Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | August 19, 2009

4 Year Anniversary of Katrina Animal Rescue

Pop Rocks the Poppycat

Pop Rocks the Poppycat

August 29th marks the 4 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating blow to the southern United States.  Not only was it the deadliest and most destructive hurricane in US history, also identifying a serious weakness in the Country’s preparedness for such a natural disaster, but it also uncovered the lack of incorporation of animals into the emergency services system. 

Roughly 600,000 pets were killed or displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina. 

Despite the devastating results to the animals impacted by Hurricane Katrina there are countless heartwarming stories involving pet rescue efforts of the hundreds of people who responded to this crisis.  Over 8,000 pets left behind were rescued by selfless and heroic people who recognized the importance of an animal’s life and the devastating impact to the families who were forced to leave their pets behind. 

Wilkinson Public Library in Telluride is hosting an incredible documentary entitled: “An American Opera, The Greatest Pet Rescue Story Ever”.  It is billed as, “A tribute, and an honest inquiry into the human-animal relationship and how delicate that bond really is” and includes heartbreaking and heart-warming coverage of the abandoned pets of Hurricane Katrina.  It was the Official Selection for 24 film festivals on 4 continents and the winner of the Gold Camera Award at the U.S. International Film Festival.

The special screening of this film will take place on Monday August 31st at 5:30 PM at the Wilkinson Public Library and will be followed by a Q & A session with one of the film makers.  Second Chance will be on site starting at noon with the Mobile Mutts & Meows RV filled with adoptable rescue pets from the Ridgway Shelter.  Telluride Film Festival will be outfitting the Library Program room with theatre seating and the Library will be offering movie treats.  The entire event is free to the public.

The painful lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina did lead to a positive result when US Representative Tom Lantos (DCalifornia) introduced The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) which requires states seeking FEMA assistance to accommodate pets and service animals in their plans for evacuating residents facing disasters. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority on May 22, 2006.

My name is “Pop Rocks” one of the many kittens rescued by Second Chance.  I greatly appreciate the efforts of Wilkinson Public Library and Program Coordinator Scott Doser in bringing this amazing film and filmmaker to our area.  It shall be a powerful evening.  If not adopted by August 31st I will be at this event looking for my new family – please stop by the Mobile Mutts & Meows RV to meet me and/or my sheltermates!

Side note: In 2005 Second Chance supported the efforts of Pagosa Springs Humane Society to transport about 100 pets rescued from the disaster sight of New Orleans .  Of those pets many were eventually reunited with their parents, including “Sugar” who was fostered in Telluride until her parents were found after they relocated to Texas.  Other pets, whose parents were unable to be tracked, were adopted by their foster parents.  Second Chance Humane Society is grateful to all the families that came forward to provide homes for these traumatized animals. 

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online:  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.


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