Hurricane Katrina

Dec 23 2006
We Are Rescue

By Kathie Sullivan-Parkes
Until you have held a tiny puppy in your arms as he kissed your face with slobbery breath and felt love… Until you have held an injured or severely ill dog in your arms and felt their pain… Until you have looked into the eyes of a tired aging dog and felt their wisdom…

You will never understand the life of a rescuer. We find beauty in the most incomprehensible places and otherwise homely faces. It is our gift to see beyond the dirt, terror, sadness and defeat and find the true soul that lies within. We Are Rescue.

Prayers For Animals

Twas The Night Before Xmas
A New Orleans Prayer By Dave F.  ~  Metairie, LA 12/23/05

'Twas the night before Christmas, let me give you the scoop.
Not a creature was stirring, cause they all fled the coop.
No G-Ma in Lakeview, no Joe in Chalmette,
No Towanda on St. Claude, no one's heard from her yet.

No Boudreaux in Waveland, no Jacque in Grand Isle
No Jean in Slidell, man that girl makes me smile.
The place it was emptied by Katrina's great tide.
They all headed north, now they're spread far and wide.
As I sat there alone, I wondered out loud,
What Christmas would bring without the usual crowd.
And I questioned how Santa would find all my friends,
Now they're gone cross the country from beginning to end.

So I sat at my desk, which was no more than a book.
Cause all of my stuff damn Katrina done took.
And I wrote me a letter, crafted with care,
Made my list for St. Nick, a New Orleans prayer.

I start, "Pere Noel, you know times are hard,
And I guess fun and laughter, well they're not in my cards.
But I have a few favors to ask on this night,
And perhaps you can help before morning's first light.
I ask for good weather, so all of these crews
Can give lights to the city, before this year's through.
Bring water and gas to all of the houses.
And Rite-Aide, and Popeye's, and Frost Stop and Rouse's.

And for all of those businesses, once doing fine,
A shopper or two, and a "We're Open" sign.
And the schools sitting empty, now void of all noise,
A teacher or two and some girls and some boys.
For those who lost loved ones, I ask that they find
Some love in their hearts and some peace in their mind.
And for those who were lost who had no one to cry,
Family in heaven to sit by their side.

To the four legged creatures, and the ones who have wings,
A backyard to run in…a big cage with a swing.
For the people who found them, and fed them, I pray
That their own little companions never wander or stray.

For the young men and women who protected our streets,
Who gave ice and gave water, and something to eat.
May the heavens look down and see all that you've done.
And bless you and your families for lifetimes to come.

And as long as I'm asking these favors of you,
There is one more thing that I wish you would do.
In the Dome let the Saints win just one more game,
While those two words, New Orleans, are still in front of their name.

But mostly the reason I'm writing today,
Is for something we both know won't fit on your sleigh.
For all of the people who wander and roam,
For the New Orleans natives from Houston to Nome.
A place to come back to, with family and friends.
The knowledge that soon their long journey will end.
For all of those people in shelters and trailers,
A place to call home, oh, and no levee failures.

So when you head South on your sleigh ride tonight,
You'll find very few people, and fewer bright lights.
But the spirit is here, sent back home from afar.
Merry Christmas New Orleans, wherever you are.
On Christmas Morning I Wish
Lilla and Neal Whitehead  ~  12/2006

For each dog rummaging trash: A filled bowl with his name in bright letters.

For every dog who slept fitfully, chained in a frozen yard: A soft, warm bed with a person snoring gently nearby.

For every shelter dog spending Christmas morning in a soiled run: A forever home filled with sounds and smells of family.

For each "Christmas puppy" given today: A tolerant, caring human who won't abandon you as you grow into a real dog.

For every ailing pet: Money for your person to pay the bills to make you well.
For every lost dog: A clear, safe road, and well-marked path to lead you home.
For every old and tired friend: A warm fire and soft bed to ease your pain.

And For every Heart Dog at the Bridge: A moment when you know that today you are remembered, missed, and loved forever.
A Christmas Goodbye
Pam Leavy,  ~  12/2006

'Twas the night before Christmas
And the shelter is dark,
The whole place is silent, Not even a bark.
The dogs are all locked in their pens for the night,
The staff has gone home and turned out the light.

As I lay my head down on the cold concrete floor,
I fondly recall my home from before.
The family I loved, who loved me right back,
We'd share everything — from secret to snack.
Things couldn't be better this time last year.
But that has all changed and now I am here.

