Kinship Circle: [GULF COAST] We Are Rescue

December 23rd, 2006 10:38 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Dec 23, 2006 8:18 PM
Subject: [GULF COAST] We Are Rescue


12/23/06: We Are Rescue

ANIMAL ISSUE OF THE WEEK: Slaughter On The Streets Of Serbia


1. ‘Twas The Night Before XMAS 2005 (A New Orleans Prayer)
2. At What Point Do We Stop?
3. A Clue? A Lead? To Bring Them Home…
4. NOLA: 12/28 Holiday Event To Help Katrina’s Animal Survivors
5. Trapping Help Needed In Bucktown (NOLA)
6. Building A No Kill Community: Seminar In Shreveport, LA
7. Katrina Causalities: Strays Of Lakeview, New Orleans
8. NOLA Vest-Up Campaign For Human/Canine Law Enforcers
9. A Katrina Cat Reunion For Early-ARNO Volunteer!
10. Katrina CNN: A Story Of Survival And Reunion
11. Troubled Waters Video – December 2006
12. Arraignment Set For Deputies In St. Bernard Street Shootings
13. Would It Have Been So Hard To Feed These Dogs?
14. Baton Rouge: Katrina-Rescued Pet Fish Need Home
15. Christmas In New Orleans, By Katrina Dog-Artist Larry
16. A Christmas Goodbye
17. A Christmas Wish For Our Best Friends
18. On The Anniversary Of His Passing – Love, Brenda


Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 01 - We Are Rescue

We Are Rescue

SOURCE: kasp [at]

Until you have held a tiny puppy in your arms as it kissed your face with
slobbery puppy breath and felt the love,
Until you have held an injured or severely ill dog in your arms and felt
their pain and until you have looked into the eyes of a tired aging senior
dog and felt their wisdom,
You will never understand the life of a rescuer.

We find beauty in the most incomprehensible places and the otherwise homely
It is our gift to see beyond the dirt, terror, sadness and defeat and find
the true soul that lies within.
We are Rescue.

By Kathie Sullivan-Parkes, Topsham, VT
kasp [at]


HURRICANE DIRECTORY: Missing/Found Animals, Rescue & Reunion

* CraigsList:
* Katrina’s Lost Pets:
* Petfinder’s Animal Emergency Response Network:
* FOUND Katrina/Rita Animals, Still Missing Their People:
* Pet Harbor:
* CommunityWalk Maps: Cats/Dogs Sighted in NOLA:
* Animal Sightings — Missing, Found:
* Lost Katrina Pet Photos:
* Remote Reunion Campaign:
* Lost Pets Reported by Residents of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward:
* Pets Missing From St. Bernard Parish in New Orleans:
* Help to Locate Your Lost Pet / St. Bernard Parish Shelter:
* Camp Lucky Rescues:
* Hurricane Pets Lost From Mississippi:
* Pomeranians Lost/Found in Aftermath of Katrina:
* The Lost Pets Of Katrina:
* Lost and
* Stealth Volunteers:
* No Animal Left Behind:


1. ‘Twas The Night Before XMAS 2005 (A New Orleans Prayer)

SOURCE: Holly Quaglia, hollyq24 [at] & karensrescuelist [at]

Please forward to anyone you know who served, continues to serve (even those you think may serve) in the Gulf Coast regions. Thank you for all you’ve done/do! Merry Christmas and Happy 2007! Love ~ Holly

Twas The Night Before Christmas 2005 (A New Orleans Prayer)
Dave F. Metairie, LA December 23, 2005

‘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 to 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…

So shout “Merry Christmas New Orleans, wherever you are.”


2. At What Point Do We Stop?

SOURCE: Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at]

Occasionally criticized and questioned about my continued involvement with animal relief in New Orleans, I again feel it necessary to explain why we provide life for these animals. Before Katrina, feral colonies naturally formed around food sources, with the colonies growing to the size food sources could accommodate — restaurants, dumpsters, places of business where employees often fed the strays. Also, controlled feral colonies existed, fed by volunteers, only the colonies were concentrated to target areas instead of being spread out 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 inexperienced 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’d died of starvation had we not intervened.

