David about to enter New Orleans after Hurricane Rita - September 25
It’s 5:15 am on Sunday, the first day we'll be back in New Orleans in force since Hurricane Rita. Unofficially, some groups were out rescuing pets yesterday, but HSUS wanted to let the weather pass so we did not send out teams yesterday. There is much conflict between the shelter staff here who want to limit the number of animals we bring in, and the rescue staff like myself who want to bring in as many pets as we can. I understand space limitations and other concerns, but I and Jane Garrison feel strongly about putting all our efforts into rescuing. If there are too many pets coming in, then the focus should be on stepping up output to other shelters around the country, not ceasing life-saving rescue operations. We are here to make a miracle happen and we can not accept a "no-can-do" attitude!
There are other unofficial makeshift shelter sites that can process animals more efficiently because they are flying under the radar, as it were, with local and state regulations. All I know is time is running out.
A fantastic woman named Dorothy who runs www.dogdetective.com has worked with the Mapquest folks to create an application which will let us “geo-sort” a huge list of people who called other organizations to say they had left their pets behind. We have only recently begun to use this list, as I didn’t know it existed until this week, and we are now saving pets that have had no contact for weeks. I’ve got to go direct the troops-we are now finally working under one command with all the Louisiana SPCA Animal Control staff. We have issued the word to clear every house of every pet and cease our previous attempts to feed pets and keep them in their homes.
One more thing...this is getting very expensive, so please donate to 1-800-Save-A-Pet.com. Otherwise, I fear we won’t be able to maintain our operations out here.