Friday, September 30, 2005

The Mayor's Conference

I am telling you this place is just nuts. Some body from Homeland Security just came by and she got me into the mayor's conference. FBI, ATF, the National Guard, all sorts of security seemingly not knowing who was protecting who and none of them really seemed to care.

My question to the mayor was “Do you support or are you aware of a concerted effort to rescue animals trapped behind closed doors?” And his response: Didn’t answer at first about his support. Then he made some ridiculous comments about those animals being delirious. It was painfully obvious that he has no idea on this issue. It’s not at all important to him. He then commented that the LASPCA told him that animals are delirious. No one understood whether that meant that they would or would not be rescued. Went up to the mayor’s press person and she said that all they know they is that the state vet says to stay away from animals because they are delirious. I assume they mean vicious.

Let me tell you people. We get into houses to save these animals and they are begging to be rescued. They jump into your arms. Even the pit bulls. I have talked to 100s of rescuers. And they all confirm that these animals have a will to survive. A strong will. And they know that we are there to rescue them. Almost none are ever vicious. And if they are we go to the next place until we have the appropriate tools to deal with the more difficult ones. This state vet in Baton Rouge, not in the field spouting some garbage from a textbook saying that the animals are delirious. What the heck does that means? And this vet is potentially shutting down these rescue efforts. Time = life. Every day that goes by means another potentially dying pet.

From what I have seen here there is absolutely no way that they will stop rescuers tomorrow. I would just tell anyone to continue. The police, FBI, and National Guard are not going to stop on the street rescuers. But please be aware and careful to not take animals from people that have returned home.

Just a couple of things this morning.

Just a couple of things this morning.

Yesterday, I gave everyone a heads up about things that had happened at the school that our team went to. You can see that our team’s info is good. We are on the ground and have the most up to date intelligence.

I am sitting here with Kim, who many of you saw on CNN last night. Here's a perfect example of how many of us who came down here made a real difference. If she, I or any one of a dozen people hadn't come down, this may not have been discovered. Information started with a simple pet owner call into us. Once we got into the school, we saw that there was a problem. We’ve known about a second school which you will hear about soon where something similar has happened. We kept it under wraps under advice of the state’s attorney, who is doing a full fledged investigation. They say its one of the worst atrocities that they have seen from this event. I won’t describe anything in detail but the scenes are more horrific than you can imagine. It’s as if this was a game to whoever did this. These animals were posed, tortured. Every one of these animals would have lived with all the food left by the owners. Anyone who goes to St. Bernard parish says it’s like a Steven King novel. They say “there’s a lot of weird stuff”. I don’t want to go into detail at this point but it’s similar to what happened in the school. And animals are being taken from rescuers. I have talked to people and there is no exaggeration. Everyone is so emotional about all that is happening. There are news trucks in and out of St Bernard's parish. You will be able to follow this story on the news for days. I have gotten several calls from people who specifically know who did this. That info has been turned over immediately to the State’s Attorney’s office.

I have had a good rapport with Bernie from HSUS. But 5-6 days ago, a young lady who was here, sent images from this tragedy to the HSUS showing the atrocities. One of the top persons replied with promise of direct action. As of yesterday the states attorney hadn’t even heard of this. How could the top animal rescue group not take action? How could a small group here get this ball rolling with just a few calls?

Animals are being pulled out alive even still and they have been locked in houses since the storm. I am looking at 2 animals in from of me that were pulled out yesterday. Alive and healthy! Their owners who called us are so grateful and ecstatic. Be warned, though, the LASPCA is flexing its muscle and seems to be ready to suspend the rescue actions. Complete state of confusion here. Even HSUS isn’t sure what will happen. LASPCA has made statements saying this rescue effort is over without even listening to those in the field telling them that animals are still being pulled out!

LASPCA had better have a plan to feed the 1500-2000 animals in houses from the list maintained by Jane Garrison. And what about those like us that are saving from simple call ins?!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

$5000 reward offered for dog shooters.

$5000 reward offered for dog shooters.

Start watching the news! ABC and CNN should be running stories on what we saw yesterday in Beauregard School Middle in St Bernard parish. Our team was asked to respond to the school to check for an owner to see if her dog was ok. (This was an evacuation center that the owners were forced to leave. The dogs were all left on the third floor with plenty of food and water. And all dogs were clearly labeled with owners name and contact info.) Our team found all dogs shot. CNN has been with the team all day and shooting video. One owner was told that her dog had perished. Just got off the phone with a guy from CNN; he told me it was the most horrific scene.

$5000 is being offered right now for any information given directly to me that leads to the conviction of anyone involved. The states attorney has been involved and is currently investigating.

Many people including those that I have talked to at the States Attorney ( remember that there are 50-100 shells casings. Many say ‘tactical’ on the side. I don’t know what that means but it doesn’t sound like something found at a local ammo shop) are looking into all the details.

Sheriff Jack Stevens better get his act in order down there cause although he acts like god in that neighbor, he is not. This is a national tragedy. The story may be on Anderson Cooper.

Amazing tales of survival and despicable behavior by people

We went on over 40 calls yesterday from people who found us on the internet or from lists that we are working on. Did a lot of feeding for people who are on the way home and whose pets are still alive. Found one poodle that hadn’t had any food water since the storm. Very much alive. The owner is an elderly lady who called us, thinking her “little girl” probably hadn’t made it. But in fact she was alive and well in the house!

I caught my little black dog! This is the one that has been stuck behind his house with his dead buddy, who I have been trying to rescue for weeks. I spent an hour with some wet food and finally coaxed him over to eat from my hand. He‘s here – cute and happy.

Got a cockatiel for a gentleman. No food and water but still alive even though the other birds in the house didn’t make it. The owner is surrendering the bird to us since he cannot care for him now.

Unfortunately, we did find many deceased animals on our calls yesterday.

Let it be known that the St. Bernard parish has barely been touched by rescuers! The police are uncooperative and constantly asking what we are doing with these animals.

Someone needs to call the LASPCA - who is taking over all the rescue operations on Saturday (who knows what this means) including from the HSUS (not of their choice) and ask these questions:

1. Will the current feeding and watering efforts continue? Will the volunteers who are familiar with the plans be allowed to assist?
2. What the heck is going to be done with St. Bernard parish? Why can’t water trucks be sent in? It seems so simple! We are taking every one we have this afternoon to St. Bernard’s after our calls to get as many animals as we can. But we only have a bit of room. Many of the dogs are running in packs. Need traps, sedation, etc. We can’t pull this off but LASPCA can. Why has nothing been done after a month? While we are working in St. Bernard’s we hear shot gun blasts every 15 minutes - what can this be? Its like a 3rd world country

Bad News!

Not going to go into detail at this point but our team found one of the most horrific scenes imaginable. Everything is completely documented in video and pictures Some one needs to go to jail. We treated it as crime scene though we didn’t feel comfortable calling police but we did call HSUS and other officials. Put it this way, once this breaks this will be potentially one of the biggest news to come out of this situation regarding animals. We're hesitant to reveal the facts now in case the individuals responsible came to clean up scene. Facts to find and convict are available! Any one with top level access who can deal with this should call me directly. We are not sure who to call because of lack of communication channels.

Thanks for everyone's support


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Some More Pics From New Orleans

Wednesday Update and Responses

HELP!!!!! POLICE SENT TWO RESCUE TEAMS OUT OF THE CITY TODAY TELLING THEM THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED TOMORROW. Call New Orleans Police Department and give them your comments on this one. I do not have a phone number. If you get a good one for the main office and the captain’s name call me with it. 443-421-0000. This is scary. If I don’t get in the dogs I left in houses will starve.


I’ll let you all decide on Wayne P’s response from HSUS. I might write when I get back.

We do not take in 50-60 dogs a day because we are taking owner call-ins only. We are the only place you can call and get someone to check the house within 24 hours and usually on the same day. These people are desperate! Many thought HSUS had already rescued their animal. No, not the case. Many are dead or gone out of the house but not rescued. SAD! The National Guard left many doors open. Rescuing 7-8 live animals is like scoring 140 in a high school basketball game. When you find a live animal and call the owner it is the most amazing call of your life. But most calls are not like that. We can’t collect 100 dogs. We don’t have anywhere to take them nor a way to transport them. We get 10-15 in plus the ones rescued for owners and then we start pleading for someone like Pasado to take them.

Response to Various Comments:

HSSM – not exactly what we were told. Tara did have people working. What she needed most from us was supplies. I collected the original money of about 4.5k and gave her gift cards to buy supplies. I also sent her computers. Sent dozens wire instructions for donations directly to HSSM. Beyond that not much for us to do. One trip to New Orleans and you could see that you could make a difference from the time you hit the ground. I spoke with Tara and she understood.

Curfew – You have to be here to understand. Whatever you can talk your way into or out of is what goes. Many police and guard see Animal rescuers as part of the team. However in recent days city became unsafe to work after dark. Several teams doing it anyway. Shootings are heard near the YMCA and the Winn Dixie. We even got called to a murder scene to take out a pitbull. Lots of thugs coming home. It is a wild place. Cops don’t care if you are out after dark and the city is packed again. They can’t stop every car. Some streets are down right busy.

Money – this site was meant for family and friends. It clearly states if you are not one of those that I do not want your money. I appreciate the people that sent a few bucks anyway as I am over 15k in the hole and collected about 4-5 k.

Blog – this is my first time at a computer in 3 weeks. I have never read the blog. I call it in when I get a few minutes to my friend and coworker Melanie. Who would have thought thousands of people would turn to it to get the inside scoop on the plight of animals in and around New Orleans.

Going home – I've spent 3 weeks here and that is 2 weeks more than most people do. I am sick about going home. Everyone that goes home is having major emotional problems. This is the most discouraging thing I have ever done. Saving a few thousand out of a hundred thousand animals with many still in need of help. Lexi and Lee went home and came right back. They were going crazy worrying about special little friends they left in specific houses. We all have special ones that we can’t get out of our minds. What is going to happen to mine, a little black lab under a house with his buddy dead in the back yard rotting away. I have tried to get him everyday but he is scared to death…can’t get him more than 5-6 feet away. He scoots over towards me then runs back. Then peeks his head out. How am I going to just forget him like this never happened? It is heartbreaking. Almost impossible to reconcile that I have to go home.

WORK WILL NOT STOP WHEN I LEAVE. By staying lean, all we need is a list of owners who want pets checked on. One person takes the calls and directs a team of 4-8 cars in the field to the locations. Along the way they pick up any really sick animals or ones that look like they are NOT sitting on the porch waiting for owners. I still have 4 solid days here anyway. Just come and you to can make a difference. People knocking me for going home is crazy.

