Katrina play opens Sept. 2 in L.A.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Tim last fall, after he spent time volunteering with HSUS in the aftermath of Katrina. While at Lamar Dixon, he became involved with a family's search for their missing dog, and over the next few months, remained devoted to tracking down their dog, who is a major character in the play. Click on the title link for complete details.

A new play by Tim Maddock & Lotti Louise Pharriss
Directed by Emilie Beck

September 2 - 30, 2006
Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3pm

The Lounge Theatre
6201 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood

Reservations 818.786.5834 or visit Theatre Mania

Tickets $20 ($5 off if you bring a photo of your pet)
Discounts available for students and groups.

The story of a man and his dog, together again


Thursday, August 17, 2006

By Lynne Jensen

On a broken chair with a big plywood seat, Henry H. Toney sits as a lumberyard watchman, surrounded by a few simple needs: menthol cigarettes, a cell phone and a bowl of dry cat food for his finicky but faithful dog, Chelsea. She guards her master from beneath the makeshift throne where he holds court, conversing with customers.

Toney, 81, has been working at Riverside Lumber Co., now in eastern New Orleans, for 47 years. He's as much a part of the family-owned business as brothers Rusty and Michael Hayden, who oversee the 86-year-old operation with cousin Bruce Hayden.

"I'm the black sheep of the family," Toney said, contrasting his skin color to the Haydens' and recalling decades of living on the lumberyard grounds, where the Hayden brothers and Toney's daughter, Anita, played side by side.

Michael and Rusty Hayden's father, Bobby, helped pay for child-care and then transportation to and from school for Anita, who was 3 when her mother died of cancer in 1968, Toney said.

"I said I'm going to keep my baby," Toney said. "And Mr. Bobby, he said we're going to help you raise your baby."

Toney, who for years drove the company delivery truck, helped to raise the Hayden boys, they said.

Summers away from school meant riding with Toney on deliveries and stopping for ice cream, Michael Hayden said. They'd stop for ice cream cones that cost 26 cents, he said. "Mr. Toney would bring the quarter and we'd bring the penny," he said.

"When I started working for the company, Rusty and Mike were sucking bottles and wearing diapers," Toney said. "And now they say I'm wearing diapers."

Toney, who described himself as "a country boy from Columbia, Mississippi," is someone "we all love," Rusty Hayden said. "I've been knowing him since I knew myself."

Michael Hayden described tearful days of worrying about Toney, who refused to leave his post at the lumberyard for Hurricane Katrina.

"My brother and I cried like babies," Hayden said. "We thought you were dead," he told Toney.

Rusty Hayden recalled a cell phone conversation with Toney as he and Chelsea rode out the flood that followed the storm. The call ended with a loud noise and Toney saying, "Oh my Lord," Rusty Hayden said.

A "big wave" temporarily knocked Toney and Chelsea from the stack of birch plywood where they had ridden out the flood for five days, Toney said. They'd been sharing soft drinks from cans that floated by.

It would be a few more days before the Haydens learned that Toney was rescued by boat, then plucked by helicopter and eventually taken to San Antonio.

Toney was rescued by George Laird, an area businessman who was picking up people by boat in the area when he heard Chelsea, a black Lab, barking.

Debris made it impossible for Laird to maneuver the boat inside the lumber yard. Toney said he struggled and made his way out, but Chelsea "wouldn't get off the plywood and come to me . . . She doesn't like George at all now because he took me away from her."

After spending some time with National Guard personnel, Chelsea wound up in Arizona. Thanks in part to her implanted microchip, she recently was reunited with Toney.

Together again, Toney and Chelsea spend days at the lumber yard entrance. Nights are spent at Anita's house while the lumberyard is being restocked and its buildings replaced.

"The rest of this stuff you can rebuild, but you can't get another Mr. Toney," Michael Hayden said.

"They said I got a home here as long as I live," Toney said about the Haydens. "I take care of the place as if it was mine."


Chedder Homecoming Video

Even though Chedder was one of the dogs I helped to reunite a long time ago, I just saw the full video again of his homecoming,and it made me remember why I have been doing this. Thanks again to Scot Haisley at WARL for fighting with us, rather than against us,to get Chedder back to Renee and her son. This is the original post about Chedder/Chat.

Click here to see the video of Chedder's homecoming.


Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster Available Aug. 28th

From Publishers Weekly
In this mix of heartrending personal stories and practical information, the Andersons (Angel Animals) explore why, out of 16,000 animals rescued in Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, only 3,000 were reunited with their families (many were adopted or taken into foster homes), and find the reasons in the loss of records, the chaotic conditions evacuees faced and euthanizing of unclaimed pets by some shelters. Directed to leave their pets behind when Katrina was bearing down and denied entry to Red Cross shelters with their animals, many residents waited out the storm at home rather than abandon their pets. The authors focus on three major organizations (the ASPCA, the American Humane Association and the Humane Society of the U.S.) that, buttressed by volunteers from all over the country, played a key role in saving animal lives. Believing that domesticated pets are family members and that by helping them one is also helping people, the Andersons detail what has been learned from Katrina and provide instructions for readers in the event that they face an evacuation. The authors stress that owners must take primar responsibility for their pets and that rescue volunteers should be properly
trained. The Andersons can be saccharine, but their advice is well taken. 16
pages of color photos. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed
Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Book Description

The inspiration for Rescued was the tragic situation with pets during the Katrina disaster — thousands refusing to leave without their pets, and many animals dying due to official indifference to these “disposable” creatures. Extensively trained in animal rescues, Allen and Linda Anderson interviewed hundreds of volunteers, hurricane survivors, and government officials for this book. Rescued offers both hope and practical suggestions, as well as the latest information on official policy and how to help in future catastrophes. It goes beyond the recent tragedies to talk about the various rescue and sanctuary operations, what volunteers and staff do, and how to help. Using a dramatic structure and photos, the book presents the before, during, and after journeys of people separated from their animals. Rescued puts attention on an unheralded world of animal shelters, organizations, and brave individuals who made a difference during the largest animal disaster in American history.

