Photos at page top, from Kinship Circle animal aid in NOLA, show ongoing need for spay/neuter. Cats, especially, were everywhere. They darted down streets and burrowed under empty homes in Upper/Lower 9th Ward, Plaquemines and St. Bernard. Spots along our food/water route were sparsely repopulated. Of those back, many live in FEMA trailers.
Butterscotch cat is sighted and fed on Montegut Street 284x210
A gray white cat is sighted at Biloxi feeding station 284x210
Voucher Shutdown Reactions Mary Morris  ~  The voucher program ends at the end of this month. We ask all partners to stop vouchers now. Vets are booked up already. Call if you have questions, 782-5557

info@puppybegood  ~  I'm sad to see it end.

Kathy Sweeney  ~  We are screwed!

Jeanette Althans  ~  The problem is the gap: ASPCA says "we are in negotiations with Louisiana partners to operate two clinics, but because we started over with new partners they'll be delayed 8 months to a year." Imagine the number of kittens and puppies born between programs. A year long delay could easily become 2+ years. Hopefully LA-SPCA can devise options before vouchers end. It's very sad that the big groups with huge fundraising capacity won't go a little further. New Orleans residents still struggle to rebuild homes and lives. Outsiders cannot see Katrina's long shadow after a day, a week or even a month here. You have to live it. And the animals continue to suffer.

Lynn Chiche, Spaymart  ~  The city is overrun with roaming cats and dogs whose only hope of sterilization is extension of the voucher system. Please write a letter to ASPCA, stating in your own words why the present program must continue. Otherwise, rescuers will have to pay the going rate (normally $50 to $75 at low cost facilities), or even worse, abandon the issue altogether at the expense of animals.
Send Comments To:
Aimee St. Arnaud, ASPCA:
P.O. Box 820 / Perryburg, OH 43552
Question? Contact

Natural End Of New Orleans Vouchers?

7/3/07, ASPCA Spay/Neuter Initiatives, Aimee St.Arnaud, 419-874-9584  ~  Thanks for contacting ASPCA about the New Orleans voucher program, just one piece of a $3.3 million dollar spay/neuter program for Mississippi and Louisiana funded by ASPCA, PetSmart Charities, IFAW, HSUS and UAN.

The voucher program never intended to fund beyond one year because voucher programs are not self-sustaining. Along with the Big Fix Rig, it was meant as an interim solution until the high-volume spay/neuter clinic was completed. It was also designed to help local veterinarians get re-established after the storm. The clinic was scheduled to open February 2007 and the vouchers were to end in April. Two Humane Alliance high-volume clinic models that can do a combined 17,000 surgeries a year are self-sustainable through client fees and can have a much greater impact over a large geographical range. ASPCA and its partners are not ending the voucher program unexpectedly. In fact, we agreed to extend it beyond its original April end date so LA-SPCA could continue to offer services. LA-SPCA has estimated that the current funding will expire in August. To date 7,257 surgeries have already been performed. PetSmart Charities, IFAW, HSUS, and UAN.

The first year goal for both Mississippi and Louisiana was 20,000 surgeries. We surpassed that goal by completing 21,000 surgeries. However, our local partner Spay-Louisiana has withdrawn from the project, leaving a void with the clinic, voucher and Rig. Luckily LA-SPCA stepped in to administer the voucher program. We're in negotiations with Louisiana partners to operate two clinics for the Greater NOLA area, but due to starting over with new partners, clinics will be delayed by 8 months to one year.

ASPCA and partners are not shutting down the voucher program. It is naturally ending as intended. Still, we had stated that if local groups feel there is ongoing need, that they can work together to continue fundraising. In Mississippi, local partners are sustaining their program through area fundraising. They expect to do 4,000 surgeries next year. We encourage you to continue the voucher program if you feel it is useful…
More Voucher Shutdown Reactions
Maria Alvarez, Stewardship For Strays  ~  This region is far from back to normal, but I assure you that in the tragedy aspect it is back by way of the ignorance and greed that has always plagued it. There are folks back with free-roaming unaltered pets and backyard breeding for small profits. There's a "lady" in the East with the second litter of 10 Pitbull pups…

I mean, really, come Aug-Sept vouchers will "terminate+exhaust?" if ASPCA, who continues to work closely with the LA-SPCA, doesn't know that animals in the streets are still in need of desperate help, GOD HELP THEM. American Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? What could be more cruel than those aware of the situation and able to reinstate vouchers? There should be no need for letters from us as individuals. LA-SPCA knows the present plight of homeless free-roaming animals on the streets of NOLA, so it should just take one letter.

