Kinship Circle: [GULF COAST] Time To Remember, Time To Act

February 21st, 2008 8:21 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 9:07 PM
Subject: [GULF COAST] Time To Remember, Time To Act

KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER RELIEF – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

GULF COAST
2/20/08: A Time To Remember, A Time To Act

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/

IN FEBRUARY GULF COAST NEWSLETTER:

1. NOLA Rescuer Arrested While Trapping Cats
2. A Time To Act: St. Bernard Parish Killings
3. A Time To Remember…
4. Highlights & Updates
5. Support Humane Society Of Louisiana’s Recovery
6. For Buddy: Toughen Mississippi’s Lax Cruelty Law
7. Kane: Featured Katrina Dog – Where’s My Family?
8. Blue Eyes: Featured Katrina Cat – Where’s My Family?
9. Think Of Animals When Disaster Strikes

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1. NOLA Rescuer Arrested While Trapping Cats

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ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
nolacats [at] gmail.com

ARRESTED NOLA ANIMAL RESCUER NEEDS ATTORNEY

– Kim J. was arrested while trapping cats in New Orleans for spay/neutering.
– Please help Kim find a pro-bono attorney and someone to contact at the National Guard.
– Email Kim at nolacats [at] gmail.com if you can help or know someone who can.

FROM KIM: nolacats [at] gmail.com

I was arrested Sunday night while out cat trapping in New Orleans. I need an attorney. Does anyone know an attorney who might be willing to do pro-bono work on my case? I could also use a high-ranking contact in the National Guard. I don’t want to post the details, but if anyone knows an attorney, please email me directly and I’ll fill you or the attorney in on the details. Thank you, Kim J., nolacats [at] gmail.com

FROM DIANE MICHELL: DianeCMichell [at] netscape.net

Kim J. has been helping animals on the streets of New Orleans since Katrina. She is a dedicated animal rescuer and was in New Orleans soon after Katrina. I met Kim while at Celebration Station working with ARNO and Best Friends. Kim coordinated the mapping and logging of over 2,800 volunteer feeding stations for animals throughout abandoned neighborhoods of New Orleans and surrounding parishes in the months following.

During this past summer, Kim helped cat colony caretakers trap and spay/neuter hundreds of cats as part of the Best Friends/HSUS Big Easy Cat Trapping project. Kim has continued trapping feral cats for surgeries so that their ever-increasing populations can be humanely brought under control. Kim is analyzing the data to track patterns and populations of roaming cats for possible future programs to address these needs.

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2. A Time To Act: St. Bernard Parish Killings

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1. ACTION / SEND LETTERS:
Sample-Letter Alert: Demand Justice In St. Bernard Parish Shootings
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/letter_library/letter_new.asp?LetterID=1715&seriesfirst=true

Web Letter To: U.S. District Court – Eastern Division of Louisiana
http://www.pasadosafehaven.org/KATRINA/DOGSHOOTING/LetterForm.htm

2. ACTION / TRIBUTE:
Justice for the Pets Murdered in St. Bernard Parish:

bongiornosusan [at] aol.com — View and forward this YouTube video to everyone in your address book. Susan Bongiorno, Transport & Out of State Adoption Coordinator, St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter

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3. ACTION / TRIBUTE:
Memorial Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK6Jtys5QIM
Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at] msn.com — Don’t let them die in vain. Watch and forward this video. On Jan. 30, 2008, a memorial was held at one of the St. Bernard schools were 33 cats and dogs were brutally tortured and killed.

4. ACTION / PETITON: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/408098466

5. ACTION / POST REWARD FLYER:
ARNO writes: If you live, work, trap or feed in St. Bernard Parish [OR NEW ORLEANS AREA] post the $25,000 Reward flyer, downloadable on Pasado’s website: http://www.pasadosafehaven.org/KATRINA/DOGSHOOTING/HISTORY.htm
(Scroll to “History Of School Shootings” to download flyer.) There were more people on the street, including National Guard, who witnessed these abominable crimes against defenseless animals.