Why does this dog look so sad?

Probably because he is stuck living with Cruella de Ville.

This male yellow lab mix (PF63333) is one more dog separated from his owners because someone decided to play God. The person who rescued and/or adopted him obviously knows that he belongs to someone else and yet has made no effort to find the owner(s). Anyone can see in this dog's eyes that he is sad. He's probably thinking about the people he loves.

This is what is written in the description on Petfinder:

This pet was rescued from the disaster area, however contact and location information are not available. This pet is in the database to provide closure so that, if at some later date it is identified by its original owner, they will know it was rescued and cared for. He is happy, healthy, and loved in his new surroundings. This pet is no longer being tracked.

Problem is that the dog was never tracked. This Petfinder Found record was posted on August 11, 2006 - almost a year after Katrina. And the email address that Cruella provided in the Petfinder record - to make sure that his owner(s) have no way to ever contact her - is
noemail@given.com. I guess Cruella, like so many of the evacuees, also didn't have a computer or internet access all year.


Sheriff Eddie "Big Bubba" Cathey awaits his bigger and better gas chamber

Here are some of the comments from residents of NC posted along with the 3000+ signatures on the petition against this gas chamber. Read and sign the petition here.

(my original post follows the comments)

I knew a guy once who had been inside a vintage gas chamber somewhere over in East Germany. He said that the claw marks in stone made from human fingernails and bone while trying to escape from excruciating pain was a true testament to the evolution of human compassion. Calling an animal processing facility that uses a gas chamber to cheaply, yet painfully, eliminate its unwanted numbers a shelter is like calling Hitler's concentration camps refugee sanctuaries. I have a couple other ideas Union County can use to promote its growth into the 18th century. Possibly juvenile delinquents sentenced to community service hours by the courts can take on the responsibility of the euthanization of these animals by simply using a hammer or other blunt object. That should save the county a few more bucks. Maybe the county should institute MANDATORY I. Q. testing for all legal adults in Union County, and any with an I. Q. less than 65 are immediately processed to a human spay and neuter clinic to help keep unwanted human population down. As I sit here with my rescued black lab mix nudging me with a toy she wants to play with, I can only feel sorry for those individuals who feel that this is a humane and acceptable manner with which to handle animal population. It is merely the cheap and lazy solution. No wonder so many people hate americans. I'm going to go play with my dog now. I hope all of you other animal lovers have a great day!

I am a volunteer at the local SPCA shelter and I am speechless. I cannot believe that these types of people are in charge of our country. I am in tears just thinking about the dogs and cats that are dying and don't need to be. Can you not hear their screams? How can you sleep at night? DO NOT BUILD A GAS CHAMBER!!! These are innocent animals. They didn't ask to be born, what did they do that deserves death?

Please don't spend my tax dollars on a Gas Chamber

As I sit here typing with my dogs head in my lap, I cannot stress enough the importance of these terrific creatures of ours called ANIMALS! They cannot speak up so we will do it for them!!

Please remember that these are beautiful, innocent little creatures that deserve a better way. Take compassion on these animals that bring joy to people's lives, for some they are like children.

In the year 2006, how could you even think of a gas chamber, it maybe cheaper than IV injections but money isn't everything...these animals SHOULD not have to pay for humans stupidity, just because we don't spay and neuter. WE are 20 yrs behind some states in their treatment of these animals> its past time we thought of these animals before they are birthed......where is the luxury taxes to pay for spay-neuter programs........

If the gas chamber is not humane enough for rapists and murderers, why would you use it on innocent animals who have done nothing wrong? Please reconsider.


It is bad enough that it is society's fault these animals are even in the situation of being in shelters. We can at least allow them to have dignity in death since we are the cause of it. I think it is time we look at the reasons these animals are in the shelters and solve that. These animlas deserve to have a peaceful death. We give humans that right and I know there are plenty that we have put to death with lethal injection that have committed crimes beyond belief. What crimes have many of these animals committed that are in the shelters? It is really our crimes that they are being punished for! Give them the chance to have a more peaceful end of life.

As a Union County resident I hate to think that my tax dollars are going towards an inhumane method of putting animals to death! If we have to kill them let's at least show as much compasion as possible.

Sheriff Eddie Cathey of Union County, NC seems a little too happy about the arrival of his new gas chamber for the animal shelter - larger than the current one he demonstrated for the TV cameras.

I especially like his it's my way or the highway style. Real nice.

Here are some of Sheriff Eddie's quotes:

In this new, pro-active role, we, as the members of the Sheriff's Office, will work diligently to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Union County.
hey, Sheriff Eddie, why not improve the quality of life for the animals as well as quality of death by allowing them at least the more humane death from lethal injection?

We seek to be more accountable by allowing more public input into the ways in which our services are planned and provided.
Sure doesn't look like you want any public input on this. How you euthanize the unwanted pets of Union County is a servce you plan and provide, and everyone within Union County and around the country is objecting to your new gas chamber. I'd say that counts as public input.

We seek to be more resourceful, imaginative, and aggressive in our approach to crime.
Why not start with being more resourceful and imaginative about how your euthanize your unwanted animals?

To the people of Union County: keep an eye on your pets; repair your fences, keep your pets' tags on them and up to date. And if you find a stray, take it in and try to find the owner, or take it anywhere but here.

To think that an animal shelter would actually replace an old gas chamber with a newer and bigger model in the year 2006 is beyond belief.