Monday, December 04, 2006

Would it have been so hard to feed these dogs?

Instead of helping the 20 or so people (and dogs) who had to leave the dogs behind by taking care of these friendly dogs...they murdered them.

I traveled over 1000 miles to end up in St. Bernard Parish rescuing over 500 pets, returning many to desperate owners in the days after Katrina. How hard would it have been to feed these peoples pets? No other Parish saw the need to shoot wild dogs. Quite the opposite. I saw this school, what a nightmare. All these people had to do was feed the dogs, not shoot them. Even 30-45 days after Katrina rarely was a dog dangerous. What hell those dogs must have went through in that killing hour, watching their people taken away in boats without them and then as these people came around shooting them one after the other, and all the time thinking this was "just shooting some dumb animals" Things have to change in this country...

Reprinted from:

Owners allege ‘gruesome’ pet slayings
by Richard A. Webster

Judy Migliori is shown with her dog Gigi before Hurricane Katrina. The toy poodle was later found in St. Bernard High School shot in the head. (Photo courtesy Pet Jusice Project)
Judy Migliori is shown with her dog Gigi before Hurricane Katrina. The toy poodle was later found in St. Bernard High School shot in the head. (Photo courtesy Pet Jusice Project)
“It was a massacre,” said Mark Steinway, co-founder of Pasado’s Safe Haven, an animal welfare refuge in Sultan, Wash. “Dogs were shot in the hindquarters, shot in the gut, shot in the feet, in the mouth. It was very, very gruesome.”

On Oct. 2, New Orleans attorney Elaine Comiskey filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of more than 15 plaintiffs seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the wrongful destruction of their pets. Nearly 20 St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies stand accused.

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti Jr. is conducting a separate investigation. Under Louisiana law animal cruelty is considered a felony. The maximum sentence for cruelly killing an animal is 10 years.

In all his years investigating cases of animal cruelty, Steinway said he has never seen anything that remotely approaches what occurred in three schools in St. Bernard Parish in the days following Hurricane Katrina. The bullet-riddled bodies of dozens of household pets littered the tiled hallways, some allegedly executed after they had been leashed and tied up by their owners.

Among the allegedly massacred was Gigi, an 8-pound, 7-year-old white toy poodle with red painted nails and a collar medallion of St. Francis Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Gigi’s owner, Judy Migliori, brought the poodle to St. Bernard High School, a shelter of last resort, after the floodwaters engulfed her Violet home. Moments after she arrived at the shelter, police ushered her into a boat headed for higher ground.

Migliori clutched Gigi to her breast as she climbed onto the flat-bottom deck. She said a man with a hunting rifle stopped her, pointed at the dog and said pets were not allowed.

“I started crying and pleading and he said — I’ll never forget this — he said, ‘Ma’am, we can do it one of two ways: nicely or not nicely, and if need be I’ll handcuff you.’”

Migliori left Gigi behind after police assured her and the other pet owners their animals would be safe inside the school.