Photos and VIDEO – KEEP CHECKING BACK! After I get home, all will be uploaded for you to see.

Your comments – I look forward to staying up long nights when I get back, answering questions and comments.

Why we abandoned the YMCA – 1) National Guard pulled out of area. Area is totally unsecure. Went back after storm to set up and looters and criminals lurking everywhere. Gunshots fired around corner. Thank god Lacey,the little blond ROTC girl, went and got her hidden .38. It was that scary. We literally backed our way to our cars and headed out of the city. We found the Rite Aid parking lot.

Some girl’s posts -- Not sure what she was expecting? She just came from Lamar Dixon where they spent 10 million to rescue a few thousand animals. Perhaps she wanted us to have stacks and stacks of unneeded supplies (we could as we get offers for a truck load about once an hour)? We don’t need it. She said Rite Aid parking lot was a joke.

The reality is you could do it from any piece of ground you can house a few animals on. We cut out all the unneeded garbage. We take calls and we go to houses and we feed and water a lot of animals on the streets. She somehow got the idea I had asked for money for $100,000 in supplies or something. I never did. Anyone that calls me to donate I say I don’t need it…just get your friends to Lamar Dixon. She called me and said her comments were totally taken and ran with by “internet” mania. I think she really was sincere. Her friend she talks about came in today and was appalled she had written it. She worked all day.

The picture of the dog is a hoax. Folks, call Russ at 678-524-0008. His entire team was with us. He thought I was nuts at first to offer the guys $250 to drive the poor guy home.
But it was worth every penny. I would have paid a thousand. That dog was not staying in the area. This was in the real toxic area—10 ft of water in all houses.

Not here? Don’t even attempt to understand what it is like here. NOBODY HAS EVER BEEN IN A SIMILAR SITUATION. 1) EVACUATION OF AN ENTIRE AMERICAN CITY 2) TOXIC MOLD AND CHEMICALS EVERYWHERE 3) 100,000 ANIMALS IN NEED OF RESCUE. 4) 4-6 DIFFERENT AUTHORITIES NONE KNOWING WHAT TO DO 5) No appropriate safety equipment. You accomplish in this city exactly what you talk your way into or out of. My team and I are good talkers.

Pics and video – tons of amazing stuff when I get back. Lack of internet access makes it impossible to get the stuff out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An update and a response from HSUS

Things are picking up more than ever. We finally found a list from to work from. These are people who called weeks ago and still haven’t had their pets rescued. This is a great list. We have basically 8 teams in the field and this is enough to cover the call-ins and to work from the list. Too many people makes things more difficult to organize. Yesterday, we found 6-8 pets alive. Some owners are coming to get them and some are going into foster homes until the owners get back on their feet.

Below is the response from HSUS from yesterday's post. The head of public relations called to talk to me for at length last night and told me that HSUS is committed to the long term. I hope this is true. I know my time is winding down here. That’s going to be really hard when I have to leave on Friday or Saturday, because I have animals in houses that I am going to have to trust others are going to care of them.

From HSUS:

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to some of the comments in Eric's blog. We're prepared to meet any criticism that's offered in a
rational manner.

I've been at Gonzales for two weeks, side by side with dozens of HSUS staff members deployed in Louisiana (with equivalent numbers of staff active in Mississippi and also now working in western Louisiana and east Texas).

Let me first acknowledge that the impact of this disaster exceeded our capacity to respond. We are not embarrassed to say this. We have trained hundreds of people who deployed to Mississippi and Louisiana through our Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) program, but we did not have the capacity to respond to a disaster of this magnitude. I would say our greatest shortcoming was our communications and database management. We stumbled on this, and it did hurt our effort. That said, we have thrown everything we could at the disaster and our people are working around the clock. We are learning some lessons the hard way, but we've never had to respond to a crisis of this order. I will mention that our staff -- who work in our regional offices, government affairs, companion animals, investigations, and many other sections -- put aside their regular duties and deployed to help, whether in the field or organizing at our headquarters office, and every one of these people is passionate about the cause and got involved in our response with a tremendous sense of responsibility and purpose. I'm proud of what we have done.

I want to reply to some of Eric's allegations and criticisms.

1) We may have stopped the flow of volunteers.
Fact: We have maintained our call for volunteers consistently for weeks. This was briefly interrupted by Rita, since the Lamar Dixon facility manager and the police instructed us very specifically to evacuate most of our people. We deployed only emergency personnel during the storm, and we also suspended rescue during the period when we were under the storm warning. We have been critical of people who did not prepare for the hurricane, and we felt it would not be proper and right for us to send people into a storm. That was our decision, and we'd make it again. We had 1,000 animals at the shelter to protect, and we focused our efforts on that task. The only other hindrance to our call for volunteers was the hostility of the Lamar Dixon management, and their constant hectoring that we had too many people at the site and that if we didn't turn things around, they'd lock the gates. Even in the face of that threat, we've been calling hundreds of people every day and urging deployment. We've contacted humane societies and animal control staff and asked them to respond.

2) "It's almost impossible to be a rescuer with HSUS."
Fact: This is really a wild exaggeration. Everybody who comes to the briefing at 5:30 a.m. can get out into the field if they agree to play by the rules and can function normally. We are sending teams out every morning, and we have called in animal control personnel from around the country who are core participants with the rescue operation. Of course, we'd like to have highly skilled people for certain elements of the effort, but we've tried to absorb all kinds of volunteers into the effort, and we'll continue to do so.

3) "They [HSUS] will only take critical animals."
Fact: In very specific areas, where people are allowed to return to evacuated areas of New Orleans, we are advising that rescuers only take the critical animals. Healthy looking animals can be fed, and the feeding documented, so we can get back to them in a week's time. This will allow us to focus on the animals that must be rescued in areas where residents are not coming back any time soon. Of the thousands of animals taken to the Gonzales facility, only a small portion have been critical, refuting in flesh and blood the claim that we've restricted the rescue only to animals in critical condition.

3) "HSUS is looking to wind down the Gonzales operation."
Fact: There is a measure of truth to this, but it's not by choice. The property managers want us out of there, and they have waged a campaign of harassment to drive us out. What's more, we operate under the incident command structure of the State Veterinarian's Office and meet with the state team every day. They have asked us to cease intake of animals by September 30th. We are beseeching them to let us continue for a longer period, and we are cautiously optimistic we'll persuade them to extend our rescue operations through Lamar Dixon.

In addition, we are working with the Louisiana SPCA to ready their new operations site. On Saturday, October 1, we expect that facility to be operational in Algiers (which is within New Orleans). Some days ago I spoke to Eric about getting a staging area near New Orleans, so presumably he'll be happy about this.

4) and 1-800-Humane-1

Fact: Petfinder is not "a way of acting like they have a plan for these animals." It's the software that was available when this disaster hit. We all wish that there was something better out there, ready for immediate use, but there wasn't. As crucial as the data management challenge was from the beginning, it was only one of a dozen serious and
urgent problems we faced.

Working with others, The HSUS tried hard to improve this existing software to make available a comprehensive, user-friendly database that would achieve multiple goals: that all animals rescued be identified according to the location from which they were retrieved; that their immediate location, condition, treatment and other factors critical to their immediate and long-term care be recorded; that their movements from the temporary emergency shelter at Lamar Dixon to locations around the country be tracked; and, most critically, that they can be reunited with their owners as promptly as possible.

The reality of the situation is that no single database or software system that could accomplish all of these goals existed prior to August 29, and the process of developing, testing, improving and utilizing such a system has been compressed into a short timeframe in the midst of an emergency. That process continues right now, involving not only The HSUS, but also the ASPCA,, and others. We expect that will be much more user-friendly for the public within days.

In the absence of an existing database system sufficient to meet all of the competing demands, the HSUS and all other animal organizations involved in the animal search, rescue, care and treatment effort did rely on paper forms. That was often -- and in some cases continues to be -- the most practical and efficient way to record information on the large numbers of animals treated. Information from more than a thousand intake forms has since been uploaded to the database, by a corps of HSUS staffers working around the clock. Information about the transfer of animals to other shelters, again recorded in paper form because of the exigencies of the situation, are in the process of being included in Petfinder. HSUS staff and volunteers are double-checking the location of animals transported to other agencies and the national organizations are actively encouraging receiving shelters and agencies nationwide to promptly and accurately update Petfinder with information about animals in their temporary care.

The process is not perfect; everyone at The HSUS wishes it was. However, suggestions that it should be perfect are simply unrealistic and reflect a poor understanding of the complexities and demands involved. Nonetheless, we believe the system is improving, has already assisted owners to reunite with their pets, and will continue to do so.

With regard to people who called the HSUS's number (or that of other animal protection organizations) for help in rescuing their pets, all of the information provided by each caller was recorded and the information transmitted to rescue teams in the field. We certainly wish that we had the resources or even the physical ability to respond to each request immediately upon receiving the call. For reasons that are apparent to anyone viewing the situation on the ground in an objective fashion, that has not been possible -- although efforts are continuing to reach every address where an animal was reported to have been left behind or is otherwise in need. All rescue teams involved did and continue to work to rescue the greatest number of animals possible.

I am not personally aware of any individual who was told by The HSUS that their animals had been rescued but later found that was not true. Our policy has been, since the inception of our emergency call center, whether the call was handled by HSUS staff, volunteers or contractors, to candidly advise callers that neither The HSUS nor any other organization is in a position to guarantee the rescue of their pets and
that they should explore all other options to accomplish that goal.

5) "HSUS has taken on a strategy that we feel will allow thousands of animals to starve in their houses."

There's no single strategy that should be at work in a disaster like this. In some cases, we are proceeding with a straight rescue plan: get into a house, capture the animals, and transport them back to our staging area so they can receive medical care and shelter. In other cases, especially in areas where residents are scheduled to return and where the animals look healthy, we are feeding and watering and keeping the animals in place. There, they can survive, and not be subjected to the stress of capture and transport. We then make note of the feeding and revisit the site and feed the animals again or pick them up, depending upon an assessment of their condition. The idea of feeding and watering also was more attractive when our staging area was nearly full of animals, and we had to make a judgment on which animals to bring back. But we won't let any animal starve to death or subsist indefinitely without rescue or the return of somebody to a given house. Going forward, we'll revisit every one of those situations, and we'll bring out more animals as necessary.

6) "I hear this list is over 20k and could be much larger."

Fact: The list of rescue requests has not topped 5,000. There were duplications eliminated when we got to work on the database and that's my best estimate for what we received. But from the day our people hit the ground, there were other lists in circulation, and we lost no time in acting to save animals identified for rescue. Every truck coming back from New Orleans to Gonzales was full of animals, and the job was getting done.