5. INFORMATION / HISTORY:
St. Bernard Slaughter Of Companion Animals
http://kinshipcircle.org/disasters/gulfcoast/newsletters/08-01-20.html
http://www.pasadosafehaven.org/KATRINA/STREETSHOOTINGS.htm
http://www.nola.com/timespic/stories/index.ssf?/base/library-140/120124209411210.xml&coll=1

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3. A Time To Remember…

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Photos ©2008 ARNO/Laura Richard

ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
Charlotte Bass Lilly, table25 [at] bellsouth.net
http://www.animalrescueneworleans.org

MEMORIAL NO SUBSTITUTE FOR CRIMINAL TRIAL

On Jan. 30, rescuers from Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), Pasado’s Safe Haven and Katrina Animal Rescue Team (KART) met in front of P.G.T. Beauregard Middle School to place flowers and hold a memorial service for 33 dogs and cats murdered within the school. The front yard of the school filled with stands of flowers sent by rescuers and Stealth Volunteers (lost Katrina animal pet detectives) from all over the US and Canada. Kelle Davis, ARNO volunteer from Houston, was overcome with emotion as she arrived at the school. “This is the first time I’ve been back to this school since the day I walked in and saw what remained of the carnage. I didn’t think it would effect me so profoundly today.” Katrina rescuers who live out of town arrived in town this week for what should have been Minton’s trial on Tuesday, January 29, only to find out that the charges had been quietly dropped. Englande’s trial was scheduled for February 14. If convicted the felony charges carried penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

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ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
http://www.pasadosafehaven.org/KATRINA/STREETSHOOTINGS.htm

MESSAGE FROM DAVID LEESON, Dallas Morning News photojournalist who videotaped SBP street killings

“(Deep sigh) Unbelievable. Lack of evidence? (Another sigh) I wondered what had happened to this case. It was supposed to go to trial in November but I never got a call from the state. I assumed it was postponed. But I had also heard about the change in the DA and rumors that it could affect the case. And, so it did.

“I’m sorry. I wish I could have done more. If I had only followed up that very day by returning to that neighborhood to shoot more, it might have helped. If only my footage of the black dog I photographed trotting alongside our vehicle as we were leaving had turned out. I thought the tape was rolling but it was not. It was this dog that caused me to stop to let him catch up so we could feed him. I would have missed the shootings entirely if not for my desire to feed this beautiful dog. On my tape (not included in the edited version) I say, ‘I was going to feed that dog,’ and then you hear my colleague say, ‘And they shot him.’ I’ve always wished that tape had been rolling because it would have clearly shown that this was a very friendly animal simply looking for some help. Thanks for keeping me informed… David Leeson”

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ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at] msn.com

(EDITED FOR LENGTH)
KATRINA LEFT SURVIVORS, HUMAN AND ANIMAL, WHO STRUGGLED…
to outlast winds, flooding, and abandonment in southeast Louisiana. Long after the humans were rescued, thousands of animals roamed the streets in search of food and family, while thousands of others, secured in homes and other buildings, faced dehydration and starvation as their food sources were depleted. While every animal rescued was worth every effort, every cost, thousands of animals died as time ran out…

As rescuers opened feeding stations for those they were unable to immediately rescue, there were others, the sick gun-toting “officers of the law,” who, during a time of complete chaos, joyfully took matters into their own hands, using pets as target practice…

Their lame excuses: They claim they had to shoot the dogs on the street for their own safety — dogs greeted these deputies, ecstatic to see a human, tails wagging: “Maybe my family, maybe these humans brought food.” The officers claim it was more humane to kill the dogs than let them starve. Animal rescuers were everywhere, while thousands of pounds of pet food poured into the area… These “mercy” killings were not instant death…as video footage depicts the slow death of one dog, struggling to stand after being shot, while deputies watch. We’ll never know all of the atrocities afflicted upon animals during this period.

But then, the most horrific animal torture of all, the St. Bernard school shootings, where pets were tortured beyond the comprehension of most people… The suffering these helpless animals endured is unimaginable. In addition, these brutal acts are relative to the insanity demonstrated by serial killers before they begin taking human victims.