I won't see the tree, the lights, or the snow,
I'm scared and alone, my spirits are low.
The others like me weren't put up for adoption,
A new family and home, for us isn't an option.
We've been locked up in cells as if we were crooks,
We don't deserve homes because of our looks.
Not Diesel, or Bingo, or the young one named Percy,
Deserve to be loved nor shown any mercy.

While families celebrate holiday cheer,
I know in my heart that my end is near.
The vet will arrive, the lights will go on,
By the time you awake, we all will be gone.
A stranger will come and take me away,
I'll never wake to see another day.
As I close my eyes I'll shed you a tear,
The fondest of memories I'll always keep near.

The only thing I've ever asked of Santa Claus,
Is to stop all these unfair and ridiculous laws.
You said without me, your life was not full,
So why does it matter that I'm a "pit bull"?

In my dream Santa shouts when he's finished his deed,
Merry Christmas to all, regardless of breed!
Never Walk Alone │ Sep-Oct 2005
I Want To Live │ Oct-Nov 2005
Somebody's Praying │ Dec 2005
Still Forgotten │ Jul-Sep 2006 Troubled Waters │ Oct-Dec 2006 Not Too Far │ Jun 2007
Thanks for feeding my cat, I have him now 271x210
This pup walks on the ground for the first time in weeks since rescued after Hurricane Katrina 271x210

At What Point Do We Stop?

12/2006, Pam Leavy  ~  Sometimes criticized and questioned about my continued involvement with New Orleans animal relief, I again feel it necessary to explain why we provide life for these animals. Before Katrina, feral colonies naturally formed around food sources — restaurants, dumpsters, business where staff fed strays. Also, volunteers fed controlled feral colonies, but the colonies were concentrated to target areas instead of spread throughout an entire city.

Katrina not only dismantled the colonies, killing thousands of ferals and strays, as well as house pets, but Katrina also destroyed their food sources, leaving sludge, dirt, and mold/mildew. In addition, the storm tossed household pets into a frightening environment in which even the most experienced feral animal would have great difficulty surviving. While rescues continued for several months after the storm, resulting in many happy reunions, we fed those who remained on the street. We fed pets and ferals alike. We saved the lives of family pets who would be dead by starvation had we not intervened.

My most memorable letters are from animal guardians thanking feeders for keeping their pets alive. At what point do we stop? I have no idea. I'd love for the critics to walk in my shoes, to see these animals waiting for me, sitting at empty feeding pans, or hiding in bushes and debris, waiting for me to walk away. Heart wrenching! Why would feeders volunteer to do this if it were not necessary? I can think of a hundred other things I'd rather do than drive to N.O. and spend hours filling F/W stations in the extreme heat, pouring rain, freezing temperatures, dense fog, crawling under houses and over debris, in mud… But on the other hand, I can't think of a thing I rather do than provide a life source for these innocent animals who have no one else.

To walk away now would mean certain death for most of them — hey guys, this disaster could have happened to any of us (terrorism, chemical/hazardous substance accidents, tornadoes, etc.) We could be banned from reaching our homes and our pets in a sudden disaster with no time for an organized evacuation. Maybe we weren't home when disaster hit. Our own animals could get tossed out on the streets. I'd hope someone would be looking after them as we are now.

Stanley A Year Later  ~  Love, Mom

Stanley, July 2 1991 - Dec 27 2005
Inspiration for Kinship Circle

At 7:20pm his last breath was drawn. Stanley was no more.

For three years Stan fought kidney disease with unparalleled stamina. He swam in the Black River. Saw the Grand Canyon. Gambled in Vegas. He schmoozed at AR2005 in Los Angeles. He lived stubbornly, confidently, loved beyond reason. I sang to him as he died. Stanley was the greatest dog in the world.

Silent Night
Holy Night
All is still
Gone is light
Stanley Schmanley
My shadow, my smile
StanBear, Nanners
So precious, my child
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep with the angels, my Stan

Stanley, my man
Little Napoleon
Waddling down the street
King of your own fleet
Snarl-tooth Lhasa,
My underbite boy
Stanna Banana, my reason for joy
Kiss my Tikvah, dear Stanley
Play among Angels, my Stan

How will I exist
Without your sloppy kiss?
Intense little man,
Your head between my hands
Look to me Stanley,
Just one more deep stare
Growl, bark, see me…
Through sun, trees and air
Mama's Boy you are forever.
Good night Stanley Schmanley,
My love.