Here's the bottom line:

1) We will get through every address for a trapped animal provided by any group active in relief and rescue efforts.
2) We have already been involved in the rescue of more than 7,000 animals. There have been nearly 500 reunions of animals with the families that love them.
3) We have transported thousands of animals to local humane societies and other safe areas, including to a major prison in Louisiana, where the animals are getting exceptional care.
4) We are committed to helping to rebuild the shelters throughout the Gulf States region.
5) We will learn every lesson from this disaster and be stronger and better the next time a response is required.
6) We have worked with members of Congress to initiate legislation to mandate that government authorities incorporate animals into their disaster plans, and we will press this case until we get a positive outcome. No non-profit organization should be saddled with the responsibility to save all of the animals in a disaster. It's just too big a job. We don't tell or expect the Red Cross to go out and save all of the people, but to help the government in its efforts. The same should apply for animals, who are threatened by the millions when a disaster strikes in a large area.

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 452-1100
Fax (301) 258-3077

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday Update

Hard to understand what HSUS is doing. Some of their actions do not support what they say their mission is - which is to be here for the long term. Previously I said go to Gonzales. But at this point just call me until I get clarification on whether or not they will accept volunteers: 443.421.0000.

Unlike almost any other group, we worked right up until Rita came at us full force. We got in almost a full day of work - working up until 6pm with very little rain and wind. We actually had a great day that day and put in almost nine hours. It wasn’t that difficult to talk to the police dept and other officials to find out when we should get out. We were all safe and secure. Went to Gonzales to try to sleep there. They now have a password to get in. A girl at the shell station gave it to us so we could get into the gate. We were quickly told that we couldn’t stay in Gonzales and what came along with those statements was despicable behavior; we were told we would be arrested if we rescued another animal. And some lady, like a rabid animal, was ripping animal rescues signs from our cars in 70 miles wind. I had one little dog whose owner I had located. They were trying to take that dog. There was no way I was giving that dog to the flawed tracking system that they have put together. These people have made enemies out of the hundreds people who put their lives on hold and spent thousands of their own money to help reunite pets with their owners and save other lost animals.

Here’s a fact, I have tried desperately to follow HSUS directions to a tee - to be official with their rules. The rules change every day; so in the end, it’s almost impossible to be a rescuer with HSUS. Jane Garrison, a person of good intellect, responsible, street savvy who uses common sense, is the only person that I have run across that will help you. But in many cases, her hands have been tied. I can see it.

I sent 4 volunteers to go to the 6 am meeting. Just as it says to do on Jane’s voicemail. They got in the night before but they were harassed and treated rudely. Luckily they got to Jane and she hooked them up and got them in the field to help with rescue efforts.

RUMOR HAS IT (I state rumor anytime I have totally accurate info) that HSUS is looking to wind down the Gonzales operation. I predicted that they would use this hurricane Rita to move out lots of volunteers and then wind down. They can dispute that right here with a comment or they can call me. They can prove me wrong in 30 seconds or give me a press release to post. I know that they read this bog.

HSUS has taken on a strategy that we feel will allow thousands of animals to starve in their house. Unless things change, they will now only take critical animals. Other animals in the thousands have been fed in their houses. Now HSUS premise is that those owners will soon be home and that there will be a big fat happy reunion. It seems that in their fairy tale world all these animals are in Victorian houses and the owners will be riding in in any day in their Lexuses to get their pets. The reality is that in almost every house that we are dealing with an animal inside is that the likelihood of the owner of ever coming back is very low. These people left without vehicles, think their pets are dead, and have been moved to new locations. With new accommodations and jobs, they may never return. If I leave an animal in a house there are major problems:

1. I have to be assured that HSUS will continue to feed that animal for months to come. I have absolutely no confidence that that will happen OR
2. I have to be completely sure that that owner is actually coming home. My personal opinion in many houses that they are not coming homes. These houses are disgusting. You seen mold all over the walls, dry wall wet and falling in. 3 weeks of feces, urine on the floor. So this policy of feeding these animals and this situation and expecting the owners seems a little far fetched. These animals must be pulled out but they aren’t.

I’d like HSUS to explain their tracking system. It seems that no one there has heard of an electronic database - something that every 8th grader has been taught. I have sent 5 owners to Gonzales - all have come back saying that they are simply told “You can start walking around looking for your pet.” Could HSUS please describe in detail their tracking system? And don’t say petfinder - that’s just their way of acting like they have a plan for these animals. In a concise document, explain the tracking system for the owner who wants to search for their pet. I know owners who know their animals were sent there but after days of trying have no idea even which state their pet was sent to. Seems like everything was done on paper; I hope I am wrong

HSUS you need to absolutely tell the truth because there are too many people there who saw the inner workings and are ready to tell exactly what they saw - good or bad. Honesty in the best policy. Animals were pulled from specific addresses. Why is it when people try to find their pet that they can’t simply say “My animal was pulled from xyz address” and in some database, this info is quickly pulled telling exactly where the animal is at this time. As far as I can tell neither nor HSUS has a way to search by specific address. Both need to remedy this immediately. Especially who has been pushed as the place to go to find their pet. You simply cannot expect people to click on New Orleans and click on 10,000 entries to find their pet.

Next, can we get a complete anthology of what happened and what is being done about the list of owners who called the 800 number. This is your chance to tell the truth about that list because I have specific people at HSUS who have volunteered who know day by day the status of the list, what happened to it, and why it wasn’t used. And we are putting together a timeline of the list, which is not going to make HSUS look like the shining savoir of those owner call ins. We have been in houses where the owners were told that their animals were rescued by HSUS but when we got there the animals were dead, dying or perhaps in good shape depending on the amount of food left out.

Next, I have a group ready to run a ½ to full page USAToday ad to alert the thousands of pet owners who called that 800 HSUS number that their pets have not been rescued and that they should take other measures to rescue their pets. I’ll give HSUS the courtesy of today to contact me before we place that ad. I don’t talk to lawyers. There has got to be someone with some common sense there at HSUS that is interested in a serious conversation about how to continue this operation in order to save the thousands of animals that are still out there. Anybody who has been on the street understands that this crisis hasn’t even slowed down. I was in St. Bernard parish yesterday and there were 20-30 dogs and cats every 3 to 5 blocks. What happened to the idea to get a couple of water trucks in there to water these animals in kiddy pools? Most of these animals were obviously people’s pets and not strays.

Hey HSUS! I met a guy yesterday who came by your facility and no one wanted to listen to him. He has 20 acres plus the biggest rodeo pen and stables just a few miles from Gonzales. Don’t cry about space. Anyone with a brain could get space here. I have been in 3 locations and have never been turned down once. Doug's number is 985.513.0287. Call him.

Lastly could every one please go to and please find this poor dog so everyone can know he’s ok.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Are you coming? There’s a ground swell of support now responding to everyone’s requests to come help!

What to do.

1. Fly into a local city and rent a big SUV, minivan or budget rental type of truck. Many times the budget type or hauling trucks are cheaper than card. I have been driving one for two weeks. Check local yellow pages for moving trucks. I got mine at Jackson mini storage. G
2. Get to the Gonzales Lamar Dixon expo cent for the 6 am meeting and get supplies. It’s extremely confusing about what you should be doing. Many don’t go because we’d rather be in the city working at 6 o’clock. They have a volunteer boot somewhere that you can chick on. I never did that. If any one from HSUS is reading this, sign me up
3. Come to the YMCA on Philip St off St. Charles. Come with a lot of patience since many people are rally stressed. Our place is going to look like a disaster zone after this hurricane but someone will put it back together and get rolling again. Day after storm.
4. Here are directions to YMCA: 10 east to the causeway south to the Jefferson St exit. Left on Jefferson toward New Orleans. Jefferson turns into Claiborne. A few miles down you are looking for Phillips you’ll see 1, 2, and 3rd before you seen. Take a right on Phillip and go up to Simon Bolivar continue on Philip (a little confusing as Philip seems to be a little disjointed. But you are within two blocks or so) you are looking for the 2000 bloc of Philip. Try to bring feeding supplies with you. Lots of dry and canned cat food and dog food, bowls, leashes and collars which can be gotten at the Gonzales supply center.

We are trying to work with the HSUS to use the YMCA as a drop off point to process animals and not have to drive them all the way back to Gonzales every couple of hours to feed and drop off animals so we don’t have to spend all day driving instead of rescuing animals. HSUS doesn’t seem to want to listen but I am going to keep talking to them about it every day.

Post Rita

The first day back after the storm we are going to start blasting the list of the owner call ins. This is the list of thousands of people who called the much published HSUS 800 number to report a trapped pet. Many of these people probably think that HSUS, with all their money and support, got the list into hands of rescuers. They have not. Finally, people who were so amazed about this, took the list and started to get it data processed and put into simple mapping programs. I told them to do this two weeks ago and even offered to direct them to db companies who could help! Think about this. HSUS virtually promised on ads and internet marketing that they would try to rescue their pets. I hear this list is over 20k and could be much larger. These are leads for rescuers to go directly where there is a pet. Will we ever get it? Who knows at this point? But if you called them and think that your pet has been saved, think again. You’d be better off just calling local groups like us on the ground and giving us the information again.

What we need from HSUS to succeed. (Most of the people at the YMCA are savvy HSUS volunteers who just got sick of the bureaucracy anyway. They are getting the job done anyway) But if we had these things we could really go to town next week.)

1. 10-15 laborers as they are using at Gonzales which is really a mess after these many days.
2. The list of call ins for GOSH SAKES! I told them 2 weeks ago that I could have it data processed and mapped in two hours. I finally got them to give the list to and she’s doing it for them. I am not even sure if she has the entire list though.
3. Shuttles to get animals to Lamar Dixon from the YMCA. Rescuers need to rescue from dawn into the night and not have to worry about driving an hour and a half to drop off a few animals at Lamar Dixon - what a complete waste of time.
4. Experienced intake people to take the animals as they come into the YMCA. This insures that a total record is kept so that they are processed and owners can locate them. We need this experience from HSUS.
5. Just a few people to help us to handle the animals once we get here and before they get on the truck: vet techs, bathers, feeders and walkers.

We can still save thousands of pets.

Nothing is slowing down. We are still finding many alive! An incredible story from yesterday. A pit bull mother and her puppy were found left in a crate in her house with no food and water, still alive after we broke the door. They were in horrible shape but from what I hear, once they got water they perked up right away. Case in point we had to get two people to take them back to Gonzales. And their day was basically over. This is a game of logistics and the people in the field have proven this by saving 1000 upon 1000s of animals that they are capable. We try not to do anything to take us away from rescuing. We rescued last night with spot lights until almost 10 o’clock. The police and guard pull us over and say “Great job. Get it done.” We simply need more hours and more people to get these lists done.

