Hurricane Katrina

Worker Leaves Animal Hell

9/28/07 Raymond R. Abney Jr, 318-272-6282, Shreveport, Louisiana  ~  I have just terminated my employment at the Caddo Parish Animal Shelter. In order to avoid having to explain my situation to many, I am attaching a copy of my resignation. A reading will show how inhumane the shelter is. I am sorry to leave the animals behind, but I can no longer tolerate the abuse without the freedom to save lives. I truly believe if enough attention is brought to bear on the shelter, changes will be made. I forever remain your friend in animal care. In memory of my dear "Fat Cat" (killed: 7/06/07) Background
Raymond R. Abney Jr., a former Caddo Parish Animal Services employee since January 2006, documented animal abuse seen daily in his letter of resignation. Below are highlights from that letter. "I have personally witnessed:

  • A kennel worker beating cats with the rims of the nets on two occasions.

  • A dog, scheduled for euthanasia, beaten bloody with a catchpole.

  • A puppy hung by a hose while dragged from behind by an ACO.

  • Many ACOs improperly euthanizing animals.

  • Kennel worker hangs a puppy by a leash and swings him like a pendulum into a cage, at first hitting cage rim, then swinging dog again to land him in cage.

  • ACOs playing loud music and dancing in the euthanasia room.

  • A kennel worker habitually spreading diseases, especially Parvovirus.

  • Puppies transported in dirty garbage cans.

  • Kennel workers feed dogs from food barrels with mold, mildew, mice (alive and dead), mice nests, and other foreign matter.

  • Drains clogged for months. Raw sewage drained freely on the ground.

  • ACOs place pit bulls with other dogs, even a whelping mother. Use a very small doghouse for a whelping Labrador Retriever and her 9 puppies.

  • Whelping boxes go un-cleaned for days while newborn puppies lay in filth.

  • A dead dog caged with a live dog.

  • Cats/kittens poisoned in a slow and painful death by kennel workers ignorant of effects of the chemicals they used."
Humane Society Of Louisiana takes action in gruesome cat mutilation case 492x270

HSLA Takes Action In Cat Mutilation Case

9/28/07 Humane Society Of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson  ~  Humane societies often conduct investigative work that provides key evidence in the prosecution of animal abusers. Last November, a woman from Springfield, LA called Humane Society of Louisiana to tell us she'd witnessed two youths tree a cat and knock the cat to the ground for dogs to maul. They then beat the cat's head with a baseball bat. The woman screamed at them to stop and even took photos of the killing on her cellphone.

When police were called to the scene, officers refused to take statements, view photos or interview the boys! They blamed dogs for the cat's death. They rejected the boys as culpable for the illegal torture and death of this cat.

After called to help, we visited the crime scene, collected statements and found more witnesses. We viewed photos that caught the crime frame by frame. We met with Springfield's Chief of Police and strongly objected to how the case was handled. He agreed and apologized for the actions of his officers. We wrote a report to the Juvenile Division of the Livingston District Attorney's Office that outlined many criminal violations these youths allegedly committed: Trespassing, keeping a vicious dog, felony killing of an animal. The Assistant District Attorney for Livingston Parish, Lou Navarre, will soon decide how to proceed and inform us of their decision.
New Orleans police officers honored for rescue of injured puppy 492x270

New Orleans Police Officers Honored For Rescue Of Injured Puppy

9/28/07 Humane Society Of Louisiana, 901-268-4432  ~  New Orleans police officers Mike Cure and Matt Patin noticed a young dog running loose in one of the city's crime-ridden housing projects commonly called the B.W. Cooper. The officers realized the the dog was in extreme discomfort. Her collar had grown into her skin, causing a large, infected wound around her entire neck.

For the next 30 days, the officers tried to capture the dog. They tried feeding her to grab her as she ate. They tried netting her and even set up a large dog trap baited with food. Nothing worked, and the dog's condition continued to deteriorate. The officers eventually contacted Humane Society of Louisiana, whose representative agreed to follow the officers into the housing project. The Humane Society was able to procure some sedatives, which were slipped into the unsuspecting dog's food. Thirty minutes later the dog became drowsy and fell asleep on the third step of an apartment. Officer Patin was able to drape a net over the sleeping dog, finally capturing her.

The dog, now named Cooper, was rushed to the emergency clinic, where her collar was surgically removed, and the wound was cleaned and dressed. Small rubber tubes were placed in Cooper's neck, to drain pus and unwanted bacteria. Since her rescue, Cooper has made a remarkable and full recovery.

