Hurricane Katrina

Kinship Circle volunteer Marni Reeder unloads animal supplies for residents in Upper 9th Ward West, New Orleans 315x355

Kitten Fosters Needed

2/4/07, Reply To: Ramona Billot  ~  Help! If you can foster kittens or know anyone who can, please let me know ASAP. Kittens are everywhere. I need someone to foster them from a few days to weeks at a time, and help socialize them until space opens at PAWS, our only no-kill shelter/rescue in Plaquemines Parish. PAWS is full. I have kittens who need a safe place until transfer to PAWS for adoption. When PAWS is full, kittens are killed at Plaquemines Pound. Can you save even one precious life?

Hurricane Barkus Queen

2/2/07, Debbie  ~  Meredith Maclanahan rescued Luna Biscuit and Chris Rose adopted her. Luna typifies death-row shelter dogs across the South, a medium-large retriever mix with lots of energy. Luna got out just in time, after several hold-overs. She never received even a passing glance from anyone who visited the shelter. Chris, a Times Picayune columnist and author of One Dead in the Attic, will be King of Krewe du Vieux. We're very proud of Biscuit and Chris!

Chris writes: My dog, Biscuit, has been selected as Queen of Barkus by the esteemed canine Carnival organization that holds its 15th annual parade Feb 11. I love that even our pets are part of this city's bizarre preoccupation with faux-royalty, one of many cultural quirks that make life here unlike anywhere else. Barkus royalty requirements are clear: You have to be a rescue dog. Biscuit was abandoned in post-Rita Acadiana and pulled from a euthanasia line at Roicy Duhon Animal Control in Lafayette. She's lucky to be alive, let alone a queen. "She has a look we like in our queen," Barkus VP Charlotte Bass Lilly told me. The look is that of a mixed-breed yellow mutt, enhanced by a case of heterochromia, one brown eye and one blue.

Kinship Circle Departs For Animal Aid In
Post-Katrina New Orleans Region

◄ In left photo, volunteer Marni Reeder distributes animal supplies to residents in Upper 9th Ward West as part of a Kinship Circle aid team in NOLA.

Thanks to your generosity, we're headed to New Orleans stocked to the ceiling with food, and money to buy more for our NOLA feeding effort. Food also goes to Animal Rescue New Orleans and Lakeview animals, along with a monetary gifts.

Special thanks to The Cat Network and Stray Rescue St. Louis for donating food. Double thanks to Felines Forever for giving Katrina kitties forever homes and raising funds for our trip. We are very grateful to these nonprofit groups!

A Kinship Circle team will be in the Upper 9th Ward East and West, Plaquemines Parish, Lakeview, St. Bernard's Parish… to service (many long unused) food/water stations and document/photograph animals.

In pre-trip prep with ARNO, Traci Kestler, Kathy Sweeney (Lakeview), and Ramona Billot (Plaquemines), we focused on a need to streamline and update food/water programs. Kinship Circle will also help out at ARNO and transport about 15 cats from NOLA to St. Louis for new adoptive homes.
An emaciated pit bull unable to stand was euthanized the same day humane officers rescued him 447x230
This weak, emaciated pit bull, unable to stand after rescued by humane officers, also had puncture wounds. He was euthanized later that day. The dog's abuser has since been sentenced for one count animal cruelty. Photos: LA-SPCA

New Orleans Animal Abuse

LA-SPCA, Report Animal Cruelty: 504-368-5191, ext. 100

2/6/07, Laura Maloney  ~  Jamerson Jones (1826 Touro St, New Orleans) was convicted on 1 animal cruelty count related to an 8/5/05 arrest when LA-SPCA humane officers saw Johnson walking a severely emaciated pit bull.

Jones may not "own," care for or control any animal, including domestic fowl, during his sentence period. In 8/05, Jones was charged with 3 animal cruelty counts. This conviction is a 1-count animal cruelty misdemeanor, with 40 hours community service, 90 days suspended jail time, 1-year inactive probation and $150 fine plus court costs.