Please HSUS get us 150 spotlights. We have got plenty of people to work late into the night or at least until dark. Most innovation like this comes from the field. Thousands of people have come down here and innovated with success but HSUS simply doesn’t want to see this success in front of their eyes.

Why don’t you all start emailing HSUS about what is going on on the ground? Not at Lamar Dixon but in the field. I have never seen a single person from HSUS except Jane. I have never heard an HSUS higher up ask a rescuer what exactly they need. I’ve camped out on their doorsteps to tell them but eyes are rolled and nothing is done. These people should come work the field for one day. All we are asking for is their help and we will get thousands of animals out next week. Many people are getting the feeling that HSUS is ready to wind down and use the hurricane as an excuse. They should prove with their action that this is simply not true. HSUS’ problem right now is that in the age of the internet they simply cannot get away with hiding anything. Everyone says that my information is right on down here. I have been fair to all parties - giving credit where credit is due. Looked for ways to improve. Everything I have put in this bog is very accurate. None of it is second hand. Most of it I have seen with my own two eyes

Would you believe that 20 of us came into the city today to rescue after going to Gonzales to hear rumor after rumor about the weather. Its 3 o’clock, it has barely rained and the police and guard know we are here and just asked that we leave about hours before dark. We got another days work in just by being proactive. We are not even at risk we have a direct contact at the police dept and at that guards and two people watching local weather and news constantly. Doesn’t take much smarts to know when a hurricane is 200 miles away to know when it will be here. Police said just give them a call and they will escort us out. The rumor mill at HSUS was that the city was under water so no body came in. The entire little guerrilla people seem to have the best intelligence.

I am going to go now. An hour or so to go before we can get out of the city – time to rescue a couple more animals still. But we will be back the second the weather permits. You simply don't understand the determination of the feet on the street rescuers Met a guy last night who a slept in his boat for two nights in St Bernard’s parish where the water had been as much as 30 feet high.

Any one who can get the word to HSUS to get us the simple help we need - please do so!

We all plan working at night next week so someone buy or deliver to us those spotlights.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More News Before the Next Storm

Update for Thursday September 22nd.

Note 1: Several people have said that they want to volunteer but don’t see themselves roughing it is as I have. Please let people know that I have chosen to “rough it “ - live without the standard amenities so that I can get more done each day. You DO NOT have to live like that. The staging area in Gonzales is like a military base. Hot showers, food, ac, tents, very nice. You can go in and out of the city daily from there – that’s what most people do. I go out there every other night too.

Note 2:
If you are a rescue group reading this - Use to search for owners’ names when you have the address or phone number from a pet tag. One piece of info and you can get started. And notes can be placed on owners’ homes letting them know where their pet is.

More people! HSUS has more volunteers today. Our campaign is working. The new storm will shut us down for just 2-3 days – then we can ramp up to full force again. HSUS finally, after weeks, has delivered the list of owner call ins – rumored to be over 18,000. HSUS will have lots of explaining to do. This is the first time this list has been touched and it’s still only a rumor that they have it out to rescuers. Let’s hope it’s true. HSUS is virtually a database marketing company. How could they set up an entire call center, promote that center as the place to call and then drop that list?! They should have been able to massage that list and had it out into the field right away. Have they heard of technology? I personally told them about this the second day I was here. I won’t say who it was but she was high up. A simple database scrub/analysis and mapping software could have had that list in the filed to rescuers much more quickly. If they are still having problems with this list then they need to get a professional database person on it immediately. Wayne Pasillie’s colleague Bernie was to give me a call – he didn’t. These people have a lot to show me. We had a great idea on the corporate marketing thing and Wayne actually posting on about what's going on and to defuse some of the rumors. Wayne said it would happen but I made multiple phone calls yesterday with no returns.

I have 50 volunteers committed for next week. Today, I recruited 8 volunteers out of the local pop of Jefferson parish. Billy and I took two cute little dogs that we rescued to a biker bar to have a quick beer – the first in a while - and people were all over us on how to help. Two off duty police and other locals are going to help to check on the animals tomorrow before we have to leave town for the next hurricane.

Yesterday's rescues! Akita mix that was guarding a 6 month old yellow lab from other dogs that were following them down the street. They literally came running over to us from 200 yards away. The yellow lab has burnt feet from all the chemicals. He is so cute. Many of the dogs have this problem. Why don’t I have a video camera? The akita with no help jumped right into the truck and into a kennel on his own. We put the y lab in with him.

Found a lab mix behind a house, perfectly healthy but there was another dead dog in the back yard, he wouldn’t come all the way to us but we will try again today. He does have food and water.

Several more rescues yesterday. But for the most part we are feeding and rescuing in the area before we leave for the hurricane.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Pictures from New Orleans!



Just met with HSUS folks and they seem more ready to be streamlined and to do whatever it takes. We worked on some things that I think are very important and if we can implement. Don't believe everything you read on the internet about the Gonzalas site.

HSSM Update: Yesterday afternoon I drove to Gulfport and delivered all the donations to Tara High. They totaled approximately $4000. $950 was directly from my paypal account specifically for the Gulfport shelter. My friends and myself put in the remainder to get them some much needed supplies. We also think others are donating as much as $10,000, they are just clearing it with necessary committees. That shelter is just days away from having electricity and being up and running.

All my predictions are coming true.
I. HSUS would quickly need many phase two volunteers at all levels as all phase one volunteers return home. Few people can commit a month to this project so we are having a real shortage of staff here at Gonzales. I have met with people at HSUS and they are not denying it. Remedy: A volunteer advertising and marketing campaign, a full page spread in USA Today. And more press! Tell America exactly what's going on down here and at the same time ask for volunteers! In fact why haven't we seen a full page spread from HSUS? They have collected a ton of money and its obvious the government isn't going to help out here. HSUS marketing teams are incredible database marketers when it comes to collecting money. Move those marketing teams into full campaigns to get volunteers. They need people for months and they have already lost at least 1/2 of the volunteers in Gonzales.

II. No major government would announce that this is a true crisis. Solution: none. This is why these people are politicians and not entrepreneurs. No decisions, no guts. Can someone please recruit Donald Trump and have him give me a call? He'd have this problem solved in a week! I am not kidding (please let him know I plan on winning the apprentice one day) - give him my direct line 443.421.0000.

III. To do this job right, 5-10k rescuers were needed. I am working a 20 block area with a team of 4 and we don't even cover 10% a day. Solution: get more volunteers! Massive volunteer campaign and onsite training just like HSUS was doing this morning.

IV. Feeding and watering works on the street and HSUS would eventually do it. We started feeding like this from almost day one and it took HSUS days to figure out what they we're doing even though we went to daily meetings. But now they are doing it.

V. HSUS would need 1000 volunteers just to cover calls in from people to get animals out of specific houses, etc. HSUS is basically dropped the list. Right now that list is not being worked on . I know that for a fact. Luckily as they are doing their feeding program , many of these pets are being taken care of anyhow. Many people find me and others like me and we pull out their animals daily from these calls.

VI. Neighbors will help neighbors. As people come into the city, we see them acting as volunteers. They see these animals and many are taking on the responsibility to feed their neighbors pets. All it would take from the mayor is for him to mention to take dog food and water when people (after figuring out what Rita will do) and check on the dogs on their block. Has this mayor even mentioned this crisis? How could he not when 50,000 -70,000 pets were trapped in homes in the city?

VII. Emotional toll on people who have lost pets would be 100 times greater than those who have lost homes. I meet dozens of people every day who have lost everything jobs, house,... These people are not devastated; they are coming back and planning on rebuilding but for the most part they aren't depressed. They have their heads up and they have a job to do. They have smiles. On the other hand, the people who you meet who are searching for lost pets are destroyed, so distraught that they can barely speak, severely depressed, and hopeless. They beg, plead, cry for us to help find their pets. They are going to be the ones with long term emotional problems.

VIII. Private rescue organizations go around HSUS bureaucracy and get the job done. At a cost of almost zero per animal because all time and supplies are donated. these groups have saved 1000s of pets. At the YMCA, 350 animals were saved by just 8-10 people who met online and got organized.

New prediction: within days , HSUS will implement a watering program in these new open parishes that includes water trucks and small childrens' plastic swimming pools Why do I think the they will do this? Because I told them our team was doing it and we are days ahead of them. Who can get me water trucks? Some pools? We have some committed but we need more.

I have met some talented people. They were always held back at many levels. Today was a breakthrough day. I met with Wayne Paselli and then 2 other go getters who seemed to be much more fluid and flexible in what they are doing. Wayne assured me that any volunteer who came to Gonzalas would be used.

Check back later for more pictures.




Tuesday, September 20, 2005

People Needed!

Corporations and businesses are now sponsoring two to six people evacuation teams made up of their own employees. I didn’t want to do it but I am really going to play on your sense of adventure. The police and national guard are jealous of our day because there is so much adventure to be had. Every hour out on the streets is something new. Yesterday two dogs were brought in that must have been in a swimming pool for days; they were in bad shape and rushed off to vet care. I don’t know if they will make it. Every day for every search team brings a dozen new adventures; the stories at night when everyone sits down are endless. Get your company or friends to sponsor a 2-4 person team. This is war and it feels like it when you are on the ground except you don’t have to kill any body. We estimate that we will need people thru the next 45 days. But we would like to see people here immediately. Forward this to your manage and your ceo and show them that giving a few people time off and a little money can make a real difference. We estimate that a 4 person team working for a week (or even better two weeks) can save 150 animals per week. Fly into Baton Rouge or Jackson, MS and rent an suv. Forward this blog to all of your adventurous types of friends, ex military, retirees, and any others that can come down and make things happen without a lot of direction. All the local police and national guard are on our side. I was driven around for several hours by the military yesterday in an humvee, seaching for more animals in need of rescue. Call me for now but check back here later this week. I am looking for a person on the outside to help coordinate with people who are heading now with specific directions and instructions. For now get your flight and vehicle lined up. Doesn’t matter if you like pets or not, if you come down here and have access to a city and all the supplies you need and have the adventure of a lifetime . we have all the supplies of a well stocked rmy sent by concerned citizens. The company is even offering 40 atvs and 40 flat bottom boats . all we need is people, we don’t have enuf. No experience necessary - we will train you once you arrive.

Also we need road map types of GPS. So that we can plug in an address and go. We spend lots of time lost.