An Awakening
The unceremonious moment occurred in my living room as I watched HBO's To Love Or Kill: Man Versus Animal. During the documentary's "kill" part, my world stopped. I clung to my Lhasa Apsa, Stanley, and my orange tabby, Tikvah. For some reason, I looked into Stanley's eyes for an answer. What I found was a soul, endless and deep. All the pain, joy, courage and stamina of the animal kingdom spoke to me through this little creature's eyes. That night, long forgotten cries crushed my indifference. Billions of nameless deaths stood before me. I was awake. Alive. My life would never be the same. ~ Brenda Shoss

Xmas in New Orleans by dog artist Larry 248x270

A Katrina Dog Paints

New Orleans Xmas, By Dog-Artist Larry
Charity Auction For Great Dane Rescue  ~  Christmas in New Orleans was painted by dog-artist Larry, a Cocker mix rescued from New Orleans ruins after Hurricane Katrina. This gorgeous original piece arrives already matted and framed. It is ready to proudly display in your collection. Larry paints with his paws as he pauses to reflect upon what he survived. This beautiful original work in shades of blue, yellow, and bright pink, is reminiscent of Spanish Surrealist Joan Miro's work.

Bucktown Trappers

12/18/06, Reply To: Linda Watrous, 504-220-0247  ~  An elderly lady in Bucktown (NOLA) feeds many un-neutered cats on her property and needs help. She lives in a FEMA trailer 3 doors down from 1351 Seminole Street. Cats should be fairly easy to trap.
Mama's boy you are forever, Good night Stanley Schmanely my love 323x900 Saved after Katrina, a family of fishes need homes 323x218

Homes? Katrina Rescue Fishes

12/8/06 Baton Rouge, Pam Leavy  ~  In 15 months of NOLA animal relief, I've helped more than the furry. Specifically: Fish, lots of them. My home has 5 big tanks to house them, including aggressive Texas Chichlids in solo tanks. About 4 months post-Katrina, we saved 3 Cichlids from a tank where all others had perished. Two relieved survivors then had about 200 babies! At first, parent fishes nurtured their eggs and babies. Then the male (distraught over lack of family planning?) attacked the female. I successfully placed him elsewhere, but single-mom fish now chases her babies.

I must move her immediately and want to assure she gets a good home. Can you, or any family/friends, care for a Katrina-rescue Cichlid? Mama fish is large and requires a minimum 45-gallon aquarium by herself. Please consider adopting the mom and/or a baby or two! Contact: Pam Leavy,

Shreveport, LA

Building A No-Kill Community
Seminar By Nathan Winograd, free to public

  • 1/18/06  ~  6:30pm
    Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
    3015 Greenwood Road  /  Shreveport, Louisiana

  • To Register, Email Or Call:
    humanealternative, 949-276-6942

How do you build a no kill community? How do you protect feral cats? Pay for it all? What about those big black dogs, shy cats and other "compromised" animals with adoption obstacles? Get practical answers to end the killing and find homes for animals considered unadoptable. Not in five or ten years, but now. Animals deserve protection today!

Make A Meaningful Year End Donation For Animals

Please donate now, so Kinship Circle can not only feed animals while in NOLA, but also give funds/food to Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), plus Katrina animal recovery efforts in Lakeview and Plaquemines.

Kinship Circle will service (many long unused) food/water stations and document animals sighted in the East/West sections of Upper 9th Ward, Lakeview, Plaquemines…

Landscapes have changed since Katrina. Even as some areas rebuild (residents often want feeding to stop) others have seen little recovery. Animal survivors and their offspring tend to roam near former homes. Reunions are still possible via documentation on feeding routes.

While in NOLA, we'll also help out at Animal Rescue New Orleans, plus transport animals for out-state adoptions. Please donate for the continued care of Katrina animal victims. Their suffering is not over. Thank you! Kinship Circle

Caring about animals doesn't diminish human suffering. It makes us human.


