On computers, morality and stolen pets

One of the tragic realities of the past seven months is that while the work of coordinating animal rescue, delivery of food and other supplies to shelters and staging areas, and tracking down the rescued animals was being done by a small army of us working from our computers, the people who evacuated without their pets - the people that all this effort has been for - often did not have internet access for many weeks or months.

Many were in shelters for a long time, or with family who did not have a computer.

In the
2002 State New Economy Index, Louisiana ranked #49 and Mississippli ranked #50 in percentage of internet users. Even though the report is based on data from a few years pre-Katrina, and more households had internet access by last summer, that was also true in all the other states, so the overall ranking is probably the same.

This is important information - the two states that were devestated by Katrina have the
lowest percentage of people who have and use computers. So when these people finally landed on dry ground and began to deal with the myriad of problems and issues, they did not necessarily run to the nearest computer to look for their pets. Many of them didn't even know that their pet was on the internet (it has never been a requirement of pet ownership to also own a computer).

Therefore, deciding not to return someone's pet because it had heartworms or was not spayed or neutered or because its fur was matted is nothing more than one person's MORALITY. It is not the law. The law is and will be on the side of the pet's legal owner; the person who was forced to evacuate without it.

So, a word of advise/warning to those still refusing to return pets to their rightful owners in New Orleans: several more lawsuits are being filed. The Chopper case in NJ was just the beginning, but a good precedent. If you are one of the many fosters, rescuers or shelters that has been asked to return a pet and you have refused, you may be the next to be sued. Or the one after that. And not only will you be ordered to return the pet (the judge will not care about heartworms or reproductive apparatus) but you will also be required to pay all legal fees and court costs. If you are a small rescue group, this will likely do you in. If you're an individual - one of those who decided to take home a 4-legged Katrina souvenir,
court papers will be served at your place of employment. The lawsuit will result in as much local media coverage as possible. In the long run, it will be best for you to make arrangements to get the pet returned and go find yourself another kitty or dog. Preferably one that actually needs a new home.


Man faces eviction for owning a pitbull

The News Journal

Walter Ryan, a Kent County (Delaware) man who is facing possible eviction from his manufactured home because he refuses to get rid of his beloved dog, has found an attorney to help him fight any move to evict him.

But the Michigan-based company that owns High Point Park is showing no sign of budging -- although it has not followed through with a court action to evict Ryan.

Ryan, 56, lives in the Little Heaven park with his wife, Paula, and his sister Maryann. Both Walter Ryan and his sister are disabled. Paula Ryan helps care for them both.

Sun Communities Inc., which owns the park and rents the lots to homeowners, claims Dottie, one of the family's two dogs, violates the park's prohibition on "noisy, unruly or dangerous pets." Late last month the company told the Ryans to move.

A story in The News Journal on the Ryans' plight caught the attention of Neilson C. Himelein, an attorney with the Community Legal Aid Society in Wilmington. Himelein has agreed to take the case, Ryan said.

Himelein declined to comment Wednesday, saying he did not want "to litigate this in the newspaper."

However, the legal aid society's Web page lists Himelein as the organization's counsel for fair housing, suggesting Ryan could mount a legal defense based on his disability and that of his sister.

Federal law requires that landlords make "reasonable accommodation" for people with disabilities, and companion animals can be covered by that clause.

In addition, Delaware Humane Association official Mary Ann D'Amato said Thursday that she has been in touch with Himelein and that she has "offered to either mediate or speak on the issue of animal-assisted therapy involving both Walter and his sister."

The Ryans moved in seven years ago after the manager OK'd Dottie's presence, and they have lived there since. But on Jan. 31, the park's owner sent Ryan a "notice of rule violation" and followed up with a letter last month notifying him his lease was being terminated immediately.

The notice labeled Dottie a pit bull, which is one of several breeds of dogs prohibited by Ryan's lease.

Ryan countered with a statement from his veterinarian that 10-year-old Dottie is not vicious, and that it is impossible to determine how much pit bull blood the mixed-breed dog may have.

Sun Communities initially did not return calls from The News Journal. After the article appeared, the company said it would answer written questions submitted by fax.

In its faxed response, which came a week after the company received the questions, Sun Communities official Kevin Bennett said the company took the action after "a complaint was received from a neighbor of Mr. Ryan regarding an aggressive incident involving the dog."

