Again standing in for animals displaced by Katrina -- until we get some images from the folks at Animal Rescue League of Boston, now on the scene in Lafayette, Louisiana -- Baby assumes a waiting-to-be-rescued stance as he applies the think system to dislodge our sister (right) from his favorite chair at Goomp's during Labor Day festivities over the weekend.
"Our programmers are currently hard at work developing a comprehensive database to aid the pets affected by Hurricane Katrina," reports petfinder.com. We caught their representative on FOX News this evening, directing viewers to their website, a clearinghouse of links to a variety of animal welfare groups -- shelters, hotlines and relief organizations -- that are on the case. A progress report:
In addition to an increase in the amount of rescue efforts we are starting to hear more success stories of animals being reunited with their owners. We can’t stress enough the importance of calling the hot-lines to provide descriptions of lost pets and, if owners looking for lost pets are still in the area, stopping by the shelter to look for their pet.
The best way to assist in the disaster relief efforts is to make a donation to the organizations involved so that they can purchase much needed supplies and equipment for the rescue and relief efforts and provide assistance to animal welfare groups impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
We second that thought. Speaking of donations, the "Blog for Relief Weekend" wrapped up at midnight last night, raising over $1.2 million in five days for bloggers' chosen charities. Thanks again to our wonderful and generous readers and fellow bloggers for helping push this blog's final total to $760 for the Animal Rescue League of Boston's efforts in collaboration with the American Humane Association. According to an AHA field report, the ARL of Boston folks are focusing on sheltering and water rescue efforts from their base in Lafayette, Lousiana.
This just in. The real thing (You can take the rest of the evening off, Baby Cakes) on CNN's "360 with Anderson Cooper," a traumatized pussycat rescued from the flood by the good folks of Noah's Wish.
Have you noticed the comments on some blogs scoffing at helping displaced animals when so many humans are still stranded and suffering? In our view, there are two things wrong with that kind of thinking. First, we have a social contract with the animals we take into our homes. We give them food and shelter and affection in return for -- as our friend Carol's mother used to say -- "having something live in the house" (and perhaps a little mousing on the side). We are honor bound not to abandon these earnest, amusing, sentient beings midstream, so to speak.
Secondly -- related, but with the emphasis on our own mental-health needs -- there is the Thoreau factor, the renewing and civilizing powers of nature evoked in our fellow New Englander's famous line, "The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him." We may like to think of our "house pets" as domesticated, but underneath -- especially with cats -- they are far more in touch with their feral selves than most of us are. Our friend Carol, the one whose mother spoke of "something live in the house," herself used to say -- in an attention-grabbing reversal of the old saw -- "Children are animal substitutes." For a lot of people, there's more than a grain of truth in that. You've probably heard reports of some folks Down Yonder refusing to be rescued because they cannot bear to leave their animals. As flood victims begin to experience the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, what better therapy than being reunited with one's loved ones, whether human or animal?