Dedicated To All The Forlorn Animals Still Being Left Behind,
And To All The Rescuers, Who Still Attempt To Assist Them
“You'll be in my heart,
Yes, you'll be in my heart,
From this day on,
Now, and forever more.”
You’ll Be In My Heart
It is hard to believe, it has been five years
Since Hurricane Katrina, caused such pain
It’s also extremely hard to believe, that today
The horrendous Gulf Oil Spill, is doing it, again
So many of us will never forget, late August 2005
Thousands and thousands of pets, were left behind
With no food or fresh water, fighting for their lives
That horrific hurricane had been so cruel and unkind
More than 1,800 people, lost their lives in that storm
Tens of thousands of pets, were trapped in its savagery
Animal rescuers soon flocked to the ravaged Gulf Coast
And launched the largest pet rescue effort in U.S. history
In the days, weeks, and months, following Katrina’s fury
We rescued some 10,000 remarkable animals, of all kinds
Each of them with a unique personality, and a unique story
Here are a few, still in my heart, that were so sadly left behind
Red – a storm-ravaged, paralyzed pit bull, with absolutely nothing but love in his heart, and a very staunch will to survive in his soul.
Mangy Dog – an extremely loyal, emaciated, mange-covered mutt – who many weeks after the storm had passed still refused to leave the broken-down steps of his now destroyed home – still believing with every ounce of strength left in him that he must continue to diligently guard that house for his never returning human family.
One-Eyed Jack – a massive, gentle, giant of a Chow, who had lost an eye in the storm, yet who somehow comforted me each night on our walks around camp, instead of the other way around.
Chico – a tiny white poodle, now completely black from head to toe – drenched in toxic oil, who had been ripped right out of his owner’s arms, and so very cruelly tossed off an evacuation bus, to fend for himself.
Knight – a big, brave, Shepherd/Collie mix, with an even bigger heart. He was found still valiantly protecting his best friend – a tiny, frail, and blind, calico cat – weeks after the storm had passed.
Only a small number of these pets were reunited with their families
We soon shipped thousands of them to shelters all across our country
And, most of the volunteer animal rescuers, took some of them home
Five years later, still in my heart and my home, are these adorable three
Flower – an extremely lonely, withdrawn, tortoise shell feline found near death in a gutter in New Orleans, and now housed in a very hastily constructed ‘cat house,’ along with dozens and dozens of other left behind cats and kittens of all shapes, sizes, colors, and dispositions.
Every time that I wandered ‘cat row,’ sadly viewing the dozens and dozens of makeshift cages, now stacked from floor to ceiling with forlorn felines, a tiny black and cream colored paw would slowly reach out from one particular cage, and it would now cling very tightly to my arm. I would now stop and gaze into her extremely sad and lonely eyes; and I eventually knew that I could never leave this very deserving orphan behind.
Junior – a de-hydrated, barely alive, large black dog – part Lab, part Hound, part Who Knows What. When I pulled him out of his small rescue crate, his eyes were swollen shut; his mouth was completely covered in dry, caked on spittle; and his breathing was extremely labored. I never expected him to survive – so many had not.
For some reason, I sat in the pen with him all night, stroking his dirty matted fur, and talking to him. At morning’s light, I left him there alone for a much needed cup of coffee. And, as I stood outside his pen speaking to a fellow volunteer, someone yelled, “Look! He’s moving; he’s getting to his feet; he’s still listening to your voice!” How could I possibly leave this very determined survivor behind now?
Tater – a call had come into our pet rescue camp from a demolition crew down in Gulfport, Mississippi - they had found a lone survivor at a devastated trailer park right on the ocean – an adorable Black Lab they had quickly named ‘Tater’ since they were tossing him French Fries, which he very gratefully devoured. “Who wants to retrieve this Tater Dog?”
For some reason, I volunteered immediately; and I now drove the one hundred long hot miles to fetch him. I also immediately fell in love with him when we met, and he immediately bonded with me. When we finally got back to base camp, Tater simply refused to get out of my truck; he now felt much safer in it. And, I guess I couldn’t blame him.
Tater and I now spent the next week in my old truck, rescuing many other animals in need, and he loved ‘riding shotgun’ with me. I slept in my truck that entire week, and Tater slept right on top of me in the back seat. He still thinks he’s a lap dog today; and he still very lovingly follows after me, everywhere.
But very sadly, today, five years later, the same thing is happening to them, again
Because of this horrid oil spill, Gulf Coast families are now relinquishing their pets
But unlike five years ago, there is now nowhere to send them, anywhere in America
Just about every animal shelter is now overflowing, and there is no relief in sight yet
America’s tragically left behind pets today,
Now have absolutely nowhere left to go,
And most of them, have very little hope left.
Please Find It In Your Heart To Help At Least One of Them – Please Adopt; Don’t Shop.
Please Continue To Support America’s Many Animal Welfare Organizations, and The Many Extremely Dedicated Animal Rescuers Throughout Our Nation, And Throughout The World, Who Still Care About Them, Including Many Who Are In Our Armed Forces.
And Please Watch This Heartfelt Video, Dedicated To Animal Rescuers, Everywhere: