Good news for residents of St. Bernard Parish trying to get back their rescued pets

The St. Bernard Parish District Attorney has assigned an Assistant District Attorney to file charges against shelters refusing to return pets to residents of St. Bernard Parish. They have asked for all cases regarding St. Bernard Parish residents who have found their pets, but the shelter(s) won't return them (for whatever reason).

Ceily Trogg, St. Bernard Parish Animal Control Director, has asked that residents or their volunteers write up the circumstances with complete contact information and either e-mail or bring to the St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter. If this information is going to be emailed please send to the following email address with the words "Return Pet Request" in the subject line.


If you choose to mail or drop this information off personally, the address is:

St. Bernard Parish Animal Control Shelter
115 Agriculture Road (off Paris Road)
Chalmette, LA 70043

If you have any questions, Ceily can be reached at


Please look at photos of Snappy - Left at Superdome -

Snappy is a 15 year old neutered male that was left at the Superdome when his owner was forced to evacuate on a bus. Note: this does not equal owner surrender. Snappy had long hair at the time but may have been shaved down since. His most unique feature is that his left ear sticks straight up and the right ear flops down. He is a real sweetie who is missed and wanted by his owner who has been searching frantically for him.


Meet Molly - A letter from Sara, DVM

She was 1 of a group of 16 well taken care of indoor only cats that lived in the Gentilly District of new Orleans.

When I was there in September I found a cat, now famously called “Mad Max” inside the house but it turned out he didn’t live there, he just took shelter there. I eventually found the owner of the home named Marlene and over the past several months we have talked on the phone and via email. She told me about why she stayed (she had 16 cats and an 85 year old mother), what happened to them after they evacuated (left alone on the I-10 and then the Greyhound bus station for 2 days), how her life has been in New York and her hopes for her future.

Marlene was persistent in finding out what happened to her kitties and through her own hard work and the work of volunteers she has found out that 3 died near her home and 1 died @ LSU but the others are safe.

Molly was captured TWO WEEKS AGO having survived all this time. I have visited Molly’s neighborhood as late as November – few people are there and only a small group continued to feed the stray animals. Molly stayed around her home and finally someone was able to trap her.

There is so much loss and sadness surrounding Katrina and people ask me why I keep going back. I think it is because there is also so much hope and resilience, kindness and human spirit. I clearly see that this disaster goes far, far beyond lost animals and missing pets. People lost their lives, their families, their communities and their homes and livelihoods - these tragedies supersede what happened to animals. But, on the other hand, for those residents who had animals and had to leave them, those animals were part of their families and the fabric of their lives. For those people like Marlene who were fortunate enough to account for their animals and be reunited with them there is completeness, a sweetness that they struggle to describe.

For those of us who saw Katrina unfold in August and were horrified by the unspeakable things we saw; for those of us who struggled to rescue defenseless animals, for the animals themselves who struggled to survive – there are these little victories.

Houses will be re-built, schools will re-open, there will be weddings again, christenings; there will be school plays and soccer games; there will be Christmas mornings and Fourth of July picnics because the region and the people are so resilient and to my mind heroic. And, when you look at this little kitty sitting on her cushion, safe at last, to me, she represents victory over the storm itself.

Thank you for listening – and enjoy the attached picture.


Letters sent to the AHA in response to the auctioniong of a puppy

Here are some letters sent to the American Heart Association in protest of their decision to auction off a labrador retriever puppy as a fundraiser. Please feel free to contact Robin Piper 817-698-5432 Robin.Piper@heart.org to voice your concerns nicely and politely.

Dear Ms. Piper,

I am sure you mean well by auctioning off one of the most adorable creations God ever made as a fund raiser but I hope you will seriously rethink this.

Have you ever HAD a lab pup? Have you read the best seller
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog. about how very, very difficult living with a lab is? Please see the link.

I'll quote a bit of it. "Marley crashed through screened doors with alarming regularity, He went berserk during thunderstorms (mine does too and ate a hole in a door on the 4th of July) destroying everything in his path. He stole food off the dinner table, slobbered incessantly, drank from the toilet bowl, ate bath towels, sponges, socks, used tissues, plastic toys (which requires a vet visit) furniture, speaker covers, paychecks, even an expensive gold necklace."

I'm almost sure you have not ever actually had a lab. I have--he CHEWED everything. He's almost 4 now and he still chews --but now that he is bigger he also knocks people over (because he is sooo enthusiastic about everything,) he gets dirty and jumps on the doors and windows. We have a fairly large yard but we have to wash the floors and vacuum at least twice a day because he has torn up the grass in the back yard so now he's muddy everytime he comes in. He requires LOTS of exercise --heaven forbid an elderly person would win your puppy!

Labs are famous for CHEWING. Huck chewed a brand new, very expensive mattress AND the box spring. He didn't actually chew it-- the little adorable fuzz ball ATE them. Also the comforter, carpet, shower curtains and door jambs.