    Kinship Circle
    Animal Disaster Aid Fund
    7380 Kingsbury Blvd
    Saint Louis, MO 63130

    Kinship Circle is a nonprofit.
    Donations are tax-deductible.
Lakeview cats need a safe place to go, a second chance 661x350
Homeless animals, an estimated 200 cats, still roam Lakeview, New Orleans 250x383 Jeanette Althans: I first spotted this black-white cat Nov 2005. I just saw the cat again! I will never forget him or what Lakeview feeder Rebbie Levingston said: "This cat is my inspiration." Last Nov, signs of life were rare. Foster or adopt Katrina traumatized cats 250x369 We face more obstacles than ever before.
  1. People are back and don't want us to feed.
  2. Lakeview raccoons polish off food at night.
  3. F/W site homes are torn down.

Katrina Casualties Of Lakeview

Homeless animals, including an estimated 200 cats, still roam Lakeview since Katrina ravaged this part of New Orleans in August 2005. Animals have struggled to live since levees broke. Many were much-loved family members. A handful of volunteers continue to oversee food/water stations, trapping, sterilization, veterinary aid and long-term shelter. This system is constantly challenged by lack of money, kitten birth surges, dog packs that prey upon cats, and countless more obstacles.

"I had no idea that looking for my Lakeview sister's cat in Sept 2005 would evolve into this massive task," Kathy Sweeney says. "Each night, I went into the dark deserted streets alone and all I could see were the eyes of cats shining back in my headlights. I have not stopped since then and it looks as if this could continue for years."

To Lend Lakeview A Hand, Contact:
Kathy Sweeney, 504-343-3683
Jeanette Althans, 504-430-6477

Critical Needs
Dry Cat And Dog Food: Urgent need for ongoing food source that keeps animals alive.

Safe Transport: Immediate need for animal transport vehicles and funding. The more animals who leave for shelters/adopters, the more we can save during this dangerous time of large-scale demolition.

Nonprofit Writer, Grant Experience: An individual or organization to help draft submissions for 501c3 status and grant funding. ARNO needs to submit a comprehensive plan to remove unaltered cats from the streets (trap/neuter/return) to acquire donations from pet food companies. Can you you help?

Creative Fundraising Ideas: A donation box at your holiday party or other events?

Foster And Forever Homes
  • Foster friendly adult cats who survived Katrina, while we search for their guardians.
  • Foster/adopt traumatized cats, formerly family companions. With stability, they can be re-socialized.
  • Foster/adopt kittens from 2 to 8 months, who need gentle attention until they adjust.

Lakeview Residents: Contact Us If…
  • You can manage a neighborhood or home feeding station. To ensure cats are fed regularly, we ask residents to assist with our food/water program.
  • You recognize your own or a friend/neighbor's cat.
  • You can foster/adopt.

A Clue? A Lead? To Bring Them Home

Remote Reunion Campaign
Valerie Sharma,  /  Halle Amick,
  • Missing: Some are still missing, possibly relocated with unknown individuals or groups.
  • Lost In System: Some, confirmed as rescued, are now lost in the system.
  • Found: Some are found, waiting in foster for a familiar face and voice.
    (Animals below originally listed on

looking for tips to lead to return of missing Milo 380x324 Milo
If you have Milo or any tips that might lead to his return, email:
contact Sebastian's family if you know where he is 380x324 Sebastian
Contact Karen Karbach: 435-577-2092,
Or Sebastion's family: Freddie,
searching since Katrina, have you seen Precious? 380x324 Precious
Contact Karen Karbach: 435-577-2092,
Or Precious' family: Freddie,
searching since Katrina, where is Chi Chi? 380x324 Chi Chi
Contact Deb Nelson, 651-462-0247
spraypaint marks indicate a black white cat is fed at this Katrina vacated home 320x222
While I was ARNO's Food/Water Assignments Director, we had many photos like this one: Animals seen at f/w stations or pics sent by evacuees searching for animals. Location coordinates were stored because any animal seen alive (or never confirmed dead) held hope for reunion. Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle

Cheryl's original plea to Jane Garrison, cofounder of Animal Rescue New Orleans:
From: Cheryl Ferrell,
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Please look at attachments to see Oreo, left in house on Maid Marian Drive in Sherwood Subdivision across from Sherwood elementary school. I appreciate your help or referrals… My dad, in the area to assess damage, did not see him. The address is 4828 Maid Marian Drive…

Oreo Is Home, 15 Months After Katrina

12/6/06, Kim Johnson  ~  An early volunteer with original ARNO has been reunited with her cat Oreo! Cheryl was caregiver for food/water Section J last winter. She helped with data entry, tracking and vital feeder support for that area. But she'd also been a resident of Section E (New Orleans East) before Katrina hit.