Several days after her capture, HSLA honored the work of these two officers with our "Golden Paws Awards" at a press conference. The story of Cooper's rescue and the efforts of these compassionate officers were broadcast on three TV stations, and several individuals sent in donations to cover the cost of her recovery. Several other viewers expressed interest in adopting Cooper. Eventually, Cooper will be placed in a great, loving home.
Katrina rescue dog, Rascal, goes home in a reunion two years after the hurricane 293x330

Katrina Dog Goes Home After 2+ Years

9/21/07 No Animal Left Behind  ~  This is Rascal, rescued from his Bywater home in Sept 2005 and taken to Lamar Dixon. From there he went to a Monroe, LA disaster shelter run by United Animal Nations. From Monroe, Rascal and some 80 other dogs moved to eastern Pennsylvania on an ABKA (American Boarding & Kennel Association) chartered airlift orchestrated by Bob Paine, who owns Molly's Country Kennels, a boarding/doggie day care center in Lansdale, PA.

When the flight landed in PA, the dogs went to Molly's, 44 miles away. Within a few days, most of the dogs were farmed out to 19 or so other boarding kennels/doggie day care centers.

Every piece of information that came with or on the dogs was entered into Petfinder records created by UAN staff and volunteers. Most animals flown to PA by ABKA/Molly's are caregiven by families in New Orleans. Petfinder records include rabies tag numbers, rescue addresses, and [guardian] names if known.

This particular kennel got four Katrina dogs. In local news (Fall 2005) the [guardian] states: "Since their rescue, each dog has been given a clean bill of health, vaccinated and microchipped for ID. The four dogs have passed initial evaluations with flying colors."

Yet, despite this claim, one of the four dogs died from heartworm treatment. Another had heartworms so severe the vet recommended he be euthanized, and Rascal tested weak heartworm positive. When I asked the kennel owner if Rascal has been on monthly heartworm preventative since he completed his treatment, she said "no, we don't have a problem with heartworm around here."

Really? By some oversight, Rascal's 2005 rabies and ID tags didn't make it into his Petfinder record. But the rabies number was on his paperwork (paperwork I first saw a few months ago, after lawsuit #3 was filed over another Molly's). It took two phone calls, a post on a neighborhood forum and a few emails with a friend of Rascal's [guardian] to make contact. His [guardian] doesn't own a computer or have email so it was a few more weeks before I was able to send him photos to confirm it was his dog for sure. The bottom line is that Rascal was flown home on Friday. This dog who spent the past two years in a kennel, mostly isolated and described as un-adoptable, is now "his old sweet friendly self" says his very happy [guardian]. The kennel never bothered to have him neutered over two years.
Because They Have No Words, a play about Katrina animal rescue, is nominated for award 293x330

Katrina Rescue Play Nominated For Awards

9/26/07 No Animal Left Behind  ~  Congratulations to Tim Maddox and Lotti Louise Pharriss of Weirdsmobile Productions, LLC for the extreme honor of 2007 Ovation Awards nominations in two categories: World Premiere Play and Ensemble Performance. Tim wrote and starred in Because They Have No Words, about rescuing animals and volunteering at Lamar Dixon in Katrina's aftermath.

Water Rose Ground To Roof In 3 Minutes

St. Bernard Parish, 2005  ~  Stranded in their attic/roof, a man, wife and their dog call out to no one. The man worries rescuers won't let him bring his dog, who is "like a son to him." As his video camera scans a middle class suburb under gray water, the man mumbles: "I'll never stay for another hurricane again. I will run."
Keep ARNO doors open by adopting our lovable animals 293x330

Keep ARNO Doors Open

Animal Rescue New Orleans
View ARNO Animals: ARNO On Petfinder
Above: Buffy, Paul, Mikey, Mira

9/27/07  ~  In a recent ARNO email, it was noted that ARNO temporarily shut down animal intake. For post-Katrina animals, this compromises the flow from food/water to rescue to adopt/foster. We have great dogs and cats, but too many. We must close animal intake until some of these babies are moved out. I have left space for dogs fed in place for a long time, but not yet caught. Please contact local rescues or ask local pet supply stores if we can post about ARNO. Network/volunteer for ARNO, so doors stay open for animals.
Lakeview cats need a safe place to go, a second chance 661x350

Katrina's Unending Impact For Lakeview Animals

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.

10/1/07 Jeanette Althans  ~  New Orleans area animals who survived Hurricane Katrina are still in critical need. Feeders sustain cats (and kittens everywhere) on the streets or they'd be dead. But we face many obstacles: Returning residents don't want cats fed in their neighborhood. Homes used as food-water stations are torn down. This endangers cats and reduces options on where to feed. Volunteers are tired and overwhelmed. Kathy Sweeney and I network with returning Lakeview residents. Some feed at their home. But with so many parts of the city too ravaged to inhabit, the local focus is on rebuilding. That's why we need helping hands from anywhere and everywhere.

Foster And Forever Homes For Katrina Cats
Visit Lakeview Pets Roaming
  • 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

Steel Leg Trap Wounds Kitten, $500 Award To Nab Trapper

Humane Society Of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson, 901-268-4432
Original news coverage on and

10/4/07 Harry the kitty healing and seeking new home, By Mary Sparacello  ~  The Humane Society of Louisiana is offering a $500 reward to help find the person who set a steel leg trap that injured a kitten's foot over the weekend. The gray tabby, which animal advocates named Harry, has a swollen hind foot but is expected to make a full recovery, said Lee Ann Matherne, Jefferson animal control director.