With evidence secure, with video footage, with photos and witnesses (including camera crews and military,) in addition to the intense brutality of the crime, I never would have dreamed this case would be thrown out… What good are animal protection laws with corrupt politics?
Pam Leavy, Baton Rouge, La.

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PHOTO ABOVE: The dog art layered beneath ARNO’s photo of 1/30/08 memorial flowers comes from Evelyn Black, EBlack [at] cinci.rr.com: I was in New Orleans and Mississippi after Katrina working with Best Friends and ARNO…and will hold my own little vigil here in Cincinnati, lighting a candle in memory of those innocent animals so callously used for target practice in the streets.

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4. Highlights & Updates

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UPDATE ON LOUISIANA DOGFIGHTING CASES
REPLY TO: hopefulhaven [at] yahoo.com
2/15/08: There are two new court dates for the following dogfighting cases:
– Eric Moseley’s court date is set for March 18, 2007. Moseley has retained counsel.
– Jerry Wells’ court date is set for March 20, 2007. Jerry Wells has a public defender.
The dogs are being held as evidence.
READ ABOUT CASES & TAKE ACTION:
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/gulfcoast/newsletters/08-01-30.html#6

DOGFIGHTING NATIONAL HOTLINE: 1-877-847-4787
– Hotline is sponsored by HSUS.
– Award up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a dogfighter.
– All information is kept confidential; no one will know you’ve called.
– Hotline answered 24/7. You can leave a message, talk to an investigator, or get their email address and leave your own.
– Hotline advises: If a dogfight is underway, immediately call police: 911
Then call the hotline: 1-877-847-4787

FEEDING FERALS IN NEW ORLEANS AREA?
REPLY TO: info [at] cathelpdesk.org
If you are feeding feral cats, PLEASE also trap and spay/neuter those cats to help reduce the population growth rate. If you need guidance or assistance with trapping, such as borrowing traps, learning how to trap, learning which vets will take feral cats for spay/neuter, etc., then, check out this new local resource for greater New Orleans and surrounding parishes, including Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson, St.
Tammany, Washington, and Tangipahoa:
The CAT HELP DESK – email: info [at] cathelpdesk.org

UPDATE — 2/8/08: HELP ANIMALS DISPLACED IN TENNESSEE TORNADOES
After several hectic days of research into the needs of animal victims in the Tennessee tornadoes, Kinship Circle received no major requests for out-of-state volunteers. As outlined in our original alert, the main requests were for monetary donations. We also spoke with contacts for some of the national deployment groups we support — EARS and Best Friends — who both confirmed the lack of a call for outside assistance…

From: Matt Herlocker – mherlocker [at] uan.org
Organization: United Animal Nations
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008
We have spoken to numerous state and local officials about anything we could do to assist with animal issues. While there has been some aid to animals provided within the state, there have been few requests for outside assistance. We have heard…of isolated reports of animal needs. As is our policy, we referred people with these concerns to the appropriate local emergency management agency… As you may know, we do not deploy volunteers to disaster areas without a written invitation from the local government.

We have a grant program opened up to victims of this event. We will make cash grants available to assist owners of animals that need veterinary care or temporary boarding. For more information, please go to this link:
http://www.uan.org/documents/Crisis_Relief_Grants_Southeastern_US_2008.pdf
Matt Herlocker, Director of Emergency Services
United Animal Nations, http://www.uan.org/

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5. Support Humane Society Of Louisiana’s Recovery

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ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
Jeff Dorson, stopcruelty11 [at] gmail.com

ORDER YOUR FLEUR DE LIS “PAWS FOR A MOMENT” PENDANT:
Support Humane Society of Louisiana’s rebuilding efforts in New Orleans!

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This exquisite new piece, created by celebrated Indianapolis designer, Marc Aronstam, Aronstam Designers & Fine Jewelers, is now available for sale! 30% of the sale of each pendant will be donated to Humane Society of Louisiana. These proceeds will help fund the group’s ongoing efforts to recover and rebuild, after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the New Orleans shelter.