Cheryl, a nurse, evacuated with her children. Her husband, a New Orleans police officer, stayed behind to work and care for the family's animals. Like most, they assumed a bad wind storm would blow over, with everyone back home in 24-48 hours. Cheryl's husband was at work in another city when the levees broke. He could not reach their home to save the animals. He made several attempts to get home, but the city was chaos: boats were scarce, distances great, danger everywhere. Tragically, one of their two Labradors drowned. The other survived standing atop a narrow windowsill ledge in the laundry room until boat rescuers found him 4 days later. Can you imagine a Lab standing on a windowsill inside a laundry room for 4 days?

Their cat, a neutered male tuxedo named Oreo, was never found. He was presumed to have survived, but no one knew for sure. Black and white cats were commonly sighted around the neighborhood. Some may remember the map I created (based on original-ARNO animal sighting reports for Jan-Feb 2006) to help Cheryl look for Oreo.

When Cheryl's grandfather got back to New Orleans, she gave him that map to search the area. A food/water station was set up at their house. Trappers were sent to locations where black-white cats had been sighted, but Oreo was never recovered.

Out of the blue, I got an email from Cheryl: "ARNO, Stealth Volunteers, and all who hoped and prayed, thank you. Oreo was found Thanksgiving (yes, last week). Someone saw him after bulldozers flushed out a lot of cats and thought he was Oreo's kitten (Oreo is neutered) because he was so emaciated (and they thought the short tail was hereditary not an old injury, so they didn't mention it) — until they saw us still placing food and calling for Oreo."

"Long story short, we finally saw Oreo and got him! Oreo and others would have died without y'alls tireless efforts and long shifts, done purely from love. Truly, Cheryl Ferrell, family and Oreo!" Oreo has been rescued and reunited with his family 15 months later!
Gruesome Pet Slayings Alleged
12/4/06 New Orleans City Business, By Richard A. Webster   ~  "It was a massacre," said Mark Steinway, co-founder of Pasado's Safe Haven, an animal welfare refuge in Sultan, Wash. "Dogs were shot in the hindquarters, shot in the gut, shot in the feet, in the mouth. It was very, very gruesome."

On 10/2/06, New Orleans attorney Elaine Comiskey filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of more than 15 plaintiffs seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the wrongful destruction of their pets. Nearly 20 St. Bernard Parish sheriff's deputies stand accused.

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti Jr. is conducting a separate investigation. Under Louisiana law animal cruelty is considered a felony. The maximum sentence for cruelly killing an animal is 10 years.

Cruelty investigator Mark Steinway says the bullet riddled carnage of animal family members in St Bernard schools is the worst he has ever seen 492x301
In all his years investigating animal cruelty cases, Steinway said he's never seen any that remotely approach what occurred in three St. Bernard Parish schools in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The bullet-riddled bodies of dozens of family pets littered tiled hallways, some allegedly executed after they had been leashed and tied by their [guardians].

Among the massacred was GiGi, an 8-lb, 7-year-old white toy poodle with red painted nails and a collar medallion of St. Francis Assisi, the patron saint of animals. GiGi's [guardian], Judy Migliori, brought the poodle to St. Bernard High School, a shelter of last resort, after floodwaters engulfed her Violet home. Later, police ushered her into a boat headed for higher ground.

Migliori clutched GiGi to her breast as she climbed onto the flat-bottom deck. A man with a hunting rifle pointed at the dog and said pets were not allowed. "I started crying and pleading and he said — I'll never forget this — he said, 'Ma'am, we can do it one of two ways: nicely or not nicely, and if need be I'll handcuff you.'" Migliori left Gigi behind after police assured her and the other [guardians] that their animals would be safe inside the school.

Weeks after the storm, reports circulated about the slaughter of dozens of pets in three St. Bernard schools — St. Bernard High School, Beauregard Middle School and Sebastien Roy Elementary School.

Steinway left the animal rescue shelter he established in Raceland post-hurricane to investigate. Nothing, he said, prepared him for what he saw inside those buildings. "There were bullets and shotgun shells everywhere, holes in the walls, floors," Steinway said. "It was obvious someone was just chasing these dogs around the school wildly shooting at them."

