When Katrina struck three years ago, part of the awful news to follow had to do with people’s pets. People being evacuated or stuffed into the stadium were prevented from bringing along their pets. Thousands chose to stay behind rather than abandon their animals, and many thousand more pets died in the flooding that followed the hurricane. Thousands of animals did survive and were eventually rescued; many of those found homes around the country. My own friends, who barely made it out of the city in time, had to leave their cats behind. One of the cats survived in the attic of their house, but it was a skinny animal they retrieved when they could get back into the city.
This time around, none of this should happen.
Authorities evacuating residents from New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Gustav are making amends with four-legged friends after thousands of pets perished in Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
Animal welfare groups tried to make sure that evacuees had their pets with them, while shelters away from the Gulf Coast accommodated animals this time around.
The group stacked up boxes for residents who planned to carry their small pets with them as part of an evacuation on buses and trains through the Union Passenger terminal.
Pet owners stood in line to register their furry friends. Then they were given a machine readable band to tag on to their pet, in case they became separated.