Ryan said he suspects that refers to an incident in which Dottie barked at a neighbor's black Labrador retriever.

"A neighbor just passed by with the dog, and that was it," Ryan said.

At one point, the company's faxed statement says Dottie's breed is "irrelevant. ... The noted behavior is the important issue at hand and a court should decide if the dog poses a threat and decide its fate."

But in an answer to another question, Bennett wrote: "The reason we acted was the identification of the breed and the behavior it displayed."

Breed-specific measures such as the clause in the Sun lease have been rejected as unfair to owners and the animals by Delaware legislators and New Castle County Council. New Castle County Council defeated a proposal this month to label pit bulls as inherently dangerous and require owners to muzzle them.

State law leaves landlords free to put breed-specific bans in leases.

Ryan said he has heard nothing from the company since he received the notice that his lease was terminated.

"They don't call me. They haven't bothered me," Ryan said.

$1000 Reward for Safe Return of Snoop

This photo was taken two years ago when he had just been clipped down

He was taken from his yard at

7634 Mercier St
. New Orleans East

on or around December 5th

Snoop survived 5 weeks after Hurricane Katrina. When his owners returned they were overjoyed to find him waiting for them at his flooded house. On December 5th, Mr. L was at the house, gutting and cleaning. He left Snoop in the backyard for 20 minutes to go to Home Depot. When he returned Snoop was gone. He was picked up by someone in a white van.

Snoop is a 13 year old lab/chow mix. His fur is long and curly; black with red hues. His ears are floppy and reddish/brown in color. He has white on his chin. One or two of his teeth are chipped. His normal weight is around 75 lbs. He was wearing a red, white & blue flea collar and a tan or brown collar. He’s very friendly and his elderly owners are grieving.

Email noanimalleftbehind@gmail.com with any info.

Copies of this poster are available by request in MicrosoftWord or Adobe PDF


Video of Mike Minton shooting dogs in SBP

This video shows Sheriff Mike Minton admitting to shooting dogs. It's not as graphic as many of the photographs taken inside the schools but is disturbing psychologically and emotionally.

Noah's Wish Receives Shelter of the Year Award

(New York, NY) February 13, 2006

Noah’s Wish was the proud recipient of the Lambert Kay and Arm and Hammer 2005 Shelter of the Year Award at Dogs in Review 51ST Annual Show Dogs of the Year Awards, presented by Nature’s Recipe. Terri Crisp, Founder and President of Noah’s Wish, accepted the award on behalf of the organization at the gala event held at the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel on February 11, 2006. Dogs In Review’s Show Dogs of the Year Awards attendees included owners, breeders, handlers, judges, media and representatives of the American Kennel Club and numerous VIPs of the fancy.

For more than 50 years, the Show Dogs of the Year Awards have paid tribute to the finest competitors in the sport of purebred dogs. Along with the Annual Show Dogs of the Year Awards, special presentations were made to Special Industry Awards winners, honoring those individuals whose dedication to their craft is incomparable. These individuals were honored for heightening public awareness of canine well-being and to elevating respect for the industry at large. Awards include Groomer of the Year, Veterinarian of the Year, Trainer of the Year and Shelter of the Year.

The prestigious sponsors of the Shelter of the Year Award, Lambert Kay and Arm & Hammer, have provided quality pet products for more than 50 years. The sponsors reviewed several nominations for this year’s award and selected Noah’s Wish for its outstanding efforts to rescue animals in disasters. “Noah’s Wish’s exemplary work during Hurricane Katrina made them stand out from the rest of the shelter candidates this year as they rescued and cared for almost 2,000 animals in a temporary shelter in Slidell, LA and worked to reunite pets with their owners or find them loving new homes,” said Arm & Hammer representative Scott Harmon.

“I am proud to accept this award on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly to rescue and care for the animals we saved in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Terri Crisp. “And I hope that the one lesson learned from this terrible tragedy is the importance of having a disaster plan.”

For more information, visit www.showdogawards.com, and for year-round news and information, read the current issue of Dogs In Review magazine.


Fun new quiz: Guess the breed of this dog

Feel free to post your guesses here.

Recognize these adopted dogs?

Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch in Texas has adopted out these Katrina dogs.

ya gotta love the moving caption on their website:
Please come adopt them so we can rescue more.

And if you don't remember seeing any of them listed on Petfinder, guess what?

They weren't!