Among the animal carcasses was a small, white poodle with red-painted nails and a St. Francis of Assisi medallion. Gigi died of a gunshot to the head. "I had a little bag of food for her and a bottle of water I shared with her," said Migliori. "I'd pour the water in a cap and she would drink a little bit at a time. She was safe with me and I could have taken care of her. We loved her so much and she was murdered. I grieve for her every day."
St. Bernard Sheriff Mum
St. Bernard Sheriff's office declined comment on the lawsuit, expected to go to court early next year. A written statement qualified actions as done with the "utmost care, caution and necessity" in an emergency. St. Bernard deputies allegedly told Steinway they were under shoot-to-kill orders for dogs packing up and dangerous. Others were supposedly put out of their misery since they would most likely starve to death anyway.

Kelly Jenkins, founder of Metairie-based Pet Justice Project, said dogs found shot in schools — dachshunds, schnauzers, Pomeranians and miniature poodles — presented no danger of "packing up" and terrorizing the community. Based on carnage he saw inside schools, Steinway disputes officers' claims they killed animals to spare suffering. "There was no attempt to euthanize these animals," Steinway said. "It almost appeared to be target practice, an exercise that was fun for them."

Necropsies performed on the animals by the Louisiana State University Department of Veterinary Pathology showed gunshots to the chest, abdomen, spine and face, which did not indicate mercy killings, Steinway said.

Comiskey and Steinway said an uncooperative attorney general's office doubts the gravity of its investigation. "I've had a crash course in Louisiana politics," Steinway said. "I thought the AG's office was on our side, ready to vigorously pursue this. Nothing like that has happened. It has been squashed from day one." Office spokesperson Kris Wartelle said the investigation is proceeding and part of the case may soon go before a grand jury.

images from street and school animal massacres in post Katrina St Bernard Parish 492x300

Would It Have Been So Hard To Feed These Dogs?

Left: Judy Migliori with her dog GiGi before Katrina. Right: The toy poodle was later found in St. Bernard High School shot in the head. Pet Justice Project

12/4/06 Eric's Dog Blog  ~  Instead of helping people forced to leave animals behind by caring for these friendly dogs, they murdered them.

I traveled 1000+ miles to end up in St. Bernard Parish rescuing over 500 pets, returning many to desperate [guardians] in the days after Katrina. How hard would it have been to feed these companion animals? No other Parish saw the need to shoot dogs.

I saw this school, what a nightmare. All these people had to do was feed the dogs, not shoot them. Even 30-45 days after Katrina a dog was rarely dangerous.

What hell those dogs must have gone through in that killing hour, watching their people taken away in boats without them and then gunned down, one after the other. Things have to change in this country…

Kinship Circle: One questions the sanity of trained law enforcers intimidated by mostly dachshunds, schnauzers, Pomeranians, miniature poodles, a 2-yr-old lab… Scared, restrained dogs pose a "threat?" These officers require (at the least) psychological counseling, disarmament and job termination.

Arraignment: Street Slaughter Case
Pasado's Safe Haven  ~  We'll be in Baton Rouge, LA as St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Deputies Mike Minton and Chip Englande are arraigned on aggravated cruelty to animals. While the school massacre case is still under investigation by the Louisiana Attorney General's Office, the wheels of justice are in motion for the street case. Charles Foti Jr., Louisiana State Attorney General, announced the 2/14/06 hearing date. Pasado's Humane Investigator Mark Steinway will attend and we'll post photos of the "perp walk."

John Bozes holds Angel Girl and Bullet photo, family dogs shot dead in St Bernard school massacre 267x400
John Bozes, a plaintiff in the civil lawsuit against St. Bernard Sheriff's deputies, holds a photo his black Labrador puppy Angel Girl, shot inside a school.
Angel Girl, Bullet and others were shot execution style by law officers 267x306
In Bozes' photo, his niece is with Angel Girl and her Husky-mix, Bullet. Bullet was also found dead on a school floor littered with milk bones and bullet shells. In the only related justice to emerge for Angel Girl, Bullet, Honey, GiGi and others, lawmakers passed SB-607 in 2006, Louisiana's first-ever Pet Evacuation Law.
Other Animal Killings
Not all alleged pet killings took place in school shelters. According to the lawsuit, on Sept. 7, 2005 an unidentified St. Bernard deputy removed a plaintiff and her daughter from their homes at gunpoint. The plaintiff allegedly remains anonymous for fear of reprisals from the sheriff's department.

