Great Letter from St. Bernard Parish Animal Control

This is an email that Ceily sent to a volunteer who is involved in (yet) another problem situation with a shelter. Please forward this to every shelter, rescue group or individual who is refusing to return and reunite a Katrina pet.

What people don't seem to understand is that these pets were never abandoned. They are owned pets and the owner will have every right to claim them. The dates set by HSUS to allow them to be adopted are actually in place to protect the satellite shelter from liability arising from sterilizing the pets or, should the pets die while under treatment for heartworm, for example. No one, especially loving owners, ever wanted these animals to spend such a long time in a shelter situation.

No one is asking shelters to hold the cats indefinitely in cages. Go ahead and adopt them out, but the law is on the side of the original owners. So far one case has gone to court and the owner won (Chopper in New Jersey). At least one other case I'm aware of has been filed. Louisiana law is plain; I have no doubt that any cases that end up in court will be won by the original owner.

The right thing to do is to tell potential adopters the FACTS. Let them be aware of what may happen if an owner comes forward. I know you think that enough time has passed, but only 8,000 residents (out of 67,000) have returned to St. Bernard Parish; the rest of our residents are scattered across the country! Our parish is still devastated and will be for years to come. We have lost literally everything; all we have left is our pets.

Granted, many will never look for their pets. But I guarantee you that the owners whose pets are considered a part of their family will never give up and never stop looking for their pets.

If the cats from St.Bernard Parish are such a burden to this shelter, I will be glad to have them returned to St. Bernard where they will be cherished until claimed by their owners or adopted by loving families that have enough compassion to realize the scope of the devastation we have experienced.

Thank you for keeping them so far, but let's make arrangements for them to come home.

Ceily Trog
Manager, St. Bernard Parish Animal Control
504 278-4317


STILL desperately searching for Alex - please look at photos

Alex is still missing and there's been no sign of him. PLEASE click on the link above to see more photos and PLEASE post any information, leads or anonymous tips here or contact elainesloan@nyc.rr.com Thank you.


Important Alert to New Orleans pet owners

(Written by Pam Ellis-Leavy and posted with her permission)

As we continue our efforts to save the lives of as many animals as possible in the New Orleans area, we encounter hurdle after hurdle--saving animals before they drown, saving them from starvation, saving them from dehydration during the drought, fighting to allow much-needed veterinary help from other states, racing to get the animals before LASPCA, searching for acceptable shelters to receive our animals, not enough volunteers, much needed supplies, and the list goes on and on. We beat, or accept, these challenges and continue our efforts to save the animals.
The letters below are probably true, as we all know this sick atrocity has been occurring since Katrina, by "dog hunters" disguised as rescuers in boats, "saving" drowning dogs and cats and stealing animals from Lamar and LSU. Again disguised as fellow rescuers, these sub-humans continue on the streets of New Orleans, choosing "bait" dogs and fighters for their sadistic "games." The animals on the streets of New Orleans no longer approach rescuers willingly. Instead, they run and hide, hampering our efforts to rescue them as well as the efforts of dog fighters to steal them. Desperate to restore their dog fighting professions, they now turn to pets of returned residents.
While traveling the streets of New Orleans, I've noticed numerous residents of houses where fences are down, put their unsupervised dogs out on leads, or allow their dogs and cats to roam freely. The friendly pets of returning residents will approach thieves offering treats and a "nice" voice. The residents of the entire New Orleans area must supervise their pets, even in their own enclosed yards, and not allow them to roam.
And for those of you who are unfamiliar with dog fighting practices, these evil "people" are often unrecognizable, as they appear with wives and children, in search of "bait" dogs, cats, puppies & kittens. (---the horrifying outcome for many "free puppies and kittens" offered by those who choose to "give them away" rather than the one time should-be-mandatory spay/neuter. But that's another story.)
The hurricane certainly was a benefit by dismantling many dog fighting rings, however, simultaneously costing the lives of many household pets.

HSUS announces it has personally assisted with 1300 reunions!!

December 15, 2005

In the weeks after Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands of Americans expressed their sympathy toward the hurricanes' animal victims by making a contribution to The HSUS or other national organizations. It was an unprecedented outpouring of human kindness toward animals. The HSUS, in turn, has been committed to spending those donations entrusted to us in ways that benefit the animals in Louisiana and Mississippi—as well as benefit their caregivers and the animal care and control professionals who dedicate their lives to building a more humane world along the Gulf Coast.

To date, The HSUS has spent—or has committed to spend—more than $20 million on disaster relief services since those storms hit. By committed, we mean that the money has either been spent, set aside for a Katrina-related project in the near future, or been budgeted for bills not yet submitted to The HSUS.

"The HSUS responded immediately with an army of people who helped establish two massive shelters in the wake of Katrina's devastation along the Gulf Coast," says Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "We are still on the ground with rescue activities, and we are still spending tremendous resources on reunions. But it is important to understand that we are going to be involved in this effort for years—restoring and enhancing the capacities of shelters and setting up spay and neuter operations that will address some of the fundamental problems of animal care along the Gulf Coast. We are grateful to the people who have offered their financial support. It gives us this staying power."

