Saturday, October 08, 2005

David, back in Gonzales - October 8

Posted by David Meyer

Well, I'm back in Gonzales. Was up all night getting things here straightened out and back on track. Pia had it all on her shoulders and was dealing with so many crises that no human could have kept them all straight. With me back here, working as a team with Pia, the teams are now back on track, and within a day we'll be a well-oiled machine again.

Much less animal activity here since they shut down intake about a week ago and are trying to empty the facility by Monday. This was news to us because they had been saying they’d be open until next Saturday. The Prowler command center is still in full action with 50 dogs and cats being saved every day. My main concern now is to find places to temporarily house animals each day and arrange for transport to safe places around the country. I have been involved now in setting up several major shipments…and then came today's crisis.

The remaining dogs here in Gonzales are the ones that are least appealing to the rescues and humane societies that have helped foster pets. They are mostly pit bulls, not temperament tested, and some may be aggressive. There have been euthanizations here the last few nights, and Pia and I decided that we did not rescue animals who survived TWO hurricanes and a flood just to see them euthanized in a facility, possibly just because they appear aggressive because they’re scared. They need more time to be assessed, but this facility just does not have the time, which I understand. So we have worked with some amazing people and in a matter of hours, have arranged for a charter air shipment of no less than one hundred of these animals to LAX first thing Monday morning, and transport to a safe rescue facility that we are constructing this weekend! We create miracles.

This endeavor will take approximately $50,000 to set up and at least $8,000 a month to run, as pets are temperament tested, given vet care, and adopted out. These are the last of the pets at Gonzales-the last survivors-and we will NOT LEAVE THEM BEHIND.

It is very difficult for me to keeping typing because of all the people shouting at me, needing me to make decisions, and all the hustle and bustle here. I have set up new systems for communications with our teams in the field, now just thirty in number. Our volunteer strength has dropped at this critical time, and I hope I can help bring it all back up. This is the home stretch, with fewer and fewer animals being found alive, and the ones that are alive are walking skeletons-truly walking skeletons. I wish I ...

---OK, I was just interrupted. One of our rescue teams has rescued unweaned puppies, but not the mother. I am trying to determine where the mother has gone and I have told them to return to the home and find the mother! The puppies are already at our safe transport spot, ready to go on a transport truck to the local Best Friends temporary sanctuary, which, for the last several days, has been taking our rescues.

I wish I had a digital camera--mine broke on my first tour of duty. So much to see, so many stories to tell. I will try to get some photos e-mailed. The pets are so, so skinny, so forlorn. We need to work faster, harder, to sprint. This is our final week, perhaps. We will have to relocate our command center in less than a week, will have to wind things down. When can we stop? How many have we not yet found? We can't give up on them, can’t leave a single one behind!

5 Comments:

Blogger TortoiseAid Annie said...

Hi David,

This is Annie, I did search and rescue work...and cared for reptiles at Lamar Dixon...

I felt awful leaving LA..I was told I wasn't needed anymore because everything was shutting down...this was last Friday (October 1) so I got on a plane and headed back to California...

The rescued reptiles that are here are doing VERY well, considering what they've been through!!

Is Search/Rescue still being done? Are vet techs still needed? If so please contact me...maybe I can get back out there somehow. With Lamar closing, would need full details...my e-mail addy is at the bottom of this message.

Thanks for all you are doing...you've certainly earned your wings to heaven. :-)

Annie Lancaster
Director
TortoiseAid Int'l Inc.
tortoiseaid@tortoise-aid.org

4:27 PM  
Blogger Bronwyn said...

Hey, David-

You don't remember me, I'm sure, as I started working in the Prowler shortly after you left (I was doing SAR prior to that, and met you briefly then.) I just wanted to let you know that I'm so glad that you're back, and that you, Pia and Jane are three tremendous individuals for all the work you're doing. I wish I could come back! Please keep us updated.

Sincerely,
Bronwyn Simmons

5:29 PM  
Blogger MP said...

I am truly glad you are back helping animals. I hope all people involved save every last one.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Roy Naka said...

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6:13 AM  
Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane watch or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!

1:17 AM  

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