Yesterday’s update. We moved to the Winn Dixie to join forces with the other group. We are now 100 people strong and that’s not near enough people. Evacuation teams are now going into recently opened parishes and are reporting dogs on every corner. One team picked up 30 dogs in a short time frame. Water rescee teams still finding dogs alive on roofs. And one floating on a TV. No one knows how they are still alive so far past the storm. They want to live so badly -- come help them.

Look back here for more updates later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Transcript from Friday's Piece on CNN with Anderson Cooper

Last Friday, Anderson Cooper talked with Lee (Bergeron) about all the animal rescue efforts here. Here's the transcript:

Plus too many animals, not enough shelter. What happens now to the pets stranded by Katrina? And is there something you can do to help? Stick with us. We'll show you how.


COOPER: You know, we continue to focus on the plight not just of humans here but also of animals. Nearly three weeks ago when search and rescue teams were plucking people in the Gulf coast from their homes and their rooftops, most were not allowed to bring their pets. A lot of people stayed for that very reason.

The Humane Society says that about 50,000 animals were left behind in New Orleans alone, 50,000 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We decided to look at what is happening now with those abandoned animals. Here's what we found.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (voice-over): In New Orleans you stumble on heartbreaking scenes, this one in the Garden District. A dog dead, decaying on the sidewalk. A scene Humane Society volunteer Lee Bergeron can't put into words.

LEE BERGERON, ANIMAL RESCUE VOLUNTEER: It's hard for me not to cry when I look at it.

COOPER: Cruising the streets for stranded pets, Lee finds two dogs, hungry, exhausted, but for them it's not too late.

BERGERON: Come here.

COOPER: Lee radios for help. This is exactly why he made the trip all the way from San Diego, to save animals' lives. It's not always possible, however. In the next house Lee finds dogs barking wildly inside, too scared to even show themselves. With no place to put dogs who come peacefully, there's nothing Lee can do but leave food and some water.

BERGERON: Sorry, dog.

COOPER: It's been like this for weeks now. The first days after Katrina we found dogs stranded in trees, dogs on walls, pacing, surrounded by water. This is what helpless feels like. Motoring in a boat, we found animals everywhere, adrift, abandoned by their owners, alive or dead.

(on camera): There are so many dogs which you find that are just starving. And you try to feed them as much as you can. But there's too many of them roaming around. It's going to become a health hazard.

(voice-over): Since then teams of animal rescuers from all over the country have waded into dirty, diseased water trying to coax stranded pets into crates and onto boats. The Humane Society says the operation has led to the rescue of some 5,000 abandoned animals.

Little Chip here is lucky. Cradled in the arms of an Army flight surgeon, rescued with his owner and airlifted to safety. This Shih Tzu taking shelter at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where some 1,000 rescued animals remain.

New Orleans now struggles with the staggering numbers of animals rescued in shelters, how to house them, how to feed them, what to do with them. The Agriculture Department's animal health inspection service says of the 5,000 animals rescued, fewer than 700 have been reunited with their owners.

For those animals that didn't make it to safety, left in houses without air-conditioning, left roaming or chained, there's not a lot rescue workers can do for them now. They just leave them some food and some water, trying to alleviate a few moments' suffering.

BERGERON: Two weeks without food and water a lot of these guys went. We're just trying to get as many of them fed as we can so we can buy time and rescue them later or maybe they'll open up the city and let the owners come back in and take care of the pets.


COOPER: Bottom line is right now there's not enough room at these shelters for all the animals that need to be helped at that. And there are so many of you out there who have e-mailed us saying look, you'd like to help, you want to come here.

We're honored to be joined by two volunteers right now who came on their own dime to come here, Lee Bergeron and Lexy Montgomery (ph). You were in New York. Lee, you were in San Diego. You were watching on TV, you wanted to come.


COOPER: But when you called up the humane societies, they said don't come.

BERGERON: Right. Exactly.

COOPER: What -- why?

BERGERON: They said they had enough, they were fine, they didn't need any help.

COOPER: Is that true?


COOPER: So you just came here on your own. What did you do?

BERGERON: I found a place where I could be used and went to the shelter in Gonzales, realized that things weren't being done like I'd like to do them. So we came into the city on our own.

COOPER: What's the problem, Lexy, at the shelter? I mean, you know, there are good people working there but they're just overwhelmed?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Totally overwhelmed. And if everybody could help on different levels wherever they can, we just found within area where we could be useful on a different level.

COOPER: So basically, what you've done is you picked an area of New Orleans. You didn't really know New Orleans. You just came here, you have your own car, you picked it, and you just -- you're not trying to pick up the animals anymore. Only the ones who are really hurt you're picking up.


COOPER: What are you doing with the rest of them?

BERGERON: Feed and water. We go to each house, we listen down the street. We see them on the road. We put food and water on the side of the road and we come back. We get to know the dogs. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep them alive. Buy some time, keep them alive.

BERGERON: We stay in a certain area. That way we learn the dogs in the area, we learn where they are.

COOPER: Because the official policy is pick up ones, drive them to the shelter, get them registered and all that. You're saying it's overwhelming. You're saying there's thousands of animals you're seeing.

BERGERON: Every other day they shut you down, they don't let you deliver animals to them. So the best thing to do is just staying alive.

COOPER: They don't let you deliver animals to the shelter?

BERGERON: Three days now they've turned us back.



COOPER: So you set up your own little shelter. You put them on because you want people to find them but you're trying to keep feed them where they are.


BERGERON: They're better off in their neighborhood or in their home and being fed than being shipped around and using all these resources to process these dogs.

COOPER: I appreciate you guys coming down here. You're doing it on your own and you're doing a great job. Thank you very much.

( Here's the url:

It's true!

Several people have called me, incredidulous that we are still bringing in healthy animals. My answer: "They're everywhere."

We got ten just this morning and hadn't walked more than two blocks from the shelter. Everytime we turn around, some neighbor or police officer comes to point out another animal that needs rescuing. AND this parrish has been covered heavily since the storm while others are not covered at all. This crisis is going to go on for months!

Finally a couple of pictures!

Here's me marking the house where we found the 17 year old dog whose owner had been evacuated to Texas.

Here's Billy with a rescued puppy!

After a Busy Weekend

A couple of quick notes!

---Please remember to get money to the HSSM - they still dont have their shelter set up . GO to this link for details.----

---If you are looking for or have found a pet go to and sign up. There are other groups including the HSUS and the LASPCA who have logged and documented thousands of pets.

Come Here! Anybody can make a difference. There's stuff for every person and skill set to do.

I hate to turn this into an adventure thing but I will since it might get more of you to come. While it can be a little bit of an adventure, be prepared, its exciting and fullfilling but at times extremely depressing.

If you want to come, go to the Winn Dixie. Take 10 East to Louisa South. Take the curve to the right. Then a right on Chef Mentor. Our group is in the Winn Dixie Parking lot. Call me when you are on your way so that I know you are coming and I can best direct you. 443. 421.0000. Rescues are increasing each day rather than decreasing. Thousands of pets are on the street. Do not go it alone. The most important thing is working in a group which gives the best chance of getting the pets back to their owners. We will show you how to do this.

Our small group processed over 350 animals in 6-7 days. Tons of owners are finding us on the internet and asking us to break into their home to rescue their pets or feed them until they get back. We go and sometimes the pets are alive, sometimes not. They can be in great shape if the owners left alot of water. But if only a little water was left, they may not be doing so well. But most recover pretty quickly once we get them fluids.

We pulled a 17 year old dog out for a lady who had been evacuated to Texas. She said her dog was all she had left and she didnt want to live in Texas without her. The dog is now on his way to her in a car driven by another volunteer. An hour later, we saw a yellow lab/retriver, swimming in the canal with no way out; he tried to swim for the truck, it was heartbreaking. Then he swam back to a drain pipe where he culd sit and look at us - really sad. We aren't supposed to touch the water so there was a debate on how to save or whether to save the dog. This is in area where you cannot believe how it looks and how it smells - every house was under 6 feet of water and is now filled with disgusting mold. But I wasn't leaving that dog no matter what. We couldn't transport him in the camper because we couldn't contaminate it. After about 20 mintues , two local guys came along. I flagged them down and offereed $250 if they would transprt the dog for us if we could get him out of the canal. With tyvex suits and rubber gloves, we were able to protect ousreslves, we think, and rescued him with a noose. We are supposed to wear masks in these areas but Billy says he's put worse stuff in his body and it hasn't hurt him yet. He got out and sat in the back of the locals' truck with the dog when we took ihim back. I haven't let that dog out of my site. I don't want him to get lost in the system. Everyone here has their own special dog(s) that they make certain get the right treatment.

  • An hour later we got a call to pull a yellow lab and a black lab out of a professor's house who had been evacuated to El Paso. He had left him enough food and water for a year it seems like. We got the dogs out and the owner was exastatic! The owner had been trying since he left to get someone to go into his house. There are so owner call ins like this that you can do nothing about. It's overwhelming the resuce group with just these owner call-ins. If you can't find a group working your specific area of town they probably wont be able to get to your pet.

  • We fed cats in 10 different locations from list from a cat resuce group. They have a ton of owners who are trying to get back into the city but want someone to feed their pets till they can return.

  • The lady across the street just came in to thank us for having fed her dog for the last two weeks till she could get home.

  • These are the kinds of things that you could do to make a difference if you came here. There is no ways these dogs would have survived if someone hadnt been able to feed them.

Good news!

  • All the animal rescue groups now have official documents from Homeland Security and can get around the city pretty well. (Billy thinks its hilariously that he had his 5 year old expired driver's licence copied onto an official Homeland Security document. If these guys only knew. Billy has worked his butt off and has done quite a bit. He's into it.)

  • My blog is getting a high volume of hits.

  • Yesterday I got at least 100 calls from people who are in the position to help, to do whatveer they can.

  • Yesterday a tractor trailer FILLED with supplies and a note saying "Here are more supplies."

  • At least 10 reporters have been in contact with me.

A note on the operation in Gonzalas:

The Lamar Dixon Expo Center run by the HSUS, is a massive operation with incredible people that go out into the field every day. There are tons of rescue groups here. Professional people with huge equipment that I never imagined possible to rescue animals. These people are from all over the world. Don't believe every rumor you hear about this place, just 20% We are shutting down our operation at the YMCA joining forces with a larger group who is set up in a safer part of town. Together with the new group, we should be able to get out 200 animals per day and growning. This operation is run by a military type who was at our operation yestterday. He's not messing around and he has a side arm. The LASPCA tried to shut him down several days ago but he told them it wasn't happening. And you can't find any one in this city whos going to shut down an animal rescue operation.

