every one on our own."
Earlier during the crisis, rescuers had been ordered to save people but leave their pets. But "that works against the larger imperatives for disaster relief because people will not leave without their pets, and many people will go back in to get their pets," Pacelle said.
Animal rescue workers slog through the water and muck carrying crowbars to pry open or smash their way into houses where pets are believed to be. "I've been bitten, scratched, had [my] head cracked open," said Jane Garrison, a volunteer rescuer from South Carolina. But it's worth it, she said, because after a long Wednesday, Garrison and her four-person team had 18 animals — dogs, cats, chinchillas and rabbits — in crates in their truck.
Many animals, cats especially, won't come when called, so Garrison and others spend hours peering into unfamiliar nooks and crannies, cooing and soothing and finally grabbing. If they can't find the escaped animal, they'll put out a bowl of food and water and make note of the location. They've crawled into houses surrounded by fire, and pulled dogs off rooftops that are sagging and about to collapse.
"The suffering is overwhelming," Garrison said. "Sometimes they have food left, but all their water is gone. Every second is critical."
The good news is that so far, most of the animals left indoors seem to be alive.
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Other resources sited in the article:
ASPCA Hurrican Relief Resources
This site seems to have lots of good information as well: