Saved: Cancer, Katrina Dogs and Me


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She teamed up with fellow local dog lovers Melinda Goldrich, Bland Nesbit and Jan Panico, and made their way to Louisiana to help those animals. They ended up volunteering at an animal shelter in Gonzales, west of the disaster zone, where hundreds of animals were being housed in a chaotic war-zone environment. They spent 10 days there. They brought 18 dogs back to Aspen with them — nine in a borrowed private plane and another nine in the back of a minivan.

Nesbit said the stories of thousands of animals in the hurricane zone struck close to home and spurned her to go and help. It just broke my heart and I kept thinking about the animals. The women recalled cold showers they took to wash themselves of fur and feces at the end of their shelter days, and other inconveniences that arose while doing their part in Louisiana. Gurchick said she began writing the book four years ago, for the women who made the journey with her.

While it may have been ill-advised for a convalescent chemotherapy patient to go into a hurricane zone with hundreds of strange dogs, she wrote that it was the beginning of her post-cancer life. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. Would you like to receive our weekly top story roundup?

Every morning at a. Thousands of owners were calling in, frantically searching for their lost pets. Armed with a list of addresses, Bass Lilly and the others would leave in a caravan at dawn and return at dusk, dropping off hundreds of new animals, sick, emaciated, and covered in muck. A week after Bass Lilly began rescuing animals, she bought a boat so she could get into the flooded areas of New Orleans. Eighty percent of the city was submerged, with some places more than 20 feet below water. Once on the water, she had to steer around traffic lights and power lines.

Most of the street signs were sunk or destroyed, so she navigated by landmark — the tower of a Buddhist temple here, a grocery store sign there.


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Dogs stood on rooftops, whimpering and wagging as she approached. Some cats were in the water, clinging to pieces of houses and other debris.

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Military choppers buzzed overhead. By mid-October, Bass Lilly had saved more than cats and dogs. But Lamar-Dixon was winding down. Some of its pets had been reclaimed by their owners, and the rest were shipped or flown to shelters around the country, where they would be held for a few months, then adopted out. Meanwhile, New Orleans had drained, and residents were finally being allowed to come back to their homes. But the pet crisis was far from over. Thousands of animals were wandering the streets, starving and injured, and thousands more were trapped in houses their owners would never return to.

When Lamar-Dixon closed, Bass Lilly began working with another set of volunteers who had taken over an abandoned nail shop just south of downtown. Every other block, Bass Lilly and the others put out a tin pan full of kibble and a gallon jug of water with the top scissored off, eventually establishing thousands of stations over more than square miles. Hundreds of other animal rescuers were also combing the area, saving pets that had begun to turn feral on the streets and breaking into abandoned homes. Dogs, soggy with grime, fed on garbage. Cats were missing eyes and dragging broken limbs.

I Saved My Dog From Death

Those that had been trapped indoors had become living skeletons — if they were still alive at all. Overflowing with dogs and cats, ARNO soon outgrew its nail shop. In early , Bass Lilly, who had taken charge of the group, relocated the operation to a warehouse a few miles west of the city. There was still work to do, however: Animal rescuers had saved 15, pets, yet thousands remained on the streets.

Aspenites reflect on Hurricane Katrina dogs, new book | | devyzuzyvoby.tk

So ARNO kept saving animals — a mission that continues to this day. In May of , Bass Lilly drove to Baton Rouge to testify about her experiences in front of the state legislature. More than 1, people and , pets had died. Unlike many forced to leave their pets behind, however, Morgan was lucky.

Emergency responders sent him to a Veterans Affairs hospital in Miami, where a volunteer scoured hundreds of animal rescue sites on the internet for any news of his dog. Miss Morgan was lucky, too. After the dog spent 12 days alone on her rooftop, volunteers with Best Friends Animal Society , an animal welfare group that saved thousands of pets during the storm, rescued her and placed her in an emergency shelter. Bystanders wept as Morgan recounted his ordeal to the legislators.

He told them of being sped away in a boat, forced to leave Miss Morgan whimpering on his roof. State and local authorities must now make pets part of their emergency-training exercises, and they must educate the public about how to care for pets during natural disasters. Perhaps most significantly, pets must now be evacuated with people.

If evacuation buses cannot accommodate them, officials must provide alternative transportation, such as climate-controlled trucks. Glenn Plaskin. John L Leonard. Angel Animals Book of Inspiration.


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Saved: Cancer, Katrina Dogs and Me Saved: Cancer, Katrina Dogs and Me
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