My most memorable letters are from pet owners 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, in the pouring rain, in freezing temperatures, in dense fog, crawling under houses and over debris, in mud, etc. 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 when there was no time for an organized evacuation — we weren’t home. Our own pets could tossed out on the streets. I’d hope someone would be looking after them as we are now.


3. A Clue? A Lead? To Bring Them Home…

SOURCE: Remote Reunion Campaign,

In each Gulf Coast Newsletter, Kinship Circle features Katrina’s lost:

* Some MISSING since the storm, possibly with unknown individuals or groups
* Some who were confirmed rescues, now LOST IN THE SYSTEM
* And some FOUND waiting in foster for a familiar face, voice, touch…


Look at these animals. Their humans have been searching for them since the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. If you have ANY leads, contact specific volunteers listed on Remote Reunion Campaign’s website or in this alert. Check Remote Reunion’s website at regular intervals to view additional lost/missing pets.

Valerie Sharma, psharma [at]

To add pets to FOUND section, CONTACT:
Halle Amick, amick [at]

VIEW DOGS missing, lost in system:

VIEW CATS missing, lost in system:


Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 02 - Milo


MILO / CONTACT: Email noanimalleftbehind [at]

If you have Milo or any tips that might lead to his return.



Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 03 - Sebastian


SEBASTIAN / CONTACT: Karen Karbach, 435-577-2092 or kkarbach [at]

Sebastion’s family: Freddie, fcavet [at]


Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 04 - Precious


PRECIOUS / CONTACT: Karen Karbach, 435-577-2092 or kkarbach [at]

Precious’ family: Freddie, fcavet [at]


Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 05 - Chi Chi


CHI CHI / CONTACT: Deb Nelson, 651-462-0247 or Deb77 [at]



4. NOLA: 12/28 Holiday Event To Help Katrina’s Animal Survivors

SOURCE: Eileen Comiskey, comiskeyep [at]

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 06 - Holiday Event

PLS Spread this word of monthly SPEAKERS EVENT to any dog cat lovers u know!! SEE YOU THERE!!

Eileen P Comiskey APLC
Co-Founder, S.U.R.E., Louisiana Development NonProfit
504-875-7930, Ecomiskey [at]


5. Trapping Help Needed In Bucktown (NOLA)

SOURCE: Linda K. Watrous, lindakwatrous [at]

12/18/06, from lindakwatrous [at] — I have been asked to send out a request to help an elderly lady in Bucktown who has been feeding a large number of unneutered cats on her property. She is living in a FEMA trailer on Seminole St., 3 doors down from 1351 Seminole St. The cats are accustomed to being fed, so they should be somewhat easy to trap. If anyone can help, please email me, or call me at 504-220-0247. I haven’t seen the location yet, so I cannot provide any further details. Thanks very much to anyone who can help. Linda

REPLY DIRECTLY TO: Linda Watrous, lindakwatrous [at], 504-220-0247


6. Building A No Kill Community: Seminar In Shreveport, LA

SOURCE: Forwarded by Bonney Brown, BBrown [at]

Come to the seminar that has been called “a prerequisite for rescue groups and organizations that are serious about changing their communities to No Kill.” Seminar by Nathan J. Winograd

January 18, 2007 – Building a No Kill Community
6:30 p.m. / Shreveport, LA
Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
3015 Greenwood Road; Shreveport, Louisiana
Sponsored by Robinson’s Rescue / Free & Open to the Public

How do you build a No Kill community? How do you include feral cats in your community’s lifesaving protection? How do you pay for it all? And what about those big black dogs, shy cats and other “compromised” animals with impediments to adoption – can they be saved too?

You’ll get practical answers to end the killing of pets in your community including finding homes for dogs and cats most shelters currently consider unadoptable. Not in ten years, not in five years, but now – because Animals Deserve Our Protection Today!

