Katrina, Tylertown, and Jan MartinOctober 2005
 



Dec. 12, 2005: Jan is back in Tylertown, Mississippi, for her third tour of volunteering. Originally to have been there a week, Jan has extended to her stay by a second week, covering Dec. 3 to 17.

The animals, volunteers, and Best Friends are still very active and would benefit by more volunteers or donations.

 
I first met Jan Martin in the early days of the web, when Netscape was at version zero point something and transparent gifs were news. We had both joined an artistís group, which eventually broke up, but we corresponded to each other over the years.

Janís interests include dogs, cats, and rats, and she became a vetís technician. Sheís going to Tylertown, Mississippi, for the second time. The animal rescue group Best Friends has its base camp in Tylertown. Volunteers set out in the early morning to rescue and bring back animals, and other volunteers in the camp treat and house the animals.

On her first tour of duty, Jan returned with Ziggy.
 
Jan and Ziggy
 

Why?

The disaster named Hurricane Katrina, which flooded the lowlands of the Gulf States, created a situation that brought together animal people from across the continent: Hundreds of thousands of pets had been abandoned in New Orleans.

Some pets were left because their owners thought theyíd soon be returning; other pets were forcibly removed from their owners, because the administrators handling the evacuation and/or the shelters didnít allow pets.

Thousands of pets have been rescued, but there are others still alive but starving and needing help. These pets are found wherever animals can be found: on the street, in buildings, up in trees, and so forth.

Privates groups and individuals have led the way to the animalsí rescue, since at this time there is no official governmental policy to rescue pets.

I cannot do justice to the story, since Iím not a part of it. But Jan is, and her blog, Jan's Tylertown Experience , has descriptions, photos, and facts about a story that has been mostly ignored by the traditional media.

At her site, youíll find links to various organizations, such as Best Friends, that have done so much to care for the abandoned pets.

Notes

  1. I do not wish to understate any suffering caused by Katrina, whether personal or property, but I hope the world is large enough to include everyone. Pets don't have credit cards, driver's licenses, or can openers, but they are a part of our life, because we made them that way: these are domesticated animals.

  2. The House of Representatives is considering legislation to ensure this type of abandonment doesn't reoccur: Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, H.R. 3858 (PETS Act). Please ask your representative to support this bill.

  3. Please note that the city of New Orleans is only allowing SPCA-credentialed agencies, such as Best Friends Animal Society, to assist in rescuing animals at this time.



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