The report states the plaintiff went inside her house to retrieve personal belongings, leaving her dog Hooch with deputies outside. She then heard two gunshots. "Her dog, Hooch, entered the house and ran upstairs," claims the report. "Blood splatter covered his body and half his face was shot off. Plaintiff clearly recalls her final moments with Hooch, in which he seemed to be saying goodbye. His agony was real."

Neither Comiskey nor Jenkins believes plaintiffs will get cash settlements. The lawsuit's purpose is to bring alleged perpetrators to justice and legally redefine domesticated animals as more than property. "In the eyes of the law there's not much difference between your pet and a mailbox," Jenkins said.

Marilyn David, an adjunct professor at Tulane University Law School, teaches animal law for the first time next semester. It is important to update laws that are often hundreds of years old, David said. "This isn't a push for animal rights. It's a push to protect animal welfare and to recognize that your aunt's Chihuahua is worth more than a chair. It's a reflection of our culture and how we treat our animals."

St. Bernard resident John Bozes said he will never forget the day he returned to Beauregard Middle School to retrieve the remains of Angel Girl, his 2-year-old black Labrador retriever. "When we walked into the school, we could smell the death in there," Bozes said. "We went to Room 203 and we found the dogs. They were all shot. I knelt in Angel Girl's blood. I still have nightmares about it."

CNN Story Of Survival And Reunion

12/2006 CNN iReport  ~  Sixteen months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, many of the 8,000 rescued pets remain in shelters, their [guardians] unknown or unreachable. Rocky was one of those animals, until the work of dedicated people led to a heartwarming reunion. Rocky's remarkable odyssey first came to CNN from software company president, Eric Mirell. Conversations with rescue volunteer Christiane Biagi filled in details. They and a microchip all played a significant role this tale.

Rocky's journey began when his [guardian], Steven Cure, was forced to choose between saving his dog and saving his parents. He left Rocky behind in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The dog swam through floodwaters to a neighbor's house but the rescue boat that came wouldn't take animals and Rocky was left behind, again.

Rocky survived on MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, regularly thrown to stray animals by National Guard troops patrolling the area. [Kinship Circle Note: Bless those National Guard troops, unsung heroes who saved, fed and transported animals in Plaquemines, St. Bernard and elsewhere.]

Somehow, Rocky eventually ended up in a triage-staging area for rescues in Tylertown, Mississippi. BF1271 was his list number on a special section set up for Katrina rescues. Under normal circumstances, Rocky's implanted microchip would facilitate finding his person. But Katrina flooding destroyed many animal records. This made the microchip meaningless, for awhile.

Rocky stayed in Tylertown for months, but eventually wound up at Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, New York. Shelter director Pam Green and other staff fell hard for the Akita-boxer mix, but no one adopted him. Volunteer Christiane Biagi says the only one at the shelter who didn't like Rocky was the resident cat, who took exception to being chased.

Biagi, part of KART (Katrina Animal Reunion Team) made it one of her many missions to track down Rocky's [guardian]. Biagi was in Contact with St. Bernard Parish Animal Control, where workers had spent months trying to dry out paper records extricated from the ruins. Rocky's records had once been here.

Eric Mirell's Island Business Group, a company that built the shelter's database, worked arduously to salvage information from flooded hard drives. Biagi gave Rocky's chip number to Mirell. On November 19, he hit paydirt — a name and phone number for Rocky's person.

While Rocky had moved from shelter to shelter, his [guardian], also displaced by Katrina, relocated to Memphis. Fortunately, Steven Cure kept the same cell phone number, so Biagi was able to reach him.

Biagi says Cure was "absolutely thrilled" to hear his dog was safe, but he had no way to get to New York. Using donated funds, Kent shelter arranged for Cure to fly up to get Rocky and take him home.

Cure says Rocky had always been a smart, healthy dog, and he "just knew he'd figure out a way to survive." Like many [guardians] separated from pets, Cure did not have Internet access and couldn't search for Rocky online. Now together in Memphis, Rocky goes almost everywhere with Cure and enjoys rides in his pickup.

While Rocky got a happy ending, Biagi and other volunteers still work tirelessly on more cases. Vivian, at the Kent shelter, is one of them. Unfortunately, Vivian had no tags or microchip, so finding her [guardian] may be impossible. Biagi says time is running out for many because shelters have begun to euthanize long-term residents. Katrina Animal Rescue Team can be reached at