For more information:

To register, email: humanealternative [at]

The No Kill Advocacy Center; P.O. Box 74926; San Clemente, CA 92673
ph: 949-276-6942 *


7. Katrina Causalities: Strays Of Lakeview, New Orleans

SOURCE: Linda Graf (timmylilo [at], Kathy Sweeney (kathybsweeney [at], Jeanette Althans (JAlthans [at]


Strays are fending for themselves, with a handful of volunteers to feed, water, trap, ferry animals to a free clinic for sterilization and veterinary care, and find long-term shelter.

“I had no idea going into Lakeview in September 2005 to look for my sister’s cat 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…”


* DRY CAT & DOG FOOD: Critical need for ongoing food source.

* SAFE TRANSPORT: Immediate need for safe vehicle[s] and funding for animal transport to other shelters. The more animals who leave for other shelters/adopters, the more animals can be saved from the streets during this dangerous time of wholesale demolition.

* HOMES FOR NOLA CATS: Desperately needed for a successful TNR program.

* CREATIVE FUNDRAISING IDEAS: A donation box at your holiday party or other special events?


Kathy Sweeney: kathybsweeney [at] or 504-343-3683
Jeanette Althans: JAlthans [at] or 504-430-6477

Kinship Circle - 12-12-06 - 01 - Lakeview

Kinship Circle - 12-12-06 - 02 - Lakeview

Jeanette Althans, Lakeview feeder, writes: I first spotted this black and white cat in November 2005. I just saw the cat again last weekend! I will never forget this cat and never forget what Rebbie Levingston (a former Lakeview feeder) said about him: “This cat is my inspiration.” Last November, it was very rare to see any signs of life in daylight.

Kinship Circle - 12-12-06 - 03 - Lakeview

Kinship Circle - 12-12-06 - 04 - Lakeview

…I’m not sure if people fully grasp what it is like trying to keep the animals alive on the streets. Today there are more obstacles than when I started over one year ago:

1. People are back and don’t want us feeding in their neighborhood.

2. Lakeview raccoons eat the food every night at many stations, so the cats are only fed on the days the feeder can go out.

3. Houses serving as F/W stations are torn down constantly, posing a danger for the cats and leaving us with fewer and fewer options on where to feed.


Kathy Sweeney: kathybsweeney [at] or 504-343-3683
Jeanette Althans: JAlthans [at] or 504-430-6477


1. Lakeview, New Orleans is one of many areas caught in Katrina’s destruction — and by no means represents the only urgent area for animals.

2. KINSHIP CIRCLE does not represent any particular rescue organization working in the Gulf Coast. We compile/circulate information from various groups and individuals.


8. NOLA Vest-Up Campaign For Human/Canine Law Enforcers


Vest Up is a nonprofit campaign for all law enforcement personnel, including canines, who are still — more than a year following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina — awaiting replacement of their missing or destroyed bullet-proof vests.

…Everyone is aware of the tragedy that befell the Gulf; few know how they can still make a difference. Please join our volunteer network and show your appreciation to the men, women and K-9s who continue to need our support. Gratefully, Maura Rose Gallagher, Executive Director, Vest Up

Vest Up; 330 E. Cordova Street, #375; Pasadena, CA 91101


9. A Katrina Cat Reunion For Early-ARNO Volunteer!

SOURCE: Kim Johnson, rrsighthound [at]

12/6/06, from Kim Johnson, rrsighthound [at] One of our [original ARNO, under Jane Garrision, Pia Salk, David Meyer] Katrina volunteers has been REUNITED with her cat, Oreo! Cheryl was the ‘caretaker’ for Section J last winter (meaning that she helped with data entry, tracking, and vital feeder support for that area), but she had been a resident of Section E (New Orleans East) prior to Hurricane Katrina.

Cheryl was a nurse and her husband was a New Orleans Police Officer. Cheryl and their children evacuated, but her husband stayed behind to work and to care for their pets. Like everyone, they assumed there would be a bad wind storm and then everyone would return 24-48 hours later. Her husband was at work in another part of the city when the levees broke, and he was unable to get back to the house to save the pets. He made several attempts to get back to the house, but as we all know, manpower was short, boats were hard to come by, the distance was great, and the situation was dangerous. Sadly, one of their two Labradors drowned, and the other survived by standing on the narrow ledge of the windowsill in the laundry room until rescuers came by boat and found him still standing there 4 days later. Can you imagine a Lab standing on the windowsill inside a laundry room for 4 days?