We have gotten out all the animals except for a few that are going to their owners. And most of the people that have been here longer with little sleep needed to get out for some sleep. They are going to meet up at the new location in a few days. Billy and I are going to stay. Last night Billy and I had to guard our camp, in a not so nice neighborhood. It's just us, and its kinds of spooky. Every now and then someone does come by the gate and you are always looking over our shoulder were with all the supples on hand. The Nat'l Guard moved their checkpoint down a couple of blocks so we are kind of our own. The marshall checks on us every night. This guy has been amazing; he helps us 4- 5 hours each day!

I am not going to say who but one official, knowing we were going to be on our own, asked if I was comfortable taking their sidearm overnight. I said sure cause I am very safe with guns, know how to treat them with respect. And Billy had this marine type knife that I have had since I was a teenager. We can't lock the gate but we put a bar betwen fence and gate with a metal pan that would loudly hit the ground if someone tried to enter. Billy and I hadn't stopped for a while so overnight we were able to sit down and make ourself paranoid. By the way, I got a flat tire, thank god the military helped me fix.

Everyone is rooting for these rescues so no one can understand why no senior level government official has made an announcement about the dire need here. Wealthy individuals are helping, taking on the task of saving these animals - saying "screw the government , screw the bureaucracy." Hundreds of animals are going to locations where wealthy people have bought acres of land and have said "bring the animals here! We'll have the place set up for them by the time you get here." You can't understand the problem. There are still 1000s and 1000s of animals to save. Labs, pugs, cats, little dogs with bows in their hair, shelkies, you name it, we are getting them.

T-boone Pickens lawyer has called me to organize flights of 150 to 200 animals a day for animals out of the city. Somehow I have collected a lot of contacts and am able to pass this type of info on to different orginaztion.

Some of these dogs are so sacred. Its really heart breaking. You know they remeber theri owners.

Need to go check on and feed check on 15 more dogs. Will check back later.

Friday, September 16, 2005

More Updates for Friday!

More Updates for Friday!

In just the last few minutes I have received several dozen calls from authority figures asking how they can help! Its my opinion, though I am not an animal rescue specialist but having watched HSUS over the last few days and I am confident that they are doing an excellent job in many areas, that the following things seem to me to be obvious help for this effort:

1. A major press conference by any government agency saying that they are committed to helping rescue these animals and to giving HSUS and others like them all the help they need
2. That HSUS should be allowed to set up mini staging areas throughout the city with some people being allowed to stay overnight. This is working great here in Gonzales for several reasons
a. the police are continuing to drop off animals that they find since they know we are here,
b. people here start to feed animals first thing in the morning and late at night and taking care of animals in between
c. for the Gonzales area, it took 2 hrs to get here through the city with all the traffic – taking lots of valuable time away from actual animal care

3. People at our staging area could use pallets of animal food, water, and bowls every few blocks in the city. They are spending lots of time hauling food around. But with food close by they could spend that time finding and feeding the animals more quickly. Anything to move them faster and more efficiently. A tarp could easily be thrown over the pallets protecting them from any rain and weather (I’ve heard a rumor that Petco had offered to bring these pallets in like this but who knows .)

a. And where we are located, the property owners that are trickling into the city (no matter what they aren’t being stopped) have already pointed out two more animals that we didn’t know about.

b. This morning I listened in on the HSUS meeting where they gave lots of positive news on the feeding program. Lee and folks have been doing this from day one but they are exhausted and an expanded program would help.

These mini staging areas would help a lot and save lots of time and resources

Good news!

You should know that I just got off the phone with John Minnick from the Department of Homeland Security, a nice guy, who promised help was on the way. They have been looking at this issue for almost two weeks and that they are committed to it!

These are just a few ideas. Any additional comments, suggestions are welcome!

By the way, does anyone know if setting up 100 animals crates in the last few hours makes me an animal specialist?

The work continues.

How One Small Group is Saving Animals by the Thousands

How One Small Group is Saving Animals by the Thousands

--- If this is your first time here, please read earlier entries on how to help the Mississippi Humane Society shelter get back online. I know there’s a lot but this is one of the most amazing stories I have been involved in. ---

Read below on how I found myself in New Orleans.

After spending the day in Gulfport, I finished up all I can do there until I get the much needed $10k for supplies to get them up and running. Please keep donations coming – we are getting there.

We decided to try for downtown New Orleans, even though everyone told us we didn’t have a shot in hell on getting in. But fior days I have been networking online with different rescue groups and individuals on the ground there and one guy Lee has been begging me to come see how he is saving not dozens but thousands of animals with just a handful of dedicated people. He promised that if I followed his exact directions with the exact guard entry points that I would be able to get right in. Taking the Causeway over Lake Ponchartrain; its very eery being one of the only cars on the entire bridge. Once we got farther into town, it was like scenes from the movie ‘28 Days Later’, where the guy wakes up in the hospital and walks into a completely deserted city. I’ll describe more later but it was one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced, a city completely deserted. Military, FEMA, and police are everywhere, racing around in cars. There are no other vehicles except for lots of animal rescue groups, which have been exceptionally skillful into getting in.

I followed Lee’s directions and gave his name at the checkpoints and got right in. When we got into the city, it was almost completely dark. Electricity lines are all over the ground. There’s barely room to get through the trees cut down by the storm and later chain saws. As I finally pulled up to Lee’s site, I was completely amazed at what he and 4 others have accomplished. What started with Lee and just a few acquaintances, has now grown into half a city block of piles of pet supplies stacked high - from other rescuers and individuals dropping them off. They have turned this into their own animal evacuation area. They aren’t even supposed to be there but the guard, police, others want these animals rescued as badly as they do. There is a constant line of police and national guard vehicles dropping animals off. None of the officers are ordering them to rescue but they aren’t stopping them either. Animal lover national guard and police are all helping out as they can.

One thing you notice is that the 10-18 people here and growing daily, are all self-motivated can-do people. At the Gonzales shelter many individuals come in to work and walk the animals for a couple of hours and then go home. But there are tons of people like Lee who simply hopped on planes from the other side of the country ( he’s from San Diego and has ditched his job) came, saw the need, and are putting themselves through pure hell to save every last animal they can. It might be why I ended up with Lee because I was committed to New Orleans for all costs. Many of these can do people spend much of their morning trying to get into the city. They go from check point to check point until they someone who waves them thru.

Lee and his team have started something radical and the HSUS have also got got onboard a couple of days ago. Instead of evacuating the animals, which causes huge organizational traffic jams, they have corded off a 20 block radius around their makeshift center, and have checked every house by going to the door, knocking, blowing dog whistles to see if there are any animals inside. Once its determined that a pet is inside, they break some glass, cut a hole in the door, something, anything to get access inside. They leave enough food for 2-3 day and leave a spray paint indicator of the animal and the feeding date. Amazingly after 14 days, they are still finding animals in out of 1 of 4 houses – all loved pets. They are feeding 800-1000 animals this way, in the owners’ homes. When they do go into the house, 98% of the dogs (many are rottweilers and pitbulls) come running towards them, licking their faces - they know these people are here to save them.

Now for the tough part. What is going on here is absolutely horrific! Lee cried his way thru his first three days. Everybody, after days and days of stresses, has gotten physically ill. I couldn’t properly describe it all if I had to. There’s no vet care (some animals are on their last leg, near death but many are being saved). And many of these animals have been 15 days with little or no water. Many are injured from debris and fallen trees; and sadly large dogs are eating smaller ones. One area that is particularly dangerous are the schools – where piles of food have been left. The animals in these schools have become aggressive, fighting over the food. The rescue groups must avoid these areas. So sad that these rescuers are having to leave dozens of animals dying that they cannot save to pass on to ones that they can rescue.

Can you imagine what these people look like? Many came just days after the storm. Running on pure adrenalin, looking half dead, they are going 2-3 days at a time without sleeping. These are not animal fanatics. These are normal everyday people that are being torn apart by what is happening here in New Orleans. Their rental cars are destroyed, many are out of money. But still when they had no way to get out, they spent hours tracking down a refrigerator truck to rescue 100 trapped dogs in another part of the city. Taking many trips to complete the task. They cannot understand why they can’t get any help from the government. They have guardsmen and police on the street literally crying over the plight of the animals but they have no oders from their commanders to help with the animal evacuation. Animal groups are on their own. If they had simple support, and access, they could bring in truckloads of already donated food, they could expand this feeding effort through-out the city, saving a huge proportion of the remaining animals. But rescue teams without help are fighting a losing battle against the clock. Many animals simply cannot make it many more days. HSUS is all for a concerted city wide feeding program but is dealing with 8 different entities. With the city beginning to open up, owners are being urged to rush back to the city to gather their pets who have been safely fed in their own home. Lee and his team are terrified that the opposite will happen and that they will be pushed from the city and the 1000 animals will be left on their own. He asked me tell everyone to please please forward this who is willing to make a call or send an email to any elected official. Please forward this blog directly to them. It seems that so many people just don’t understand how bad it is down here. My description will probably do this horrifying scene no justice – its simply worse than I can describe. It’s a deserted city, no people left to save. With a flick of a switch, the government could save 30,000 to 60000 more animals in this city alone! Lee has personally spoken to the CEO of Petco that with the proper authority, he would personally donate enough pet food to cover the city in just a few days. He actually said he would drive in 20-30 semis to be dropped on corners for these groups to use in their feeding program.

Let’s have some good news! This morning I came out to Gonzales to meet Lee at the daily HSUS rescuers meeting. Some of these people are barely able to stand but yet there are 400-500 of them here at this meeting and many more are trying to catch a couple hours of sleep. These teams are still bringing in 100s of animals a day – many amazingly in good health. And yesterday, they doubled the number of owner animal re-unites form the previous day.

You have to see this place Gonzales to understand. Think Gulfwar staging area. Remember the pictures of huge amounts of equipment on the beach pre-invasion. This may be bigger. The actual area where the animals area housed is 1.4 miles long and 400 yards wide. And coming soon a complete description of Gonzalas in my 2 hours conversation with Martha Armstrong, the Senior VP of domestic animals of HSUSm in a chance meeting late last night, after things had quieted down. I sat with her and a few other people and drank a beer while they tried to relieve some stress. Understand these people are putting in 18-20 hours a day. Please consider coming down for a few days even, to walk dogs, clean cages, etc. They are desperately afraid that the current group o f people will have to leave soon and they will be left really short handed. Think about the fact that they are trying to walk 4000-5000 each day. It's incredible.

Stunning pictures coming soon once I can get to a computer.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday 15 September 2005

Great pictures coming soon – come back and check them out!