We, as animal advocates, beg, plead and write letters to judges, officials and the media requesting fairness for animals, but I don't see why we need the same approach to a national animal welfare organization that is fully aware of the need. We had a perfect window to get the population under control during post-storm months, but the Southern mentality, coupled with red tape, shunned outside help such as massive TNR. Here is an excerpt from a LA-SPCA immediate release newsletter in Nov. 05:

Here's an excerpt from a LA-SPCA news release in Nov 2005: "To take advantage of New Orleans' unique opportunity to get a grasp on its stray population, LA-SPCA will contract with a high-volume, experienced humane trapper provided by Humane Society of the U.S. to manage a comprehensive 4-6 week program. Both national and local groups are willing to provide staff and volunteer trappers that will be trained and dispatched from Animal Control." So what left LA-SPCA so powerless they could not take advantage of this unique opportunity? When those who know better don't do better, it is one of the greatest disappointments.
Bubbles, Duke and Darling are among ARNO animals rescued from still empty Katrina streets who need homes 333x207

Yes, They Still Need Us

Bubbles  ~  Female Baby Black Lab Retriever Mix
Duke  ~  Male Adult Labrador Retriever Mix
Darling  ~  Female Baby Domestic Short Hair Mix

Animal Rescue New Orleans: Petfinder  ■  Save-A-Pet
How many are still on the streets? Cats always outnumber dogs, and have proven better survivors with their innate ability to synchronize metabolic rates with the lack of food/water. Still, only the strongest survive unless rescued. Dogs succumb more quickly on deserted post-Katrina streets. Rescue and adoption remain critical to saving lives.

Cat Or Rat? Non-Stop Feeding Debate In NOLA

6/26/07, Michael R. Smith  ~  The public needs to be educated to the fact there has not been sufficient animal control with regard to rodents and raccoons for years, long before Katrina. There never has been, nor is there now, any city or state plan to reduce the raccoon population. Powers that be have consistently denied responsibility and blamed those people who "feed cats at night" or "drop raccoons in City Park."

Ironically, it was SPCA who on two occasions told me to just "trap raccoons and drop them off in City Park." ARNO food/water stations are selectively placed based on cat sightings and confirmations. This has resulted in many reunions, as well as trapping and relocating surviving animals.

The rats and raccoons have had a smorgasbord of thousands of houses to live in since Katrina where they could breed and feed on trash and debris. Neither the city nor state has intervened in the raccoon situation. The food and watering can stop, but I guarantee as long as nobody is responsible for rats and raccoon overpopulating, they will still be around. The only difference? Abandoned house pets will starve to death, which seems to always be our city's solution.

Chris Malkove  ~  I got this email from my former next door neighbor in Lakeview: "Chris, are you still feeding cats on the 5500 block of Woodlawn? If you are, I have to ask you to stop. Someone is doing this and they are attracting rats and raccoons into the neighborhood. All the neighbors are upset and you are gonna get in trouble for trespassing. Apparently the Rodent Control is telling people not to feed their pets outside, to pick up all the food immediately and cover the garbage cans tight so animals can't get in. So please if you know who is feeding stray animals ask them to stop. It is causing all kinds of problems."

I emailed her back and she sent this as a reply: "Chris you need to stop. If you want the cats take them with you. I'll contact Maria and tell her to do the same."