The cat, a neutered male tuxedo named Oreo, was never found. So he was presumed to have survived, but no one knew for sure. There were sightings of black and white cats around the neighborhood, and some of you may remember the map that I made (from ARNO’s detailed animal sighting reports for Jan-Feb 2006) to help Cheryl look for Oreo. Cheryl’s Grandfather was back in New Orleans and Cheryl gave him the map and he would go to the neighborhood to look for Oreo. A feeding station was set up at their house… Trappers were sent out to the locations where black and white cats had been sighted, but Oreo was never trapped.

Well today I got the following email from Cheryl, cferrell2 [at] — “ARNO, Stealth Volunteers, and everyone who hoped and prayed…thank you. Oreo was found Thanksgiving (yes, last week). Someone had seen him after the bulldozers flushed out a lot of cats and thought he was Oreo’s kitten cause 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 putting food out and calling…long story short — Oreo is neutered –we saw him and got him! He nor others would not have lived without y’alls tireless efforts and long shifts out of dedication of your love! Truly, Cheryl Ferrell, family and Oreo!”

That’s right folks, FIFTEEN MONTHS LATER! Oreo has been rescued and reunited with his family! Cheryl’s original plea to Jane Garrison, co-founder of Animal Rescue New Orleans:

From: Cheryl Ferrell, cferrell2 [at]
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006
To: JaneGarrison [at]
Subject: Trap or if seen cat in NO East?

Please look at the attached documents to look at Oreo, left in House on Maid Marian Drive in Sherwood Subdivision across from Sherwood elementary school. I appreciate your help or referrals… My dad who was in the area to assess the the damage and clear out the house did not see him. The exact address is 4828 Maid Marian Drive…


10. Katrina CNN: A Story Of Survival And Reunion

SOURCE: Forwarded by Bettina R., brosmar [at]

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 07 - Rocky

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 08 - Rocky

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 09 - Rocky

Sixteen months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, many of the 8,000 rescued pets remain in shelters, their owners unknown or unreachable. Rocky was one of those animals, until the work of a dedicated group of people led to a heartwarming reunion.

The story of Rocky’s remarkable odyssey first came to CNN from software company president, Eric Mirell. Conversations with rescue volunteer Christiane Biagi filled in the details. They and a microchip all played a significant role this tale.

Rocky’s journey began when his owner, 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 couldn’t take animals and Rocky was left behind, again.

Rocky survived on MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, which were regularly thrown to stray animals by National Guard troops patrolling the area.

Somehow, Rocky eventually ended up in a triage-staging area for rescues in Tylertown, Mississippi. BF1271 was his listing number on a special section set up for Katrina rescues.

Rocky has an implanted microchip, which would normally make finding his owner easy. But flooding from Katrina destroyed the records of many rescue shelters and animal control offices, making the microchip meaningless – for a while.

Rocky stayed in Tylertown for months and was moved around before ending up at Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, New York. Shelter director Pam Green, shown here, and other workers 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 is part of KART, the Katrina Animal Reunion Team, and she made it one of her many missions to track down Rocky’s owner. Biagi was in contact with St. Bernard Parish animal control, where Rocky’s records had been kept. The office had spent months trying to dry out their paper records – carefully extricating them from the ruins and laying them on the lawn.

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

While Rocky had been moving from shelter to shelter, his owner, 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.

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 10 - Rocky

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 11 - Rocky

Cure and Rocky came face to face again on December 14.

Cure says Rocky had always been a smart, healthy dog, and he “just knew he’d figure out a way of surviving.” Like many owners separated from their pets by Katrina, Cure did not have easy access to the Internet and had not been able to search for Rocky online

Cure says now that they are together and back in Memphis, Rocky goes almost everywhere with him and enjoys cruising around in his pickup.