Created in sterling silver, the design captures the spirit of the Big Easy. A fleur de lis symbol is set on a tapestry background in a stylized shield — edged by a ribbon inscribed with: Help Us Rebuild. Along with the group’s initials, the paw print integrated into the center of the design references the animal victims of Katrina and those animals still in need of help.

The cost of each piece is $85. A 20″ woven sterling chain is also available to buyers for an additional $40. When ordering the pendant, with or without the chain, please add an additional $10 to your total for shipping and handling. Indiana residents please add 6% sales tax.

CONTACT ARONSTAM JEWELERS DIRECTLY TO PLACE ORDER:
CALL MARC ARONSTAM TO CHARGE BY PHONE:
1-877-808-1188 or 317-817-9000

INQUIRE ABOUT PENDANT BY EMAIL:
msa [at] aronstam.com (Type HSL in your subject line)

TO ORDER BY FAX OR POSTAL MAIL:
Email Humane Society of Louisiana’s Jeff Dorson for a form to fill out and send with your check or credit card info, stopcruelty11 [at] gmail.com

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6. For Buddy: Toughen Mississippi’s Lax Cruelty Law

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ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
American Humane Association, info [at] americanhumane.org

NOTE FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE:

Katrina blew off the lid on a Pandora’s box of antiquated laws and social systems. With animals, we saw the neglect, abuse, and lack of enforced anti-cruelty laws. Many learned firsthand that an animal pulled from floodwaters needed rescue long before the storms.

Mississippi has some of the most lax animal cruelty laws in the nation. Senate Bill 2499 would upgrade domesticated animal abuse to a felony crime, punishable by up to five years prison and a $10,000 fine. SB 2499 would direct the court to mandate psychological evaluation of convicted abusers.

WE OWE IT TO BUDDY TO GET SB 2499 PASSED:

Mississippi is not immune to heinous incidents of animal cruelty, as illustrated by the tragic fate of Buddy, a 16-week-old Labrador retriever who was left for dead inside a diaper box at the side of a road in Gautier. The puppy’s eyes, ears, throat and mouth had been covered in PVC pipe glue. Because Mississippi’s animal cruelty law lacks felony penalties, the perpetrator of this horrific crime will, at the very most, be sentenced to just six months’ incarceration or be ordered to pay a meager fine.

CONTACT INFORMATION / TAKE ACTION:

Senator Gray Tollison
Senate Judiciary Committee, Division B Chairman
Room 409A, P.O. Box 1018; Jackson, MS 39215
ph: 601-359-3425; email: gtollison [at] senate.ms.gov
SOURCE: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/members/senate/tollison.xml

Senator Michael Watson
Senate Judiciary Committee, Division B Vice-Chairman
P.O. Box 1018; Jackson, MS 39215
ph: 601-359-3234; email: mwatson [at] senate.ms.gov
SOURCE: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/members/senate/watson.xml

Ask them to schedule SB 2499 for a committee hearing and vote for its passage.
SEND AMERICAN HUMANE’S WEB-AUTOMATED LETTER:
http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ta_action_alerts
ON RIGHT SIDE PAGE, Click on: Mississippi – Help strengthen Mississippi’s animal cruelty law

OR, SEND YOUR OWN COMMENTS VIA EMAIL, PHONE OR POSTAL MAIL
Elected officials notice personally sent letters more than web-automated letters.

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7. Kane: Featured Katrina Dog – Where’s My Family?

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IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT KANE, CONTACT:
findkpets [at] yahoo.com, 985-893-6456

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ABOUT KANE:

Male * Lab/ Shepherd/ Chow mix * Young
RESCUED FROM: Kane, (Shelter Name), was rescued in 1/06 on Louisa St, New Orleans 70117 (North of N. Galvez; Bywater-Florida Ave. Neighborhood).

It’s tough to know what his breed is. He’s smaller than most labs; could have some chow but doesn’t have any black on his tongue; is black with white patch on his chest, white on the tips of his toes, and white on the inside of one of his front paws. Some patches on his coat look brown/gold in the sunlight. Kane was really scared when rescued and wouldn’t let too many people near him. He now runs and plays but sort of tiptoes when he walks.

