Katrina dog reunited with grateful owner

Deborah Marks drove from New Orleans to Normal, IL earlier this month to pick up Goldie, the dog from whom she was separated since Katrina when she left to get insulin for her diabetic aunt and was then not allowed back to her home. The Humane Society of Central Illinois flew Goldie to Bloomington after she was rescued. A local family adopted the dog and Deborah filed a lawsuit.

I received the following email from Deborah along with this photo of Goldie at home.

Below Deborah's email & photo are some of the more moronic quotes from
Maurice Barry, Vice President and attorney (maybe soon-to-be former attorney) for the Humane Society of Central Illinois:

Goldie Home Again

Hi everyone this is Deborah emailing just to say THANK YOU for helping my family get our dog Goldie back. Goldie was returned on February 01,2007 by her adopted family. Goldie is doing fine.

Again I would like to thank Mrs.Hunley, my lawyer Dominic and their staff from putting up with me calling all day and almost everyday. All of the rescue groups, volunteers who have taken the time to research and help me find Goldie. To the adopted family THANK YOU, for taking care of her and for having a heart to give her back.

Words can not express how my family feel having her home. I am sorry for emailing so late with this information. Thanks again to everyone for their support in this journey.


This is Goldie at a shelter after Katrina

Maurice Barry quotes:

"There's a lot more to this than what she's saying," Barry said. "When the facts come out, you'll see she's misrepresented facts. She's tried every route to cause problems for the Humane Society."

Barry said that even if the dog did belong to Marks, the Humane Society still will oppose taking her away from its adopted family

Marks has been the only pet owner to contact the Humane Society about any of the Katrina pets, Barry said.

Barry recalled the emergency trip he took with Dave Severino to Slidell Airport last year to rescue the pets about a month after Katrina. Volunteers from St. Tammany Parish quickly helped load the dogs and cats on the plane during the rescue mission. There were no documents signed concerning ownership of the pets, which the volunteers represented as having been relinquished or abandoned during the disaster, Barry said.

"We were just worried about getting them the hell out of there," Barry said. "Every one of those dogs and cats would have died had we not flown down there that day."

“You’re going to make her out to be the biggest martyr in the world,” Barry said from his office Thursday. “This is news to me completely. We seem to be making up the story as it goes along. Everyone from New Orleans has a bad story.

“That dog would be dead if we hadn’t flown there to pick it up. Period. That’s the story,” he said.


Anonymous said...

“That dog would be dead if we hadn’t flown there to pick it up. Period. That’s the story,” he said.

Perhaps. Or perhaps another group, an ethical one, would have taken the dog, made an effort to find the owner, and graciously returned it when asked to without putting the owner through hell. Many groups managed to do just that.

Regardless, saving the animal's life does NOT give any group or individual the right to ride roughshod over the owner's rights and feelings and keep a family apart.

Welcome home Goldie! :-)

Anita said...

Oh, the Humane Society of Central Illinois had Goldie listed as a Cocker Spaniel-Dachshund mix on Petfinder, and then had the gall to criticize Deborah bnecause it took her all of 3+ months after Katrina to find Goldie who is a Golden Retriever-Chow mix. Most people would know this by looking at her (her tongue has purple spots which indicates some chow) but it's absurd that those who work with animals professionally would mis-classify her so badly. Stupidity or intentional??

Anonymous said...

Thank God, I can't tell you how many times I have wandered back to that photo of Goldie in the shelter. that photo haunted me. I have a golden and know what loyal loving dogs they are. thank god she's home.

Anita said...

That photo always haunted me too and in fact it was Ruby, my Golden, who was responsible for my involvement helping Katrina evacuees find their pets; during those first days in Aug-Sept 2005 when we were all devestated by the images of Katrina, it broke my heart to imagine being separated from her, but more than that it broke my heart to imagine her being left alone because I couldn't get back to her or like so many others, was forcibly separated from her. I couldn't begin to imagine the fear and confusion that she would have felt.

Yes - it was important to rescue as many pets as possible, but it was and still is essential to get these pets back to the people they were separated from so both can heal.

The wagging tails of these reunited dogs - 18 months later - shows that they are quite capable of forgiving but never forgetting.

Anita R. said...

People like this Barry really piss me off. The people who survived Katrina did not abandon their pets, they were FORCED to leave them. Of course everyone from New Orleans has a story. How would that moron feel if he had to endure what these folks did? I truly don't think he has the moxie to survive that kind of trial, certainly not with any grace & dignity.
And once again, SHAME on ANYONE who would even think of keeping one of these pets from their families. That shows no heart, no soul. I pray that one day each person who has done anything to hinder these reunions gets it back 10 fold.

Anonymous said...

After sending the HSUS donations for well over 15 years, I had stopped the year before Katrina as I'd come to believe they had lost a lot of their original purpose and now just seemed to push merchadise to guilt you into sending more cash. I made the mistake of donating money to them again after Katrina hit. It will never, ever happen again. Their behavior has been reprehensible. Barry appears to have found the company the fits his personality perfectly.


Brinah said...

"We were just worried about getting them the hell out of there," Barry said. "Every one of those dogs and cats would have died had we not flown down there that day."

This, very sad to say, is true. Think of the hundreds of animals who have been abandoned by their former owners and will never be united. The Humane Society is not a villian here.

Anita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lost Katrina Pets said...

Brinah you need to get your terminology straight. Thousands of animals became *stranded* after their owners were prevented from bringing them with them or prevented from returning to get them. Willful abandonment has a very specific meaning and you obviously are ignorant of that.

Second, hundreds of animals will never be reunited with their owners not because they became separated but because there are some irresponsible shelters who never posted them at Petfinder's Animal Emergency Response Network, or tried to find the owners, as was their obligation to do when taking animals out of the state.

There were a lot of heroes in Katrina's wake and there were also some villains. In my opinion those that sheltered animals but abrogated their responsibility by obstructing the reuniting of pets with their loving owners are villains and damage the credibility of charitable organizations everywhere.

Anita said...

1) Goldie was ALREADY rescued and residing at a temporary shelter in Louisiana when the Humane Society of Central Ill took her and other pets back to Bloomington.

2) She was NOT abandoned.

3) I never said the Humane Soc. was a "villain." I simply posted some of the quotes made by their lawyer which speak volumes.

What part of the story do you not comprehend? Deborah and thousands of others left their pets behind because a)they could not get back to them, b) or were forced (sometimes at gunpoint) to evacuate without them, 3) or those going to shelters knew in advance that pets were not allowed so left them with plenty of food and water.

And in case you missed this small detail...after the hurricane the levees broke and entire communities flooded and were destroyed. NO ONE EXPCTED OR PLANNED FOR THIS UNFORSEEN EVENT. None of the people who searched and fought for the return of their pets would ever, in a million years, have left them behind if they knew what was about to happen. And most all of those pets would have been just fine if there had been ONLY a hurricane without the devastating flood.

Brinah, do you live in central Illinois? If so, then do tell when you last experienced a hurricane? I'm guessing....never.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what ever happened to the little white dog that had to be left behind by his owners when they were boarding the Rescue Bus? Video shown on PBS -Nature: Katrina Animal Rescue?