While Rocky’s ending is a happy one, Biagi and other volunteers are still working tirelessly on dozens of other cases. Vivian, shown here at the Kent shelter, is one of those. Unfortunately, Vivian had no tags or microchip, so finding her owner may be impossible.

Biagi says time is running out for many of the rescues because shelters have started euthanizing long-term residents. The Katrina Animal Rescue Team can be reached at FindKPets [at]

If you have a Katrina rescue story, share it with CNN here.


11. Troubled Waters Video – December 2006

SOURCE: Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at]

12/21/06, from Pam Leavy — This video contains current footage of New Orleans, Oct. through Dec. 2006 (as recent as Dec. 16). Although cleanup and rebuilding is underway, residents are slow to return. Thousands of animals still wander, homeless, dependant on feeders to keep them alive in a land without food sources. Many animals are waiting at feeding stations when we arrive. It’s heartbreaking. TNR is in place to help control overpopulation, however without sufficient funding/volunteers, it’s impossible to keep up.

With increasing crime, collapsing buildings, and toxins, the city is dangerous — dangerous for the residents, for the volunteers and especially dangerous for the animals. We’ve gotten to know many people in the 9th Ward area we’ve worked since October 2005, people who we visit regularly. These people express concern regarding crime — in one lady’s words “I don’t want it to get like it was before — it’s peaceful now.”

Turn up your volume and watch the video here:

Please forward this video on to everyone. The more views, ratings and favoritism it gets on YouTube, the better chance of it remaining on top and being viewed by others. Feel free to use the link above on your websites. This video, a little longer than usual, is in lower quality format to fit the youtube requirements. Anyone with high speed internet can email me requesting better quality. I’ll have limited internet access during Dec. 22-Jan.8, so I may not respond till after that period.)


You’ll Never Walk Alone – Filmed Sept-Oct. 2005

I Want To Live – Filmed Oct.-Nov. 2005

Somebody’s Praying – Filmed Dec. 2005

Still Forgotten – Filmed through Sept. 2006

The above videos have been produced solely for the purpose of spreading awareness of the animal conditions southeast Louisiana. I am a volunteer and receive no compensation for my work in New Orleans or these videos.


12. Arraignment Set For Deputies In St. Bernard Street Shootings

SOURCE: Pasado’s Safe Haven,

On February 14, Pasado’s Safe Haven will be in Baton Rouge, Louisiana watching as St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s deputy Mike Minton and Deputy Chip Englande will be arraigned on aggravated cruelty to animals charges. Although the school shootings case is still being investigated by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the wheels of justice have begun to turn in the case of the street shootings. FULL STYORY —

Charles Foti, Jr., Louisiana State Attorney General announced the arraignment hearing date this week. Read his press release at

Mark Steinway, Pasado’s Safe Haven’s Humane Investigator will be at the arraignment on February 14. We’ll post photos of the “perp walk” on our Website — one of the sweetest Valentine’s Day gifts we’ll ever enjoy.


13. Would It Have Been So Hard To Feed These Dogs?

SOURCE: Eric’s Dog Blog,

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 12 - So Hard

12/4/06, from — Instead of helping the 20 or so people (and dogs) who had to leave the dogs behind by taking care of these friendly dogs…they murdered them.

I traveled over 1000 miles to end up in St. Bernard Parish rescuing over 500 pets, returning many to desperate owners in the days after Katrina. How hard would it have been to feed these peoples pets? No other Parish saw the need to shoot wild dogs. Quite the opposite. 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 rarely was a dog dangerous. What hell those dogs must have went through in that killing hour, watching their people taken away in boats without them and then as these people came around shooting them one after the other, and all the time thinking this was “just shooting some dumb animals” Things have to change in this country…

Owners allege ‘gruesome’ pet slayings
by Richard A. Webster, 12/04/06

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 13 - Gigi

Judy Migliori is shown with her dog Gigi before Hurricane Katrina. The toy poodle was later found in St. Bernard High School shot in the head. (Photo courtesy Pet Justice Project)

“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 Oct. 2, 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.