CONTACT: findkpets [at] yahoo.com, 985-893-6456

MORE LOST KATRINA DOGS LOOKING FOR THEIR PEOPLE:
http://home.mindspring.com/~tisme/id1.html
Katrina Animal Reunion Team (KART)
P.O. Box 1156; Mandeville LA 70470-1156
ph: (leave a voicemail message): 985-893-6456
email: FindKPets [at] yahoo.com

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8. Blue Eyes – Katrina Cat: Where’s My Family?

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IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT BLUE EYES, CONTACT:
findkpets [at] yahoo.com, 985-893-6456

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ABOUT BLUE EYES:
Male * Shorthair Cat * Silver Grey Lynx Point Siamese Mix
RESCUED FROM: Blue Eyes showed up in a backyard on Tudor Ave, River Ridge-New Orleans 70123 in late 9/05.

He’s a silver grey lynx point Siamese mix with big blue eyes, was neutered, front declawed, around 6 years old and weighs around 14 lbs. He’s very friendly and very much an indoor cat who was definitely owned before Katrina.

CONTACT: findkpets [at] yahoo.com, 985-893-6456

MORE LOST KATRINA CATS LOOKING FOR THEIR PEOPLE:
http://home.mindspring.com/~tisme/id7.html

PLACES TO LOOK FOR RESCUED CATS:
http://home.mindspring.com/~tisme/id4.html

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9. Think Of Animals When Disaster Strikes

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ALERT FROM / REPLY TO:
David Friedman, dfnow [at] verizon.net
Disaster Services Coordinator, MUTTSHACK WASHINGTON
http://www.muttshack.org
Inga Gibson, igibson [at] hsus.org

Think of animals when disaster strikes
By INGA GIBSON, GUEST COLUMNIST

Please post a comment if you have a chance – Thanks!
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/351894_animal20.html

If we didn’t learn the importance of including animals in emergency response plans after watching the heart-wrenching scenes out of Louisiana, you’d think we would have learned when the disaster hit closer to home.

At least 1,300 farm animals and horses died during the recent floods in southwest Washington, yet some people still believe animal emergency planning is unnecessary. The loss of animal life during the recent storms took an economic and psychological toll on animal owners. Animals suffered, farmers lost their livelihoods, and state and local agencies continue to deal with animal disposal and potential public health issues.

More than two months after the floods, pets in Lewis County are now ill due to exposure to deceased and decomposing animals.

Senate Bill 5106, sponsored by state Sen. Ken Jacobsen, requests that the Washington State Department of Emergency Management, in cooperation with local emergency management agencies, develop guidelines to ensure an animal component is present in state and local emergency management plans. This legislation would put Washington in line with the Federal Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which was signed into law in October 2006.

The law requires that state and local emergency plans address the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals, and provides reimbursement to state and local governments for eligible pet evacuation and sheltering activities during a declared disaster.

Recognizing that during a disaster, animal issues are people issues, SB5106 also encourages animal owners to incorporate their animals into their own personal emergency plans to mitigate the impact of future disasters.

Of 16 states that have already passed similar laws, including Oregon and California, Washington is the only West Coast state that has yet to pass any animal planning legislation.

The need for planning is clear. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross and American Veterinary Medical Association all promote including animals in emergency plans. In addition, disaster experts note that evacuations will run more smoothly if animals are included in pre-disaster plans and people will be more likely to evacuate if they can take their pets with them, saving lives and lessening the burden on disaster responders.

Based on an estimated 3.6 million pets in Washington, or 1.8 million pet-owning households, developing those guidelines would cost the state around a penny per pet or a little less than 2 cents per household. I highly doubt that any Washingtonian, pet owner or not, would argue that the value of an animal’s life, and the comfort they provide us post-disaster, is worth less than that.

While we can’t always predict when the next disaster will strike, we can reduce the potential impact by supporting legislation that would ensure that animals are part of our emergency plans.

Inga Gibson is Washington state director of the Humane Society of the United States. Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Action Campaigns I Literature I Animal Disaster Aid Networking
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http://www.kinshipcircle.org/donation/

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