Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Real Discrimination Story of Hurricane Katrine

Canine, Feline, Avian, Equine, Bovian, etc. discrimation exposed!!!

Hey, I read it in the New York Times!

I know my mom would never, ever abandon any of us doggies even if the earthquake from hell swallowed up all of San Jose. She'd even protect those luscious felines and the screechy birds too.

Dogs Are People, Too
Published: September 11, 2005

New York Times

FROM the discussion board came the 12-exclamation-point alarm: "OMG !! ... I just heard on the NEWS there may be 50,000 animals LEFT BEHIND!!!!!!!!!!"

As reactions to the Katrina rescue efforts have been divided along lines of class, race and political party, they have also highlighted another schism: between dog haves and dog have-nots. Animal owners around the country have responded with outpourings of sympathy, hurt and outrage: How could rescue workers have barred pets from helicopters and shelters?

Forum: Hurricane Katrina

"There's been a lot of talk about this at the dog run," said Carol Vinzant, who brings her shepherd mix Jolly to the dog run in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan. "They're forcing these dog owners to abandon their dogs, which in ordinary times is a crime itself. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people died because they did the right thing and stayed with their dogs."
Jo Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the agency had already received more than $5.25 million for rescue efforts, along with shipments of food, blankets and other animal supplies.

Such animal generosity is nothing new. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, the A.S.P.C.A.'s New York branch received so many supplies that it had to stop taking donations.

Last week, as teams of rescuers combed through New Orleans on separate missions - one group taking people without animals, the other taking animals without people - many residents were still refusing to leave without their pets.

"When we all re-evaluate this event, it may make us rethink the way we do human rescue," Ms. Sullivan said.

For Elizabeth Finch, the owner of two dogs named Zorra and Hans Blix, the sight of citizens forced to choose between their pets and their safety was, like the disaster itself, indicative of broader social rifts. "Not to equate people with animals," she said, "but this fits into a bigger model of discrimination."

John Amis/Associated Press
Valerie Bennett, of Slidell, La., reunited with Lady in Atlanta.


At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Rebecca Young barked...

Just today I spoke with a survivor of Hurricane Katrina who had to leave his pets behind. He was given the "choice" of being evacuated with his injured human partner, or staying behind with his animals. He, too, was injured - and is now desperate to get back to his (destroyed) home, after two weeks of hospital stay and recovery a state away, to see if he can find and finally rescue his pets. It is devastating, and so cruel, that people are forced to abandon their companion animals.


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