In all his years investigating cases of animal cruelty, Steinway said he has never seen anything that remotely approaches what occurred in three schools in St. Bernard Parish in the days following Hurricane Katrina. The bullet-riddled bodies of dozens of household pets littered the tiled hallways, some allegedly executed after they had been leashed and tied up by their owners.

Among the allegedly massacred was Gigi, an 8-pound, 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 owner, Judy Migliori, brought the poodle to St. Bernard High School, a shelter of last resort, after the floodwaters engulfed her Violet home. Moments after she arrived at the shelter, police ushered her into a boat headed for higher ground.

Migliori clutched Gigi to her breast as she climbed onto the flat-bottom deck. She said a man with a hunting rifle stopped her, 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 pet owners their animals would be safe inside the school.

Weeks after the storm, reports circulated about the alleged slaughter of dozens of household pets in the three St. Bernard schools used as shelters — 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, could have prepared him for what he saw inside those buildings. “There were bullets everywhere, shotgun shells everywhere, holes in the walls, holes in the 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

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s office declined to comment on the lawsuit which is expected to go to court sometime early next year. It issued a written statement denying the charges and declaring any actions taken were done with the “utmost care, caution and belief of its necessity” in a time of emergency. St. Bernard deputies allegedly told Steinway they were under shoot-to-kill orders for dogs potentially packing up and becoming 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 the breeds of dogs found shot in the schools — dachshunds, schnauzers, Pomeranians and miniature poodles — presented little danger of “packing up” and terrorizing the community.

Based on the carnage he saw inside the schools, Steinway disputes officers’ claims they killed animals to spare them from 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 the attorney general’s office has been uncooperative and doubt the seriousness of its investigation. “I’ve gotten a crash course in Louisiana politics,” Steinway said. “I thought the AG’s office was on our side and that they were going to vigorously pursue this and nothing like that has happened. It has gotten squashed from day one.”

Foti’s office denied the charges and said the investigation is proceeding. Spokesperson Kris Wartelle said part of the case may soon go before a grand jury.

Other animal killings

Not all alleged pet killings took place in school shelters. On Sept. 7, 2005, according to the lawsuit, 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 some personal belongings, leaving her dog, Hooch, with deputies outside. She then heard two gunshots. “Her dog, ‘Hooch,’ entered the house and ran upstairs,” according to 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 the plaintiffs will receive cash settlements. They say the purpose of the lawsuit is to bring alleged perpetrators to justice and to redefine domesticated animals under the law as something more than inanimate possessions. “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, is teaching an animal law course for the first time next semester. It is important to update laws that in many cases are 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.”


14. Baton Rouge: Katrina-Rescued Pet Fish Need Home

SOURCE: Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at]

12/8/06, from Pam Leavy — This email is directed towards Baton Rouge, La., area residents. Sorry that everyone is going to get this, but I don’t have all my email list separated by state yet.

As y’all know, I’ve done Katrina animal rescue and continue working with animal relief in the New Orleans area for the past 15 months. In addition to furry rescues, I did fish rescues which, in turn, has transformed my house into a mini Aquarium of the Americas. I have set up 5 tanks, 3 of them large, to house approximately 20 fish, several of which are Texas Cichlids, very aggressive and can’t be roommates with other fish, and often times, but be a single fish tank.

We rescued 3 of these Cichlids, approximately 4 months post Katrina, from a tank where all other fish in the tank had perished. Two of these were obviously very pleased about being rescued and produced eggs, then babies, approximately 200 of them! The babies are now nearly 1 inch long. The parents took very, very good care of the eggs and babies.

Recently, the male, probably distraught over his responsibility for such an enormous family to care for, began attacking the female (he probably blamed her.) I was able to place him at a pet store, where he’ll hopefully find a good home. A couple of days ago, the female, probably distraught over her responsibility of having sole responsibility for 200 babies, began chasing her babies. I must move her immediately, and the pet store will take her also, but I want to make certain she gets a good home.

This is where you all come into the picture. If there is any of you, or your family/friends, who may be “fish people” and would like to have a rescued Katrina Cichlid, I can provide! The female is large and needs a minimum 45 gallon aquarium, and must be the only fish. I used to have a Placostomus (also a Katrina fish) in there also, but after the couple had eggs, they began attacking him, so I moved him into another tank. The babies can start out in a smaller tank, but will eventually have to move into something large.

