Friday, September 02, 2005

Time to Step Up

The area devastated by Hurrican Katrina is over 90,000 square miles -- as large as all of the United Kingom, including England, Scotland and Wales.

As I write this, scored of thousands of people are still trapped behind disease-infested water. They are hungry, scared, thirsty and sick. They have been failed by poverty, stupidity, hubris, and several generations of Government, of which the current administrations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Washington are but the latest cringing and pathetic incarnations.

I will stay out of the politics, and try to keep it to people and dogs.

People first. Please do what you can. Send money, and do not be tight about it.

After you have sent cash, send letters to your local newspapers asking for a public accounting of past, current, and ongoing government failure.

If you have friends or family in the area, now is the time to step up and offer a room, cash assistance, or the loan of a car.

If you have a free moment, take time to send emails to corporations asking them to step up to the plate by offering free or low-cost construction materials, a few days free lodging, diapers, medicine, clothes, soap, food, storage, free kennel sections for pets, free camping gear, etc. Something's got to give, and if it's not us, who is it going to be?

If you are overseas, now is the time to give back something to America. We will not ask for it, but by God you should step up and give it, as no country has ridden in more often to save the bacon of poor people in other countries than the U.S. A million of America's most impoverished are now homeless, jobless. They are simply wiped out.

For those of you in the Southern U.S. that have kennels with room to spare, a lot of people with dogs are now trapped in their cars or in hotels without good alternatives for their animals. Again, now is the time to step up.

Veterinary technicians or veterinarians who would like to volunteer in the disaster area can do so through the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. To volunteer, contact Dr. David Senior, or by phone at 225-578-9551.

Here is more info from LSU's website:

Animal Evacuation and Recovery Plan for New Orleans
The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA), the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA), the Louisiana Animal Control Association (LACA), and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) are managing animal evacuations and recovery plans for New Orleans pets and displaced animals.

Pets Traveling With Owners

** Lafayette: The LVMA is currently accepting pets at the Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette, LSU in Shreveport, the Monroe Civic Center for small animals and the Ike Hamilton Center for large animals in Monroe, the Farmer’s Market in Alexandria, and the LSU Agriculture Center/Parker Coliseum in Baton Rouge. Owners must be housed in a Red Cross shelter; owners are responsible for caring for their animals, including feeding and cleaning. Animals will be accepted 24 hours a day. Veterinarians will be on hand to handle any medical needs.

** Baton Rouge: While owners are responsible for the feeding and cleaning of their pets at the Parker Coliseum in Baton Rouge, the SVM, along with volunteers from the Baton Rouge Veterinary Medical Association, will provide veterinary care. If for some reason, an owner is unable to care for a pet sheltered in the Parker Coliseum (e.g., the owner is housed in a special needs shelter), SVM student volunteers will provide primary care, such as feeding and cleaning. The East Baton Rouge Animal Control Center will be taking stray animals. The Parker Coliseum will be staffed 24 hours a day by a supervising veterinarian and student volunteers from the School of Veterinary Medicine. Pets in the Coliseum will be given physical exams and Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccinations. If a pet requires medical attention and veterinary monitoring, it will be sent to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Financial donations are being accepted to fund the animals’ care through the Dr. Walter J. Ernst, Jr. Veterinary Memorial Foundation at the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association at 1-800-524-2996. Make checks payable to the LVMA Dr. Walter J. Ernst Veterinary Memorial Foundation (write Disaster Relief Fund on the memo line) and send to the LVMA, 8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 1001, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. They will be able to use these funds quickly.

A regional donation center is being established. Needs include: large air kennels and metal cages, leashes, disposable bowls, canned cat and dog food, disposable litter pans, spray bleach, paper towels, sheets, towels, locks, hoses, bottled water, trash cans, trash bags, pooper scoopers, cat litter, extension cords, fans. The most urgent needs are kennels and monetary donations. For more information or to make donations of the materials listed above, please call the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine at 225-578-9900 ( or the LVMA at 1-800-524-2996 (