David arrives home but continues work - October 1
Posted by David Meyer
I arrived home to San Francisco late last night. It was a long day of travel, capped off by having to have my brother drive me back to the airport in Oakland, where I originally left from and where my car was still parked. It was very hard to get away and everyone is concerned about what will happen to the structures I helped set up, but Jane Garrison and I are in close contact. Even after being home for just a few hours, it is becoming apparent to me that I’ll actually be better able to coordinate things from here right now, without all the craziness and pandemonium on the ground there. I can really focus and stay on task.
I brought with me a black cat I rescued who is in fairly good health. I will foster her and, hopefully, she’ll get reunited with her owner. Unfortunately, the whole system of processing pets is honestly a nightmare, and doesn’t always work in the best interests of owners who want to find their pets. The system of entering pets into the database on Petfinder.com is a good idea, but apparently it is not working the way everybody hoped it would, as many owners go to Gonzales and are told that their pets have been shipped to a humane society somewhere, but there is no further tracking information given. It is such a sad situation. I have personally received two phone calls from frantic owners about just that in the last few hours. I really hope the system works to unite my little black kitty with her owner.
Lamar Dixon is shutting down in an inexcusably fast manner. I am avoiding placing blame and recrimination in these updates because I know everyone, from HSUS to Petfinder to me and everybody I met is doing their best and means well. But we are scrambling to find new locations to take the pets we are continuing to rescue. The facility said they would take only critical cases for one more week, but now they have said they won’t even do that. I have tried to express that a while their definition of “critical” is pet in critical health and near death, in reality, a pet left in a destroyed city who has not eaten or been seen by a vet for a month, with no knowledge of when or if their owner will ever return, is in just as critical a situation. You might be in good health, but if you are on a train track in front of a speeding train, you are in a critical situation. So all pets must be evacuated and placed somewhere safe and tracked so their owners can find them.
I have attached (above right, click to see the full image) an example of the database and mapping system Dorothy from dogdetective.com, the folks at Mapquest, and I set up so you can see how we direct our people in the field to the places where people left their pets behind. These addresses were given by people who called into the HSUS hotline to request immediate rescue of pets they had to leave when they evacuated the city. Organizing this database into a workable format should have been done day ONE of the crisis, and so many people are so angry it wasn't. Miraculously, we are still finding some pets still trapped, but alive. Many others have drowned or have simply starved to death due to the time it took for rescuers to find them. It is horrible, just horrible and no words can describe what I and our team of people there have witnessed and experience. No words.