If anyone is interested in Mom or a baby or two, please let me know. If I could place the mom and babies, I’d be able to take down one tank, and perhaps my house would sound less like a pet shop and I’d feel less like I’m working at one.

REPLY DIRECTLY TO: Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at]

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 14 - Fish

Mom and Dad checking on eggs. After the eggs hatched, they continued to move them. Half of Mom’s body turned white after she lay the eggs.

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 15 - Fish

A closeup of the babies — feeding time, Dec. 8, 2006

These fish actually have personalities — they watch us, try to attack the cats through the glass, and they arrange and re-arrange their tank, moving plants and rocks. It’s amazing to watch.

REPLY DIRECTLY TO: Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at]


15. Christmas In New Orleans, By Katrina Dog-Artist Larry

SOURCE: Susan Meyer, susankiwikiwi [at]

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 16 - Larry

Christmas in New Orleans, by Katrina Dog-artist Larry, CHARITY AUCTION for Great Dane Rescue — Christmas in New Orleans was painted by dog-artist Larry. Larry, a Cocker mix, was rescued from the devastation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. This gorgeous original comes already matted and framed and ready to add to your collection.

Larry paints with his paws as he pauses and reflects on what he has survived. This beautiful original work in shades of blues, yellows, and bright pink, is reminiscent of Spanish Surrealist Joan Miro’s work. The colors seem to swirl on the canvas like water pooled reflecting the colors of the devastated city of New Orleans. The brightness of the colors in Christmas in New Orleans emotes a sense of hope. Hope that one day New Orleans’ fragmented and colorful pieces will be restored.

Open up your heart for the dogs at the Rescue and bid generously! 100% of your bid helps our dogs in need! Be sure to check our other eBay auctions!


16. A Christmas Goodbye

SOURCE: Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at]

‘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,


17. A Christmas Wish For Our Best Friends

SOURCE: Lilla and Neal Whitehead, lilandneal [at]

On Christmas morning, I wish…

For every dog searching trash cans for breakfast…
A filled bowl with his name printed in bright letters.

For every dog who slept fitfully last night, 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 every “Christmas” puppy given today…
A tolerant, caring owner who won’t abandon you as you grow into a real dog.

For every ailing pet…
Enough money for your owner 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 a soft bed, to ease your aches and pains.

And For every Heart Dog at the Bridge…
A moment when you know that you are remembered today, missed again, and loved forever.


18. On The Anniversary Of His Passing – Love, Brenda

SOURCE: By Brenda Shoss, info [at]

Kinship Circle - 2006-12-23 - 17 - Brenda & Stanley

STANLEY – July 2, 1991 to Dec. 27, 2005
My inspiration for Kinship Circle

12/27/05: Tonight at 7:20 pm my dog Stanley took his last breath.

For three years Stan fought kidney disease with unparalleled stamina. He swam in the Black River. He saw the Grand Canyon. He gambled in Vegas. He schmoozed at AR2005 in Los Angeles.

He lived and died stubbornly, confidently, loved beyond reason. Here is what I sang to him as he died. I want you to know a bit of Stanley. He was the greatest dog in the world.

Silent Night
Holy Night…
All is still
Gone is my 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.


The unceremonious moment occurred in my living room as I watched HBO’s “To Love Or Kill: Man Versus Animal.” During the “Kill” part of the documentary, 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 tumult, 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 walked through my apartment. I was awake. I was alive. And my life would never be the same.

Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle



Kinship Circle is a nonprofit organization. Donations help us meet expenses for the literature, website, research and campaigns — that let YOU take action for animals. Please keep Kinship Circle in mind when you donate.


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To: 7. KINSHIP CIRLE Animal Disaster Relief List
Subject: [GULF COAST] Volunteers Still Needed in New Orleans


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Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Relief List will report Gulf Coast needs, news, missing/found animal reports, etc. for as long as needed. There are still thousands of animals roaming sparsely populated areas…

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