Kathryn Destreza, LA-SPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement, applauded the ruling and recognition that animal cruelty is a serious crime.

"Animal cruelty convictions are hard won battles and acts of cruelty, especially intentional cruelty such as what we saw in the Jones case, are deplorable. That our criminal justice sentence recognizes this is a win for animals and a step in the right direction to improving the lives of companion animals," said Destreza.

Animal Rescue After Katrina

Donate To NOLA Independent Rescue
Key NOLA rescuers, Katrina evacuees themselves, pay for trap-neuter-release (TNR), medical, adopt/transport, rescue, food/water.

ARNO & Independents
Traci Kestler, 504-975-5971
P.O. Box 55284  /  Metairie, LA 70055-5284

Lakeview Cats Roaming
Kathy Sweeney
Jeanette Althans, 504-734-7771
333 Vinet Ave  /  Jefferson, LA 70121

Plaquemines Cat Action Team
Ramona Billot, 504-606-3116
102 A Omega  /  Belle Chase, LA 70037

Donate Via Kinship Circle
Kinship Circle, a 501c3 nonprofit charity, has arranged to accept donations on behalf of NOLA rescuers listed above.

Donate Online
Donate By Mail
Kinship Circle Disaster Aid Fund
7380 Kingsbury Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63130
State in enclosed note or check memo which NOLA rescuer your donation should go to.

Download video: MP4 format | Ogg format

This Himalayan looking cat was very scared after dumped by the shelter 262x360
"Water Plant Cat," dumped near the shelter, was finally coaxed inside. Young, scared, but friendly. Himalayan? This former companion cat is ready now.

Adopt From Katrina Crowded Shelter

Reply To: 985-651-7387
St. John The Baptist Shelter
124 Water Plant Road
LaPlace, LA 70068
Linda Allen, Manager
After couple had baby, mom demanded they dump sweet cat Libby 262x288
Libby, 6, is a guardian give-up. Son had a baby and demanded the mother living with them dump her cat before she "smothered" the infant. A myth made this cat lose the only home she's ever known. Ready to adopt.
This young dog was picked up on Elm Street with no ID tags 262x310
"The Elm Street Dog" was just picked up. He is about a year old with a new collar, but no tags or microchip. Available now.
Coco, a surrendered Shih Tzu, is available to adopt now 262x360 Coco is a Shih Tzu supposedly 5-years old with cataracts. Surrendered, available now. A terrier found with no ID tags is ready for a new home 262x255 A Terrier was found last Sun and turned in Wed. No tags, collar or microchip. He is available now. No calls about this dog.
Hungry, scared animals roam empty parts of Upper 9th Ward West after Katrina 239x850 Cats left behind are now glowing eyes under gutted homes, a swift blur down empty streets 239x650

Mardi Paw Auction Open

Humane Society Of Louisiana
PO Box 740321  /  New Orleans, LA 70174

Humane Society of Louisiana's Mardi Paw Auction urgently needs your help to reach abused, neglected and homeless animals. Place a bid today! What are you looking for? Something unique for yourself, a gift, or maybe a little adventure? You're sure to find it in our auction catalog. Every bid helps our post-Katrina recovery efforts, so why not splurge this carnival season!

Tell Everyone. The success of this online auction relies on spreading the word. Please urge friends/family to participate. Check back for works of art, collectibles and more new items regularly added to our catalog. Coming soon: Paintings Inspired by Animals of Katrina!

ARNO Is Featured On Inside Edition

Dogs, separated from their guardians after Hurricane Katrina, roam the streets now as strays 591x128
Left: Dogs, separated from their guardians after Hurricane Katrina, roam the streets now as strays. Middle: This dog wanders through a house ruined and abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. Right: Robin Beaulieu of ARNO tries to round up the strays. Photos: Inside Edition

After The Storm, Dogs Left To Fend For Themselves
2/14/07, Inside Edition  ~  Although the city of New Orleans is only half it's pre-Katrina population, the number of dogs has remained high. Empty and abandoned New Orleans homes still provide shelter for many four-legged victims of the disaster. Even 18 months after Katrina, many animals separated from their caregivers by the storm, are now living wild.