As residents move back, more complain about rats and raccoons. Over the last two years, I've moved or closed many feeding stations until I am down to just two. And now my neighbor, who has known me as a cat rescuer for over 10 years, is commanding me to stop feeding cats. I've written a letter to New Orleans Times Picayune. The food/water program has been ARNO's backbone since it's start and we desperately need to garner support from the public.
Two time survivor Sassy needs your help now 527x279

Two-Time Survivor Sassy Needs Your Help

7/5/07, Ramona Billot  ~  Sassy survived Hurricane Katrina and lived inside a crushed store in Empire, Louisiana in Plaquemines Parish. About a month ago, the building she inhabited for almost two years was suddenly demolished. Sassy lost her home for the second time in the last two years! She needs a safe place where she'll never have to worry about howling winds, 30 feet of water for 6 weeks, starvation, dog packs or demolition bulldozers. She longs for a safe place, love and attention.

Sassy needs someone patient who can help her trust people again. She is very sweet and begs for human touch, but will swat with claws extended if your hand reaches toward her face. I'm able to pet her quickly when she rubs against my legs or furniture. She is very comfortable in my home and doesn't hiss or hide. Sassy was spayed when I found her. I believe she was a loved companion who is very traumatized. Sassy is not quite ready for adoption. I'm searching for someone in rescue to work with her or accept her into a sanctuary. This is urgent. We are in hurricane season and if I have to evacuate, I have eight animals of my own. It will be extremely difficult to evacuate with Sassy and expose her to a new environment again. I fear she'd digress even more.

If You Can You Give Sassy The Chance She Deserves, Contact: Ramona Billot, Plaquemines Cat Action Team,

Kansas Floods Rescue Operation Winds Down

7/6/07 Kansas Animal Rescue Launched Amid Oily Floodwaters, Kat5 Animal Rescue  ~  KAT 5 / KARE Animal Rescues were ready to go in today, but told to hold off until a reassessment of needs in Coffeyville, Kansas. "Today we are winding down with a demobilization plan and getting pets back to their families," said Jeff Eyre, who is leading an HSUS team on site.

"We thank KAT 5 / KARE for their availability to assist, plus working within the system and standing down in recognition of the changing circumstances", said Randy Covey of HSUS. According to Jim Boller of CODE 3, water is receding. City operations are shut down while the Environmental Protection Agency evaluates [oily residue in floodwaters]. CODE 3 will remain in Coffeyville to help at the temporary animal shelter. Coffeyville's animal shelter was destroyed by the oil and flood. They need to rebuild.

Decontamination centers manned by two veterinarians were set up for animals and people. Some animals are dehydrated but most are doing well. "After the first days, the water spill receded quickly. We thought the situation was going to be much worse than it is now. We rescued 120 animals. Sixty are already back with guardians. The rest are waiting to be identified. Displaced residents are securing places to stay with their animals. State and local authorities are dealing with strays," Boller said.

"Coffeyville residents were given 6 hours notice to evacuate. Most evacuated with their animals. There were 300 homes evacuated. We expected much worse in homes. There were a few deceased canines. We are going back to recheck. Residents were generally diligent about taking their pets.

Katrina Resources

*Kinship Circle does not use the language of slavery for nonhuman animals. Owner, owned, it… are replaced with guardian, him/her, caregiven… or other language that does not define animals as things or property.
An estimated 200 cats still roam in Lakeview, just one New Orleans area hard hit by Katrina in August 2005 626x317

Lakeview Cats Roaming

Kathy Sweeney and Jeanette Althans created Lakeview Cats Roaming to feed, trap, and reunite animals roaming since Katrina. Remote Reunion Campaign, ARNO, Kinship Circle and others provide assistance.

Foster And Forever Homes For Katrina Cats
We desperately need fosters and kitten adopters. Friendly Katrina cats left in Lakeview also deserve a chance. They have survived on the street for over two years and crave human attention.

