Animal Planet has started requesting donations to help those harmed by Hurricane Katrina ... but not for the hundreds of thousands of people, for the thousands of animals.
Those poor animals.
Thousands of animals have been killed by Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating storm to hit the United States in decades, while many others are in need of rescue, according to wildlife officials, animal shelters and humane organizations.
Wildlife officials in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — the three U.S. states hit hardest by the hurricane — believe thousands of wild, farm and companion animals have perished due to storm surging and flooding from Katrina's heavy rains ...
The Louisiana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told WDSU NewsChannel that anyone caught abandoning their pets "could be charged with cruelty to animals." (emphasis added)
The Humane Society of the United States has been asking for donations to fund a "massive relief effort to rescue animals and assist their caregivers in the disaster areas," according to their Web site.
Aside from the one "casualty" pictured in the set of photos on the site (See How Katrina Has Affected Animals), the animals look to be pretty well taken care of to me. The dolphin has his own swimming pool, the cat has more shelter than many of the people in New Orleans, and the dogs don't appear to be wading through the dirty water, unlike the people who are carrying them.
Dollars donated to help animals are dollars not going to help people.
Does the Louisiana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals really believe a government that has been unable to maintain any semblance of law and order in New Orleans is somehow going to be able to prosecute cases of animal cruelty? Loot all you want, but don't leave your pets home alone!
Interestingly enough, The Humane Society of the United States, claims that its "highly trained Disaster Animal Response Teams are heading to Mississippi to begin a multi-state animal rescue and recovery effort" and "38-foot Disaster Response Unit and other rescue vehicles affiliated with our teams are fully stocked and on their way." I wonder if FEMA is giving them permission to provide aid, or if they too are being turned away.
**September 05, 2005 10:42 AM**
According to The Humane Society website, "Our highly trained Disaster Animal Response Teams are in Louisiana and Mississippi coordinating a multi-state animal rescue and recovery effort. We're now in New Orleans and have rescued hundreds of animals in the hardest hit areas of Mississippi since Friday." (emphasis added)
Meanwhile, the Red Cross, as pointed out by Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek, is not assisting in the human rescue effort in New Orleans under orders from the National Guard.