First - some Billie fun. Billie (my carpenter) hasn’t flown since 1984 and since his drivers license expired 5 years ago we had to go thru special security. All bags were hand searched; they took his hammer and hand snips. And I had to remind him not to smoke on the plane.

Yesterday, we got into Jackson around noon. Spent over 5 hours in Walmart and Home Depot, since they have almost no employees working and could not find half the stuff we needed. But we picked up some major supplies: 12 dog crates, generator, 2 AC units, and many other essentials needed to get the HSSM facility back online. (And Billie needed to get some clothes so he disappeared into other parts of Walmart. He came back with 5 white tank tops and a pair of socks. Later that evening when I mentioned I had a sore throat and he recommended his cure all: tea, honey, and a shot of whiskey I swear this is true.)

After shopping, we drove half way to Gulfport and slept in the truck. Actually, Billie slept on the top of the truck with a cool breeze. Had a hot shower this morning maybe the last one.

About 10 miles out of Gulfport, you really start the see the damage. You’ve seen the pictures so I wont describe it. You see lots of dead animals along the road and lots of live ones.

Got to GulfPort at 6am this morning and met up with Tara High of the HSSM at the damaged facility. Usually in a tropical storm they get 5 inches of water since they are five miles from the coast. But with Katrina the facility took 4-6 feet of water, depending on the elevation of the particular building of the facility. Prior to the storm, if you had asked them if this was possible, they would have laughed. The day after the storm, they had no idea what they would see when they came in – couldn’t imagine this level of damage. The facility was filled with debris up to 4-5 feet. They had 143 animals in the facility at the time of the storm. 23 in lower kennels drowned. The rest had all been treading water with only about a foot in their cage – for over a day- and they survived. How about that for will power!!

You can’t understand how badly they need this current facility back online! They were only 4 months away from a brand new high tech facility which is only walled in. This is where they are currently handling rescued animals. Since this arrangement is not conducive to handling large number of animals, they have to be transported out to Hattiesburg – 180 miles away. This means that desperate owners searching for their pets might have to travel to Hattiesburg to search for them.

The first thing that strikes you when you see the HSSM facility (the one under const) is the amount of animals constantly coming in. People are pulling up with animals that they have picked up roaming their neighborhoods, people surrendering their own pets since they are homeless and have no way to care for them, and the rescue groups, animal control, police are also dropping off animals.

The second thing you notice is that the animals are completely terrified. Third – desperate owners are everywhere searching for their beloved pets. One older woman, came to Tara, begged forgiveness for being so upset, and asked if her pets had been located. She’’ been there every day since the storm. Understand, I was there for less than a half hour. Another gentleman who wouldn’t strike you as a pet lover, was there to get medicines, and supplies for 40+ animals that he currently had at his house, while continuing to assure their owners, his neighbors, that he would take care of their pets.

Many people wouldn’t think that a crisis could be formed around pets, animals, but police, local officials, and FEMA do consider this a crisis. By the way. FEMA has a huge triage set up at the nearby shelter specifically for animals.

From all this, I hope you can see that they have no where to house the dozens of rescued animals and how import it is to get the facility back up and running to its earlier capacity of 300 animals. This is huge since the current makeshift shelter can only accommodate aproximately 50 animals before they are taken to Hattiesburg.

That shelter can be on line once it gets electricity and ~$10000 of misc. supplies. The employees have spent 18 hours for the last ten days cleaning out the debris. Doing all they can to get things going. Most of which have lost their own homes. That’s where I am filling in. The organization of trying to fund and find these needed supplies. This org has currently no funds avail. This new $2million facility was built on loans backed by pledges by community members – most of which have lost their jobs and their houses. In other areas of Louisiana, dozens of other groups have converged to meet the needs of the animals in those communities. Here in Gulfport it is only HSSM and several other small groups – that’s’ it.

I am almost called Melanie to cancel this blog since it seemed too self serving to me. But in the end I was getting all kinds of calls all night long from different groups telling me about all the help they need.

Just a few stories:

There are 200 animals stuck in New Orleans. The National Guard isn’t supposed to be helping but they are any way they can but they are but can’t get authorization to use their vehicles to move these stranded animals.

One group of people is feeding an estimated. 2000-3000 animals each day in their houses. But they have no transportation to move these animals. It’s over 95 degrees so special trucks are needed. They wanted me to come at night to see if the truck I have was cool enough to transport these animals but at that point I was too far away to get to NO. And Billie and I had our first failure – we tried to cool the back of our truck with the generator and an AC unit so that we could pick up the animals today but because the truck isn’t insulated the heat overtook the AC – still too hot to move those animals

Another group – just 3 people - called us last night. They have been back and forth between Oklahoma and Gulfport picking up supplies. On the way back from Oklahoma after driving 23 hours straight, they were going to pick up 15 dogs that were to be euthanized today in Baton Rouge to bring them to Project Halo – a non-euthanizing facility. They wanted me to meet them and take the supplies they had in their truck so they could free up room to get as many animals as possible. Unfortunately, I wasn’t near the area that they were in. In the end, they were able to get all the animals after donating all their food, supplies, and water purchased with their own money to FEMA so they could make room on the trailer. All these animals are people’s pets – none were strays.

As you can see, the need is too great for me not to publicize it and to get more help!

Important: Home Depot Registry is now set up!

We need supplies!!

Items as low as $10. But they really need some of the bigger items, like refrigeraters, washers, etc.

Call Direct to Home Depot: 228-867-9925 Ext 432

Ask for Lonnie, Tasha, or Diane! They have the list of needed items and their prices

And to my friends, please use paypal!

Why this blog?

This is, but don’t worry I like cats too….

I am on my way to Gulfport, Mississippi to lead the immediate rebuilding of the local Humane Society of South Mississippi’s (HSSM) main animal shelter, which was all but destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Read about them at

I am spending a lot of my own money to finance my trip to help save animals left behind by the hurricane. I need your help to buy as many of the supplies I can, and to help find, transport, house, feed, care for and locate the owners of these helpless, starving, desperate animals.

Why this blog? One reason and one only: I can’t help these animals and people without my friends, family, co-workers, customers and others helping me (see later how to do this).

How it all got started. Owning three dogs, I understand the evacuees’ plight of having to leave behind the very last thing they had left in the world — an understanding pet. I see saving these animals as crucial to the “emotional” survival of people who have lost everything. Many are literally begging that the animals they left be saved. Many evacuees say “I would trade everything I owned anyway just to have my pet back.” Psychologists rank the death of a pet in the top five events for major life stress and depression. So trying to help these animals and their owners makes using my vacation days from work, and my time and money worth it because many have lost a cherished friend and pet and have nothing left.

The National Guard reports their troops are haunted by the eerie “howling” of dogs left locked in thousands of homes by people who thought they would be back in 24 hours. The police and Guard units on the ground are Pro Rescue, but they just have other stuff to do. They are desperate at this point as thousands of animals are still trapped inside houses. Many animal groups will take any person who can get down to hurricane areas with a vehicle. One of these groups’ biggest problems is transport, which the National Guard has the capacity to do but they are not allowed to help. So, these animals are coming out 1, 2, 3 at a time on small rescue boats and in peoples’ cars. You can get all the info you want here -- -- by reading the days worth of old and new posts.

The web is full of such posts, and most people have no Internet access, so many, many more pet owners have no way to ask for help. How can I just sit by when thousands upon thousands of animals and owners are literally begging for help?

Who am I? I help run a company called BulkRegister, a global domain name Registrar with some really good employees ( If you don’t know me, you can at least see who I am at Click “About Us” and then Click “Team” (just for credibility’s sake). Most people at the company don’t know I am going to Mississippi to help rescue and care for stranded and abandoned animals. Most of them would do exactly what I am doing given the chance (this includes the “ala” folks as well). In the past I have been an ambulance driver, whitewater raft guide, ski instructor, ran a Maryland licensed day care center, train driver, ice cream salesman on the mall in DC, high school teacher, marketing VP and advertising agency executive. I have amassed a lot of friends and I hope they will help me now. YOU ARE NOT PAYING ONE DIME FOR MY OWN TRIP. Anything you contribute will go toward rebuilding the animal shelter, rescuing and caring for pets, and supplies!

Desperate 911 Plea for Help from Gulfport & Biloxi, Mississippi

This was the first headline I saw posted on
If you want some interesting reading into the “underground” animal rescue operations that are going on, spend some time reading these posts. It’s pretty interesting -- whether this is an issue you care about or not. The reality is that the government is going to have to deal with this issue sooner or later. It is the second biggest crisis behind what has happened to people as a result of Katrina. My guess is you will soon see the government within a few days say “we acknowledge this as a huge crisis and we know we have to handle it.”

Is it worth supporting me? See this post from Craig’s List and decide:

Dear friends:I am a Red Cross volunteer working at the El Paso shelter. I befriended a very broken hearted man (hurricane survivor) who's only family is his five precious dogs! He has asked me to help him find his dogs- if they can still be rescued- as quickly as possible. The rescuers had guns and forced him to leave the dogs. Understand please, they were not trying to threaten him, but it was urgent he rush as many awaited rescue. This only gave Greg a few minutes to leave very limited amounts of food and water for the dogs. Please help me to help Greg Heck find his dogs and bring them to safety.
Then, two days later, this post from the same person BLEW ME AWAY: – (at my first writing of this blog post, I thought these dogs were lost forever. Just 10 minutes ago, and hours after writing this post, I got this email (below) from the Red Cross Volunteer who I had spent hours trying to help by contacting anyone I could who might help her-

September 13, 2005

Dear Friend:

I want to thank you for your concern for Greg Heck and the 5 dogs who he had to leave behind. So many people have been hurt by the devastating effects of being separated from beloved pets during the Katrina disaster. Some will not be as fortunate in being reunited as others. Hopefully, for those pets who are orphaned, there will be many who step up and offer a new home to these lost ones. Yet I wish to offer some wonderful news which I hope will encourage you and reward your efforts.

I just got news that Greg's 5 dogs were rescued. As I write this, there is a rescue worker on the way to pick up the dogs and bring them back to Greg. In addition to this good news, through the kindness of another fine person's heart, a new place to live has been provided for Greg, where he will be able to keep his dogs! Miracles still happen. Keep up the good work, because even miracles wrought in the heart of God, need willing hearts and hands to make them materialize!

I will continue to thank both God and people like you. -- Kathy


Ok one more. This is the 4th post or news story I have seen of a blind person looking for a seeing eye dog—
It was on under the Pets section.