We love our lab and we knew what we were getting into-although we did think he'd outgrow the rambunctious a little faster. Did you know that black labs are the most common and least adopted animals in shelters?

PLEASE find a nice piece or artwork or a condo unit for a week someplace. If I had one I'd donate it.... but NOT a living breathing adorable dog who even a well intentioned winner (and that 's a big assumption) will have to invest a lot of time,. patience and money in.

Thank you and please let me know you have found another prize.

Monica Harris


As an Internist I am offended that the American Heart Association would auction a puppy at a fundraiser. I have a painting of a lab I will gladly donate in place of the puppy. A puppy is not a thing. A puppy is a living creature which requires devotion and care which cannot be bought on a whim.

M.Caroline Burton, M.D.
2300 Hospital Drive
Shreveport, Louisiana 71111

Robin please reconsider the action of auctioning a puppy. Aside from the fact that this could lead to ruining the reputation, the exemplary reputation of the American Heart Association, if you auction off a puppy not knowing whether or not the people who receive the puppy are trustworthy and will be good owners, then you are no better off than the secret auctions held at Midnight in which animals are auctioned to the highest bidder to be used as bait or used in labs. Especially in light of the recent news regarding the use of puppies and drugs I along with thousands of animal lovers ask you to reconsider. Although I am aware of the fact that the concept was thought of with the best intentions in actuality it is nothing more than using a life form to raise funds without making the commitment to ensure that the puppy will in fact go to a good home, thus having a shot at having a good life. Thank you for taking the time to read and to consider this request.

Mary Elizabeth Van Everbroeck, MA, LMFT

Pet Guardian Education & Animal Advocacy Services, Inc. Warminster, PA

Canine colleagues gather to honour Nitro's courage

VANCOUVER — It began with a lone howl.

Then down the line of cars, dogs leaned out the windows to listen and the barking began.

Canine units from the United States and British Columbia proceeded through downtown Vancouver yesterday, as dogs howled in the backseat on their way to the Seaforth Armoury, to mourn the death of police dog Nitro.

The police canine died in the line of duty Jan. 23.

Nitro was set to retire this spring after developing arthritis in his elbows. But that didn't slow the German shepherd down as he chased two accused car thieves who jumped on a train in New Westminster.

When the train began moving, eight-year-old Nitro slipped under the wheels and was instantly killed.

Vancouver's police department hadn't expected Nitro's death to hit the public so hard.

Mourners from as far away as Britain began sending hundreds of e-mails and sympathy cards to the department. Nitro's death inspired some to write poetry and make crafts, such as wooden urns for the dog's handler, Constable Howard Rutter.

Others remembered beloved pets, posting pictures of their own dogs on the message board.

It was all a bit too much for one Vancouver newspaper columnist, who wrote that mourners were descending into emotional quicksand when they began comparing Nitro to a human being.

In response, Sergeant Mark Tonner made what he called a bold statement: that he is convinced all dogs go to heaven. "Yes, I said it," Sgt. Tonner wrote. "Does that mean Nitro is chasing bad guys through sunny meadows, young and arthritis-free?" No, Sgt. Tonner reminded mourners, "there aren't supposed to be any bad guys in Paradise."

His voice cracking with emotion, Vancouver Police Chief Jamie Graham said Nitro inspired a special kind of grief.

To those who say that Nitro's death was just that of a dog, Chief Graham said that's like saying it's just a husband or just a daughter.

"The stages of grief we feel over the loss of this great animal is not unlike the loss we would feel over the loss of a human partner," he said, as mourners nodded and wiped away tears.

The ceremony included more than 70 dogs paying tribute to Nitro, as their handlers led them to sit briefly in front of the memorial where the canine's badge, collar and urn were on display.

The piper leading the procession was almost drowned out by the barks and howls. Some of the mourners came during their lunch break wearing business suits and work uniforms. One woman carried white lilies with eight dog biscuits tied at the stem. More than 50 of the mourners purchased a $20 DVD about Nitro's life, which included images of his puppy days and a slow-motion montage of him running in a field.

Lorraine Mitchell, whose Rottweiler-shepherd mix, Moose, died three years ago, had tears in her eyes as she watched the procession pass on Burrard Street.

"I know there are some people who would think it is ridiculous to have this," she said. "But it's sad and real to many people, and it's a good thing that we can be so touched by a living being."

Nitro is being mourned not just as a pet, but as a police officer, said Stanley Coren, a University of British Columbia psychology professor who has written extensively about dogs.

Prof. Coren believes that is because Nitro represented more than an officer and a pet when he died in the line of duty.

"This is a dog whose name we happen to know because he did something we all know our dogs would do for us, protecting us for no other reason than because of their loyalty," he said. "This dog suddenly became a dog to make us remember all other dogs."