Robin Beaulieu runs the organization Animal Rescue New Orleans. She spends her days and often nights too, touring the city in her converted school bus to round up strays and sometimes humanely trap them. Often the dogs are mangy and scared. "I would say several thousand former pets are still on the streets today," Robin told Inside Edition. Robin worries over the fate of pets forced to live wild in the 18 months since Katrina. "It's very difficult for a domesticated animal to fend for [him/herself]," Robin said.

One reason former pets have a hard time is because where there are no people, there's no thrown-away food to scavenge. As a substitute, the packs of now-wild dogs often attack and eat rats, and even cats. Former pets are often purebred dogs, and stick out amongst the strays. Tina Bernard [St. Bernard Parish Animal Control Officer] says [guardians] still come in to her shelter to find pets they lost during the chaos of Katrina. She can only describe the situation as "heartbreaking."

Volunteers like Pam Leavy place food wherever there's a sighting of strays, but their efforts are often in vain. "I've seen as time goes on, there are less and less dogs out, and it's not because we're getting them, it's because they just can't make it," Pam said.

For More Information, Contact: Animal Rescue New Orleans
271 Plauche Street  /  New Orleans, LA 70123  /  504-571-1900

A Katrina Dog Reunion

Dogs, separated from their guardians after Hurricane Katrina, roam the streets now as strays 591x230
Mrs. Cheneau sees her dog Junior for the first time in over 17 months.

2/13/07, Pam Leavy  ~  Junior goes home! In case y'all haven't seen the article in today's (2/13/07) paper, there was a reunion yesterday of a Katrina dog with his family in Prairieville. I was involved with this reunion and contacted The Advocate to cover the story. This is not a case where the dog was ripped from a family who'd grown to love him. I greatly oppose those reunions. In this case, the dog, Junior, was still living at a vet clinic in Virginia. Lucy drove 2 dogs down from Virginia — the other reunion was in New Orleans. CAAWS and ARNO are mentioned in the story.

Dogs, separated from their guardians after Hurricane Katrina, roam the streets now as strays 591x230 In left photo, the Cheneaus and Junior with reuniters Pam, Lucy and Laura. On right, Junior explored every inch of the house, overjoyed to be uncaged and home.

Not Guilty Of Murder?
Kinship Circle  ~  Any who recall our action alerts, along with the infamous video of Sheriff Mike Minton as he shot dogs, knows that Minton justified killing after Katrina as more humane. Minton's line of bullshit doesn't add up. He shot street dogs to end their misery, yet also killed leashed dogs in SBP schools because they were dangerous? Was little GiGi, a poodle with painted nails, a threat? Did rooms filled with food, treats, water, and scribbled pleas from residents suggest abandonment?

Bottom line: In both street and school massacres, Minton and his Sheriff's Office cronies enjoyed killing. Perhaps these animals sought kindness, maybe a treat…only to be shot. Imagine the blood, screams and carnage when dogs where gunned down at close range in schools. Chased up stairwells, cornered against walls. Nowhere to hide in mostly locked rooms. The killers are sociopaths, period.

SBP Deputies Plead Not Guilty In Animal Street Slaughter Case

2/14/07, New Orleans Times Picayune  ~  A St. Bernard Parish sheriff's deputy and a former deputy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals in a case dating back to Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Minton, who has since left the Sheriff's Office, and Clifford "Chip" Englande, a sergeant reassigned to administrative duties, did not appear in state District Court. Their attorneys entered their pleas before Judge Wayne Cresap. The two men are accused of shooting dogs in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Trial has been set for May 8.

Animals rights activists gathered outside the courthouse, some holding signs with slogans such as "Jail time for animal cruelty." Other animal rights activists sat in on the proceeding.