Here is what The HSUS has spent or pledged so far:

$8 million committed to direct Katrina expenses. The expenses to rescue and shelter an estimated 10,000 animals include bills for:

  • Animal transportation—to move rescued pets to sites across the country;
  • Rental space for our emergency sheltering operations in Louisiana and Mississippi;
  • Staff and equipment for an emergency shelter at the Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson, Louisiana
  • Travel expenses for nearly 1,500 volunteers and professionals in the Gulf;
  • Animal rescue vehicles and trailers that housed dispatch and communications centers;
  • Equipment such as generators, computers, phones, cages, and many other supplies;
  • Veterinary fees for more than 1,000 animals;
  • Food for the hundreds of volunteers and professionals on site;
  • Staff and equipment for an emergency shelter in Arkansas after Katrina animals were found there.

$1 million for ongoing field projects in Louisiana and Mississippi. This includes funds to:

  • Manage a high-volume trapping program in Louisiana and Mississippi;
  • Support rescue operations to deal with homeless animals.

$5 million committed to a Katrina reconstruction fund. This includes funds to:

  • Help rebuild shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centers damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina;
  • Assist the Louisiana SPCA (LA SPCA) with its reconstruction. We have already provided nearly $1 million to equip LA SPCA's temporary facility in Algiers;
  • Help rebuild the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi's facilities. We have committed an initial $500,000 to this reconstruction project;
  • Conduct assessments to determine what other local agencies need reconstruction support.

$2 million provided or committed to agencies that have helped rescue, shelter or reunite Katrina animals. This figure includes funds to:

  • Reimburse local humane societies, animal control agencies, and rescue groups that have accepted Katrina animals and have worked to reunite them with their guardians;
  • Reimburse groups that did their own rescue and sheltering work during the 45-day period after Katrina hit.

$1.5 million committed to reunion efforts. The includes funds to:

  • Staff and equip The HSUS Reunion Center, whose workers have personally assisted with or confirmed more than 1,300 reunions, bringing the total estimated number of reunions to more than 2,270.
  • Cover the transportation fees to reunite people with their pets.

$1 million committed to spay and neuter programs in communities impacted by Katrina. The includes funds to:

  • Address the high proportion of animals in the Gulf who are unsterilized;
  • Work with the Louisiana SPCA and set up an aggressive, low-cost spay and neuter program.

$500,000 spent on disasters that have hit since Katrina. This includes expenses related to our responses:

  • In Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Rita hit.
  • In Florida and Mexico after Hurricane Wilma hit.
  • In Pakistan after the country was ravaged by an earthquake.

$1.5 million committed to grow HSUS staff. This includes funds to:

  • Expand staff and its capacity to deal with ongoing Katrina responses;
  • Develop a bigger and stronger Disaster Services section, so we can respond in an even more meaningful way to future disasters, cruelty cases, puppy mills, and other hands-on crisis situations.

Dog Murderer Sentenced

(click on above link to read local newspaper article)

Frank Aquino was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, but later pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, for taking the life of a defenseless elderly family pet. Aquino is accused of viciously kicking to death 15-yr-old Roxi during a Memorial Day BBQ at his home in Putnam Valley, NY. Roxi, who was partially deaf and blind, was drawn into his yard by the smell of the food on the grill.

Witnesses say that after Aquino kicked Roxie so hard in the stomach, she rolled several times and then staggered to a neighboring yard where she died under a tree.

This is where her guardians found their beloved friend, a 45 lb German Shepherd mix whom they had raised since she was a puppy. "To viciously kick a dog is beyond words," said one of them. "She was such a sweet animal. We'd come in the door and her tail would be wagging. Now she is gone, and in such a horrible way."


If your New Orleans lost pet was not related to Katrina - Please Read

I've received several calls and emails from people in New Orleans asking for help about pets that have recently become lost or missing. I wish there was something I could do, but there is little I or other volunteers can do via the internet. Here are some suggestions for finding your pet:

1. Contact the Lousiana SPCA located in Algiers and visit there regularly to look for your pet.

2. Visit ARNO (Animal Rescue New Orleans) located at the former Celebration Station in Metairie. ARNO, in conjunction with Best Friends, is still trapping and picking up stray cats and dogs on the streets of New Orleans, bringing them in and holding them for 5 days while owners are being searched for. This rescue effort is being continued for a few more weeks in an attampt to get as many Katrina pets rounded up and identified. After the 5-day hold, the animals are being adopted. The rescuers and trappers have no way of knowing which animals are true strays, which are Katrina pets that are still roaming around, and which are pets that have recently become lost.

3. Post a lost pet report on Petfinder classifieds (not the AERN database); Fido Finder or Tabby Tracker; and Dog Detective. Also post on and check Craig's List, nola.com and of course the T-P lost and found pet classifieds.

4. Make a poster with a photo and complete details about your pet and post all around your neighborhood.

5. If you belive your pet was stolen, offer a reward immediately. If it's a pure-breed, check Petfinder classifieds to see if someone is trying to sell it.