Hurricane Katrina and the animals
There's been so much news about hurricane Katrina and one of the big stories is about the animals involved. The last few days, the news have been focusing largely on the animals. I was speaking to the ACA people and they mentioned that in one shelter, they evacuated but left the animals - the animals on the lower levels all drowned, the rest treaded water till they were saved.
The man who gave the keynote address at the conference runs a radio programme and has been speaking to Katrina survivors. He mentioned speaking to quite a few people who didn't leave because they couldn't take their animals. One lady refused to go because she didn't have enough money to drive away and all the hotels that took animals were full. She said when she got to the pickup point - almost everyone was holding animals. She waited there for hours, and many people said they couldn't leave because they had animals they couldn't bear to leave behind. She said that they were all loaded on a bus, and these people had lost everything, but everyone was calm until they mentioned that they would be separated from their animals. She said at this point, people started crying, from kids to adults. When they got to the shelter, the woman who ran in, encouraged them to take their animals in, and the woman with her animals said she realised the shelter was neat, people were respectful and responsible and everyone there was taking comfort in their animals and talking to them.
The man who told us this story ended off by saying that five years ago, there would not be so much coverage about animals - people would be saying it was insensitive to talk about animals when people were involved, but he made an excellent point. To many people, these aren't 'just animals' - he said these were family and I totally agree.
Look at the little boy who was separated from his dog at the Superdome - he was so upset, he cried until he vomitted. People all over the country looked for the dog - and now they've found it. Everyone loves a happy ending.