A state grand jury indicted Minton and Englande last December. The state Attorney General's office will prosecute the case. Jeremy Lee, Minton's attorney, said his client only shot dangerous dogs. Lee said Minton and Englande were good deputies. Pat Fanning, Englande's attorney, declined comment. Minton and Englande are currently free on $10,000 personal surety bonds.
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
Excerpts From Dallas News Video
St. Bernard Parish is home to an unknown number of dogs left behind in the Katrina exodus. Dallas News photojournalist David Leeson covered Katrina…

Sgt. Andrew McRae tells Dallas News reporters: "Unfortunately a lot of people's pets are wandering around here. We're trying to gather them up, give them food and water till [rescue groups get them].

"They're shooting 'em three blocks down," a reporter says. "Not us," Sgt. McRae replies.

Reporters are next seen in their truck as a dog who looks like a gold lab mix crosses their path. We see another vehicle approach, with two armed men.

"They just killed that dog man," one reporter says [about a gold lab they'd just seen]. "This place has gone crazy," reporter Leeson mutters. "They followed him all the way up and shot him."

We hear a gun shot. One reporter says: "They shot that one too [referring to a different dog]."
The video cuts to an interview with Sheriff Mike Minton, who says: "This is really better for that dog. Where's he gonna find food? It's more humane for that dog."

A reporter asks: "So how many dogs [have you shot]?" Minton looks away, laughs: "Enough."

debris and cats under home, german shepherd held 239by844
*Kinship Circle does not use the language of slavery to depict nonhuman animals. Owner, owned, it… are replaced with guardian, him/her, caregiven… or other language that doesn't define animals as things. Failure to modify any text is unintended.

Kinship Circle director Brenda Shoss sets food and water for animals who hide in moldy Katrina remains 239x894
Hurricane Katrina floods displaced Ms. Vogel and her Pomeranian, Cuddles, from their Lakeview apartment 591x346

Plea For Elderly Katrina Victim And Her Pup

1/30/07, Pinckney A. Wood  ~  Hurricane Katrina floods displaced Ms. Vogel and her Pomeranian, Cuddles, from their Lakeview apartment. The elderly woman has since discovered that her niece caused her financial catastrophe. The niece used Ms. Vogel as co-signer on a loan to purchase a pre-Katrina house in LaPlace, LA, the trashed and abandoned this home. She also maxed out two of Ms. Vogel's credit cards. Police have been contacted. Please read the account below by New Orleans veterinarian Dr. Amy Grayson, an exceptional and charitable vet who has taken Ms. Vogel under her wing.

Make A Tax-Deductible Donation To Humane Heart Fund
Memo: Ms. Vogel Assistance
Vogel Fund c/o Dr. Amy Grayson
Lakeview Veterinary Hospital
6245 Memphis Street  /  New Orleans, LA 70124
Katrina floods wiped out Lakeview Veterinary Hospital, but it operates from a temp Memphis Street building.

Dr. Amy Grayson, Member, Louisiana Animal Welfare Commission, 504-450-5059

Pinckney A. Wood, President
Humane HEART (Health, Education, and Abuse Resolution Taskforce)

Damaged In Katrina Floods: 401 Polk Avenue  /  New Orleans, LA 70124
Operating Address: 6001 Colbert Street  /  New Orleans, LA 70124

From New Orleans Veterinarian Dr. Amy Grayson  ~  Poor Ms. Vogel, and her little Pomeranian, Cuddles, have been the victim of identity theft. The thief was her own niece who in addition to maxing out two credit cards, also purchased a home in LaPlace. The home was purchased 20 days before the hurricane and listed Ms. Vogel as a co-signer. The home was undamaged in the hurricane but the niece supposedly lost her job after the hurricane and stopped paying the mortgage note. From the pictures, you can also see that she trashed the house. Ms. Vogel contacted the mortgage company, and they have put a hold on the mortgage payments for 3 month. At that time, Ms. Vogel must come up with the entire balance due!

