Re: Hurricane Katrina donations for the animals

I'm glad not everyone feels the same way as you do.

On a related note, following is an interesting story from today's Minneapolis Star Tribune online:

Volunteers prepare homes for refugees' pets at Camp Ripley
Josephine Marcotty, Star Tribune
September 8, 2005

Where there are people, there are pets, even in the aftermath of a hurricane. Pet rescue volunteers in Minnesota are preparing to house cats and dogs coming with about 3,000 human refugees expected at Camp Ripley later this week.

The evacuated pets will get their own emergency shelter, courtesy of animal rescue operations from around the state. Home Depot and Mills Fleet Farm stores are donating fencing and supples, including a truckload of dog and cat food and kitty litter. The Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, the professional society for veterinarians, will coordinate volunteer vets to staff the emergency pet shelter that is being built on the grounds at Camp Ripley.

Organizers are expecting anywhere from 250 to 1,500 animals.

"I hope we don't get any alligators," said John Tschida, director of the HART animal rescue in Brainerd, Minn., that is in charge of setting up the refugee pet shelter. "I'm not equipped for alligators."

Kathy Young, state animal coordinator for Operation Northern Rescue, said she has been told to expect two or three small animals for every 100 evacuees. Evacuees will not be permitted to bring large dogs or dangerous animals, she said. Mostly she is expecting cats and small dogs that will be coming with their owners on buses or by plane.

One or two buildings at Camp Ripley will be dedicated to the pets. If they need more space, animals will be sheltered in tents, Tschida said. Each animal will be registered, and given an identification number that matches one given to its owner, Young said.

A team of eight veterinarians is on its way. Their first task will be to set up a medical screening and vaccination system for the incoming animals.

"They (the pets) will be stressed out, and their immune systems will be compromised," said Young, who works as an animal control officer in Plymouth.

Young said that the pet rescue operation is well staffed with volunteers and supplies. "We are making kitty litter pans out of old newspapers and staples," she said. "The things you learn in an emergency."

What it needs most is monetary donations to buy things like bleach and mops, Tschida said.