  • Fosters Needed While We Search For Guardians: Foster friendly adult cats who survived Katrina.
  • Foster/Adopt Traumatized Cats: Many adult survivors were former family cats. With patience, love and a stable environment, they can be re-socialized.
  • Foster/Adopt Various Age Kittens: Kittens from 2 to 8 months need gentle attention until they adjust.
  • Contact: Jeanette Althans, 504-430-6477  /  Kathy Sweeney, 504-343-3683

Lakeview Residents: Contact Us…
  • If you can oversee a feeding station in your neighborhood or at your house. To ensure cats are fed regularly, we ask residents to assist with our food/water program.
  • If you recognize your cat, a friend or neighbor's cat, or if you can foster/adopt.
  • Contact: Jeanette Althans, 504-430-6477  /  Kathy Sweeney, 504-343-3683

Katrina Rescue Dog Gets Her Day In Court

A dog found very sick after Katrina and lovingly adopted is the subject of a court custody battle 293x255
Jazz, a 10-year-old cocker spaniel lost by her family in the chaos of Hurricane Katrina, was brought to an Austin shelter. She was adopted by Tiffany Madura and renamed Hope. Shalanda Augillard claimed Jazz was her dog and that rescue workers stole Jazz, who was left behind during Katrina.

6/14/07 American-Statesman, By Eric Dexheimer  ~  The New Orleans dog claimed by both an Austin woman who adopted her in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a New Orleans woman who insists the black cocker spaniel is hers has had her day in court. Two days, actually. In a hearing, Tiffany Madura, the Austin woman who took in a dog she calls Hope, and Shalanda Augillard, the New Orleans woman who says she lost her beloved pet, Jazz, in the post-storm chaos in September 2005, argued that the slightly overweight, nearly 10-year-old spaniel rightly belonged with her.

A California DNA expert was flown in and two veterinarians testified. A woman with a dog related to Augillard's Jazz flew in from Virginia to testify. In all, a half-dozen lawyers have participated in the custody case that now exceeds $100,000 in costs. Hays County District Court Judge Bill Henry will decide who gets to keep the pet.

Augillard's pet was staying with her mother in New Orleans when Katrina hit. When her mother was evacuated, Jazz was left behind. When the Augillards returned, the dog was gone. Madura adopted the dog after an Austin animal rescue organization delivering supplies to New Orleans took a sorry-looking cocker spaniel (then named Hope Floats) from a shelter and brought her to Texas. The dog's photo was posted on the agency's website, where Madura saw it. She said the dog was near death.

Augillard also saw the dog's photo on the site. But she was unable to convince the group that the dog was hers. The question of whether Hope Floats is really Jazz has led to a bitterly contested custody battle. For the past year, the dog has resided with Madura. After mediation failed to provide a solution, the two sides went to court.
Tiffany Madura loves Hope, a cocker found very sick after Katrina, but a NOLA woman says the dog is hers and has sued to get Jazz back 268x288 The trial in San Marcos is the latest development in a series of disputes pitting animal lovers against each other. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of pets were separated from New Orleans guardians, and taken in by new families. But as the storm's evacuees tried to recover their dogs and cats, many of the adoptive families balked at returning them.

Some new caregivers were not convinced that the original guardians had correctly identified animals. Others felt that pets had been poorly cared for by their Louisiana keepers. Rescuers say many dogs had medical problems ranging from heartworms and bad skin to internal maladies. Returning them, some new caregivers have contended, would be tantamount to consenting to abuse. Because most of the original guardians were black and the adoptive families white, the specter of racism also has crept into many of the disputes.

About two dozen cases ended up in court, lawyers say. Several have dragged on, with opposing parties sparing little expense. One high-profile case, involving a St. Bernard adopted by a Florida prosecutor, ended just last month. Pam Bondi, represented by well-known Florida attorney Barry Cohen, who has won hundreds of millions of dollars in civil cases, finally agreed to return Tank to his New Orleans family. The family's lawyer estimated that he'd put more than 500 hours into the case.

Even within this context, the fight over Hope/Jazz has been particularly contentious. After a December hearing, Augillard attacked Madura outside the courtroom, grabbing her hair and yanking her head, claim witnesses and police statements. Assault charges are pending.

Augillard's lawyers claimed that DNA from hair off an old brush and sweater owned by Augillard matched with samples brushed off Hope Floats. Madura's attorney said the test was tainted and pointed to Augillard's claims that the dog she lost was in fine physical condition as proof that the animal found with oily skin, bloody urine and golf-ball-sized bladder stones couldn't be hers. "We have little doubt that Ms. Augillard had a dog," Michael Murray said. "The only question is whether this is the dog."