Ms. Vogel, a retired school teacher, lost everything to Katrina. She rented a Lakeview apartment on Milne St. and lost clothes, furniture, family heirlooms, etc. She and Cuddles have rented an apartment uptown that doesn't even have heat! It's all she can afford right now. She even stopped wearing her hearing aids because she left them at Milne St. and they were destroyed in the flood. She had no renters/flood insurance and can't afford new hearing aids. All she has left is little Cuddles. Ms. Vogel is very embarrassed by the situation. The police are involved. She is ashamed of her niece. Ms. Vogel worries that she is the mother of two small children. Please pass the word to anyone you know that may be able to contribute money, if not time. We can't let a sweet old lady like Ms. Vogel be victimized like this. Thanks, Amy

In Gautier, MS, 16 week old Lab, Buddy, was left for dead, his eyes, ears, throat and mouth sealed in PVC pipe glue 268x300

Update: Buddy's Law Dies

A Baby Treated Worse Than Trash
Kinship Circle  ~  Buddy, a 16-week-old Labrador retriever, was left for dead inside a diaper box at road's edge in Gautier, MS. The puppy's eyes, ears, throat and mouth were sealed in PVC pipe glue. Mississippi animal cruelty law lacks felony penalties, so at best the perpetrator will get six months incarceration or pay a meager fine. Katrina blew the lid off a Pandora's box of antiquated laws and social systems. With animals, we saw neglect, abuse, and scant cruelty law enforcement. Many animals needed rescue long before the storm. Mississippi has some of the most lax animal cruelty laws in the nation.

2/12/07 Buddy's Law Dies By Cherie Ward, The Mississippi Press  ~   The fight to change the animal cruelty penalties in Mississippi is over. Rep. John Reed said nine versions of a bill making extreme acts animal cruelty a felony died before the House and the Senate.
Animal cruelty became a strong focus in Mississippi last July when Buddy, a 16-week-old Labrador was found in Gautier tortured with PVC pipe glue and left for dead. The puppy was later euthanized by a local veterinarian. Mississippi is one of only eight states with no felony provision for extreme acts of cruelty. "I would have really like to have seen a change," Reed said.

A campaign to change the animal cruelty law was launched as animal lovers and activists nationwide spoke out in support of a revised Mississippi law, in place since 1972. House Bill 1538 would have enforced a misdemeanor for acts of simple animal cruelty, such as neglect and abandonment, and a felony for malicious abuse and torture. Senate Bill 2097 also distinguished misdemeanor and felony charges for animal cruelty. Both bills died before the Agriculture and Judiciary B committees on Jan. 30.

Mississippi House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, who presented House Bill 1538, and Rep. Erik Fleming heard testimony on Jan. 25 from local and national animal cruelty experts at a hearing in Jackson concerning increased penalties. While bills to correct the issue have been introduced in years past, none have made it to the point of a hearing, which encouraged several organizations supporting the change.

Wanda Henry Jacobs, publisher of The Mississippi Press, told committee members the paper received more than three dozen letters to the editor in response to an article about Buddy last year. The paper collected $3,000+ in reward money from local readers, plus over 12,000 signatures on a petition demanding stronger laws. Humane Society of South Mississippi's Joe Elmore asked committee members to champion the effort. "We need felony level penalties for extreme acts of animal cruelty," Elmore said.

Dr. Mary Lou Randour, a psychologist and animal cruelty expert with Humane Society of the U.S., said animal abuse can lead to malignant treatment towards people. "There's a clearly documented link between animal cruelty and human violence. Often, people who abuse animals become violent criminals who are a threat to society. Felony level penalties are critical to preventing future acts of violence," Randour said.

Action: We Owe It To Buddy To Pass SB 2499
Since this update about failure to pass Buddy's Law, the bill has been reintroduced as Senate Bill 2499. SB 2499 upgrades domesticated animal abuse to a felony crime, punishable by up to five years prison and a $10,000 fine. It directs the court to mandate psychological evaluation of convicted abusers. Ask MS Senators to schedule SB 2499 for a committee hearing and vote for its passage.

Contact Information
Senator Gray Tollison
Senate Judiciary Committee, Division B Chairman
Room 409A, P.O. Box 1018
Jackson, MS 39215

Senator Michael Watson
Senate Judiciary Committee, Division B Vice-Chairman
P.O. Box 1018
Jackson, MS 39215