“I am helping a blind man staying in the shelter near our church find his seeing eye dog. The dog is a yellow lab who was last seen in his house wearing a collar and a rabies tag. He has a microchip under the skin behind his ears above his neck. I hear they aren't scanning any animals that are picked up though. He answers to the name of Jake. I have a picture. He has kind of a two-toned nose-- pink on the top and black on the bottom.”

Last Post- This one is new just to show you that even 14 days after the storm time still exists to help. Go if you can.

If you need a more practical reason to save these pets, they are becoming a problem for all kinds of reasons: health issues, aggressive dogs, packing up, and other reasons. The problem needs to be solved. I hope I can bring real attention to their cause. There is a crisis here.

The reality is we all specialize in certain things in life and rescue is no different. I don’t have the skills to be a firefighter or Paramedic. However, I have a skill with animals that many do not. Most importantly, they like me and I like them.

You should know that thousands upon thousands of do-gooders have converged on New Orleans and the vicinity and are doing the best they can, but they are losing. They are waging a guerilla and do it yourself war to get in and help any way they can. Several organizations are simply working around the clock, check out or

The internet is an incredible medium. Recent Post on craigslist:

From the front lines: You CAN get in along protected, non-flooded
route to new staging area at Winn-Dixie. Directions below. Rescuers
need boats (inflatables needed to hold full crates on the water),
people, trucks, SUVs and sticks with loops to get reluctant dogs!
They need volunteers at the staging areas. Many dry areas where you
can walk, just bring rubber boots!

Many people are needed to get dogs off porches, etc. These are NOT
the water dogs. Teams are getting those, too. These are sweet,
docile, came in with pink bows still on her ears! Lots
of sheps and pits, all friendly and well mannered. NEED RESCUE GROUPS
to come get them. You CAN and WILL get in.
See below

Anyway, I decided to go down to Gonzales staging area where they are bringing the rescued New Orleans pets. I was going to simply walk some dogs, clean some cages or do whatever I could. They have over 1500 dogs alone in the place now. I contacted some groups and they said come in a few weeks when everyone forgets about us. SO I WENT TO MEXICO KAYAKING FOR A LONG WEEKEND thinking the powerful HSUS would have it under control when I got back. They didn’t.

I got back and saw right away that things were not getting much better. In fact I soon started seeing posts from Gulfport & Biloxi, Mississippi that were totally incredible to me. New Orleans has it bad, but Mississippi hasn’t even been able to mount a response in some areas -- even thirteen days after the storm. The Mississippi coast was in dire straits still and not getting the coverage like New Orleans on any major network. In many parts not a single animal (and sometimes not a people one either) rescuer had shown up. One town had every citizen left living in the fire department and over 50 dogs tied up outside with nowhere for them to go (people or animals) and no help from the government. This storm is causing a humanitarian crisis like we have never imagined.

(post from Craigs List on day 13 after the storm)

California Rescuers Network based in Los Angeles, CA is on site in Biloxi, MS and see thousands of animals and they are only with another very small aussie group. The woman from Cal. Rescuers tells me that her group has NO SUPPLIES there. NO food, NO water, NO bowls, NO crates, NO leashes/collars, NO place to house these animals, and NO veteranarin help & NO boats!
I emailed the poster.

When I investigated more, I discovered how bad it was. This area was not even getting basic essentials filled for animals or people. Most of the employees of the shelter lost the houses they live in themselves. The main facility that housed 300 animals was destroyed in terms of usage until help arrives to repair it. Nothing exists. They can’t take animals until they fix basic stuff. They are weeks behind New Orleans. AND THEY STILL HAD NO IDEA WHO WAS GOING TO HELP. Thirteen days must have seemed like an eternity to Mississippi. When I said I will come and help they basically put me in charge of rebuilding the shelter (all done via emails). I was floored. How bad could it be if they grabbed the first stranger off the internet who said he would help? SO BAD that I am coming to learn from Tara High, The President of the Humane Society, in my several short phone call. Other posts on the web showed me that much like the evacuation of people a week before, this was a guerilla operation. Nobody from the government was going to waltz in and save the day. Just like the “people” a week before who had saved themselves, action needs taken by ordinary folks.

Rebuilding the Shelter--Then I got the 911 Document from the shelter and I now know what kind of trouble I am in for. I honestly don’t know if this can be pulled off – no electricity, a list of needed items a mile long, no other help, no shelter, food, water and no money. The employees have NO homes. But I am going.

Read the entire 911 (read the Post to this blog prior to this one).

So we come to the blog. I don’t like this kind of self-promotion. It embarrasses me but I have NO choice. I need funds to pull this off. Thanks to all the people that have already given me some.

If you can donate anything, even $100 (or add a zero) dollars, then here is how you do it. Any time you make a donation you must email, because I have no way of knowing what money is coming in. She will track everything and let me know how much I can put on my Credit Card on top of my own funds. (I prefer pay pal). Folks this is risky for me. If you say you are sending money I am taking your word for it and spending it. Please just don’t say you will send and then don’t because I will have spent that amount on my credit card never to get it back. I am going to spend a lot, but I don’t have unlimited funds….Please be honest and do what you say. Please give Val the amount and how you sent it and/or what you bought if we can work the Home Depot direct pay. Don’t all do that as we need lots of things that are not at Home Depot, so hit my Pay Pal account some. THE KEY HERE IS WE NEED THE MONEY NOW PREFERABLY, NOT DELIVERED BY CHECK later.

1. Pay Pal -- my email address is if you have a pay pal account you know what to do.
2: Direct “wire transfer” to the Humane Society Bank Account
3. Check Via overnight FEDEX

4. In coming day (s) we hope to have a list all ready to go at the Local Home Depot you will be able to call in and pay for something that we need by credit card. The Home Depot phone # is 228-867-9925 We will alert you when we have that live. Keep checking back. This is critical as we need the items now. The 3 fridges, 3 washers and dryers are key to getting the shelter open after we get electric and AC.

I am paying for shots (this is a good racket…it was over $500, lots of upsells once you get to the office….disposable toilet paper, super bug spray, extra pills for everything you could ever catch, shots for diseases that have been abolished for years just in case they come back. I am sure they are the only nurses in the world on commission. But I bought it all) I have the rented truck, the airline ticket. Any money you contribute will simply be used to buy the things that they need to get up and running. You can see them on the list. I am putting in much more of my own money for supplies, but it won’t be near enough.

9:00 pm Tues Sept 13th.
So I am going now to Mississippi to a shelter that is destroyed, to do a job I have no experience in. Those that know me know I am a bit “resourceful” … overly so sometimes. Well I just got my way through my first problem – a vehicle. NONE AVAILABLE IN ANY NEARBY AIRPORT. No trucks either. But I got the name of the lady that does the scheduling for Budget Trucks in Jackson. Called her about 13 times and finally got her live. She said she was hiding because everyone wants a truck. But she is holding me one for tomorrow morning because she has two cats. Persistence and a small victory.

1:00 AM. Wed August 14th.
At the last minute here I have secured my carpenter to go with me. His name is Billy Hauck. Now I didn’t tell Billy much except that I would pay him for 10 days work and give him a Southwest Air ticket and we were going near New Orleans. You gotta know this guy to get this. He has no car, no house, smokes 2 packs a day and disappears for days at a time doing who knows what every time you give him his paycheck. He makes me bring him Harley shirts from around the world. No doubt he may have never even heard of Katrina and thinks we are going to Bourbon St to have a good time. Probably thinks I am trying surprising him for his B-day or something. He is living in one of my rental houses right now until he finds a new permanent residence but his clothes are over at another house. I asked him if he wanted to go pick up some clothes and he said “no I have two pairs and my toothbrush” but asked me to bring him a trash bag to put his clothes in. He is that amusing.

2:00 AM Wed August 14th. called me to request that I swing into New Orleans first before going to Mississippi and go to the YMCA. They have 50 dogs at the YMCA from today that they can’t get out. They will have 50 more tomorrow but nobody is coming to take them out. They are giving the National Guard leashes and the guard is bending the rules and bringing them into the YMCA left and right. Go to that site and sign up. They will call you and tell you exactly how to get into the city and past any National Guard. Basically you take Liquid Chalk and write “ASPCA/HSUS Animal Rescue on your truck or car. They let you in. The Guard knows how huge this problem is and they are trying to get the dogs and cats out as well and not doing much to stop people. Many people are also getting signs made at kinkos saying the same thing. They are calling it the “underground railroad” for pets. People are good in the end. Thousands are turning out to help people and pets from this disaster.

4:00 AM Wed morning
This post just came up
There are hundreds of areas that are getting no media attention. People and animals are literally on their own.

5:00 AM wed : Packed Just saw this post
Government to mount biggest Pet Evacuation in the History of the United States (possibly the World.). Hope it is true.

5:30 AM Wed Sept 14th
Posted on click Pet Rescue to read a dozen others like this.
Original Message ----- From: Keri Toth
Please send this to your reporter friend..
I am Keri Toth with the Humane Society of Central Louisiana.. also with Labs4rescue... I went to Waveland, MS after reading this report... I found the vet there after searching endlessly for animals.. I saw a few cats and some dogs that were so far gone and crazed from hunger we could not do anything for them.... I could not get near them.. When I tried to approach and touch an old golden/lab mix.. he turned drooling and growling... I found the vet there he has been there since the beginning trying on his own and based out of a tent in the K-Mart parking lot.... Stephanie and I got there Saturday night... due to curfew we had to stay in our truck parked next to Wal-Mart.... It is horrible there, not only for animals but people as well... People are sunburn because they have no Shelter...they are having to stay in tents in parking lots.... When we did find the vet however they had dogs leashed up to washed up cars and under flatbed trailers in the parking lot... they were doing the best they could with what they had... while we were there they pulled up with 2 Akita's they had pulled out from under a house... We had to leave immediately and head back to Louisiana... the one Akita was hurt badly, we had a cocker with a bad UTI and a jack russel with a broken shoulder... Not to mention the others... I am so glad we went... we crammed the Explorer with animals in the crates we brought... I even rode 4 hours with a rott mix on my lap, I just couldn't leave him... We left in tow with all the animals they had with the exception of one we did not have room for

6:00 Am wed

I do not know if I will be able to post after this. I hope to so keep checking back. I hope I have convinced you that rescuing these pets is a noble and worthwhile cause and HELPS the victims of the hurricane. I will try to take pics and to post. Heading to airport. If your not into helping pets go do something else. This area is destroyed beyond what anyone would ever imagine. I have seen people who went to the Tsunami say that this is worse in some ways because area are devastated for miles and miles and miles not allowing access. At the Tsunami site they were able to quickly set up camp within a few hundred yards of where the devastation occurred. If you think about it this is pretty amazing – An entire US city is totally evacuated.