A Metairie woman found the injured cat in her back yard Sunday with the trap clamped down on its right back leg, Matherne said. Humane Society Director Jeff Dorson said the traps are illegal in populated areas such as Metairie, where a majority of animals are domesticated. The traps are normally used in Louisiana to catch wild animals such as raccoons or nutria.

The woman, who didn't know where the trap came from, contacted the Jefferson Animal Control Department, and an officer captured the cat near the woman's house in the 900 block of Melody Drive. The officer disabled the trap and brought the cat to the East Bank Shelter, where he was treated by a veterinarian. Dorson said the person who left the trap could be charged with animal cruelty at the misdemeanor level because the kitten wasn't maimed. The person could be fined up to $1,000 and get six months in jail.

A similar incident occurred last year when a man set a trap in St. John the Baptist Parish and caught a dog, part of whose paw had to be amputated, Dorson said. The man was charged with felony animal cruelty because of the seriousness of the injury, and the case is pending in court, Dorson said. In the kitten's case, someone likely trespassed onto the Metairie lawn to set the trap, Matherne said. "I don't really think he could have hobbled too far with the trap on," she said. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Humane Society at 888-6-HUMANE.

The cat, named after the late Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, is affectionate and tame, Matherne said. "He needs somebody's lap to sit on." Harry is available for adoption through Jefferson Parish Animal Control.

Feeding Feral Katrina Survivors

9/28/07 Humane Society Of Louisiana  ~  We reported that feral cat colonies were in danger of starvation. An administrator for the state-run Citizens With Developmental Disabilities (in Belle Chasse, LA) had banned feeding cats. However, public pressure, letters and phone calls compelled the agency to let feeding resume. Over the past two months, Humane Society of Louisiana — along with the Plaquemines Parish feline advocacy group, PCAT — met with key agency members. Plans are underway to install permanent food/water stations at the far end of the property. Temporary stations are in operation now.

Please Donate  ~  Your financial gift to HSL or PCAT lets us continue feeding these cats.

Humane Society of Louisiana
Feral Cat Project
P.O. Box 740321
New Orleans, LA 70174

Feral Cat Project at MDC, c/o Paws
P.O. Box 83
Belle Chasse, LA 70037
Colorado effort finds homes for animal victims of Katrina 293x360

Left Photo: This puppy was rescued from the Hammond Shelter in New Orleans. The dog was part of a 60 dog and 30 cat transport driven by Nanette Martin and Lucy Pribbenow in two vehicles. The pup went to a new home in Atlanta. This dog would have died in the shelter (Special to the Post).

Middle: Nanette Martin says this dog adopted her. Oedi (for Oedipus) hobbled out from under a bush as Nanette looked for parking at the Baton Rouge airport (Special to the Post).

Right: A Kentucky National Guardsman pulled this dog from Hurricane Katrina floodwaters in New Orleans (Post).
Colorado effort finds homes for animal Katrina survivors left without families 661x293

Colorado Effort Finds Homes For Katrina Animals

9/26/07 Denver Post, By Cassie Hewlings  ~  Lucy Pribbenow drove a yellow school bus that doubles as her mobile home to New Orleans, intent on saving lives after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. Pribbenow rescued pets from the flooded city streets and fought off gang members attempting to steal dogs for illegal fighting rings, said Nanette Martin, a Colorado Springs photographer who chronicled Pribbenow's efforts after the storm. Since Katrina, Pribbenow has saved hundreds of animals held at the city's shelters from euthanasia by finding and transporting them to new homes across the country in her bus, Martin said.

Martin hosted an exhibition of her images to raise funds for Pribbenow at the Denver Police Protective Association Event Center. Pribbenow discussed euthanasia and animal adoption at the show and was joined by eight puppies she rescued from the New Orleans animal shelter. "Unless you were there, you can't understand the sacrifice of these rescue workers," Martin said. "I made it a month and a half in New Orleans before I had to leave. Lucy has been there for two years."

New Orleans' shelters are plagued by lack of funding, space shortage and a growing segment of guardians giving up their animals because they can't afford to care for them while trying to rebuild their lives post-Katrina, Pribbenow said. "People mistakenly think they can take the family dog to the shelter, and the dog will get a good home, but there just isn't the space," she said. "Most dogs don't even see a kennel. They go straight to the euthanasia table."

The shelter Pribbenow works with, Hammond Shelter, is the largest in New Orleans and puts down 50 to 80 animals a day, which is why she bought her school bus, she said. Pribbenow said she pays the upfront medical adoption costs such as spay/neuter fees to get the animals ready for adoption, which is covered in her $125 adoption fee, but relies on donations for her travel costs.

Martin said she also donates 25% of proceeds from her project "People and their Pets" to Pribbenow. "There isn't a line Lucy won't cross to help an animal," Martin said. "It's my job to tell the world."