Thursday, April 13, 2006

How You Can Help Pass The Louisiana Pet Evacuation Bill (SB607): Legislation Will Prevent People From Being Forced to Abandon Pets in Time of Disaster

There’s a lot here, but take the time to read the true stories and how you can help. And, pass along to those you know in Louisiana. There’s also a sample letter and email information for all congress people who need to support this legislation. This is common sense legislation. After you read the real life testimonials of forced abandonment, you’ll see why this in the only thing to do..

WE URGE YOU TO:
**Ask Louisiana Senators/Representatives to support the Pet Evacuation Bill
Call 225-342-2040 today for their contact information. SEE #5 IN THIS ALERT.

**Join the People & Pets March
Monday, April 17, 2:00 p.m., State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
SEE ATTACHED FLYER AND #3 IN THIS ALERT

**Attend/Testify at the Hearing for SB-607
Tuesday, April 18, 9:00 a.m., State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
SEE #4 IN THIS ALERT.

MORE INFORMATION: Save Our Pets at pets@pets911.org or 504-305-4113

===============================================================

IN THIS ALERT:
1. For GiGi
2. For Lola, Robert, And The Cats
3. People & Pets March To The State Capitol Steps
4. Attend Hearing For SB-607 At State Capitol
5. Email/Phone/Fax Louisiana State Senators

================================

1. FOR GIGI
As Judy and Santo Migliore evacuated on to a barge, an official threatened
to handcuff Judy if she did not abandon GiGi, a 10-pound toy poodle. Judy
clung to her 6-year-old dog with the apricot marks etched inside one ear and
along her back. But officials stood firm and Judy was forced to leave Gigi
with a St. Bernard Parish Deputy in Violet, Louisiana.

The Migliores and three of five adult children were now homeless, their
former addresses washed away in the levee break after Katrina. Desperate to
find GiGi, they embarked on an internet search from their hotel room
in Lafayette, LA. The checked every shelter in Louisiana and perused
Petfinders, once stumbling upon a white miniature poodle relocated to a
Michigan Humane Society shelter. That lead, like others, was a dead end.

On October 7, an email arrived: ³I am so sorry if this is GiGi,² Dana, a
rescue volunteer, wrote. ³You cannot see it in the pictures, but the dog¹s
nails are painted... The dog was found either in room 206, 208, or 210.
Please, please accept my condolences if this is Gigi...²

In the photo, a tangle of white fur rested atop a puddle of feces and blood.
Patches of sunlight framed the tiny dog and a discarded cigarette butt lay
by her head. Gigi had finally been found.

On October 7, Judy Migliore wrote to Ellen Little, another volunteer in the
search for GiGi: ³Ellen, just wanted to let you know that my baby, GiGi, was
found and that it¹s been confirmed she was never taken from the shelter. She
died. The Pasado Animal Shelter in St. Bernard Parish found her... Once
again, thank you and all the kind people who tried to bring this to a happy
ending. But, now it has ended in sadness...²
Judy Migliore, elizabeth1199@aol.com
=====================================

2. FOR LOLA, ROBERT, & THE CATS
As waters rose up to her neck, Tana Bart fled to her attic with all of her
cats
and dogs. A single foot of air separated Tana and her animals from the
attic¹s ceiling. She managed to climb through a vent on to her roof. A
helicopter scooped her up with one cat in tow. Responders assumed the cat
was a child because Tana had wrapped the kitty like a tiny infant.

Tana was dropped off at the University of New Orleans, a makeshift site
where thousands of evacuees and their pets waited‹without supplies, food, or
water. The next day, Tana¹s friend paddled back to his home in a big blue
tub. He brought his dog back to UNO. Tana also found a boat and a
fence-board paddle to return home for the rest of her cats and dogs. She
recovered just one cat. For the others still missing, she erected a ramp to
the attic and vent.

As conditions at UNO worsened, several police officers broke into a grocery
store to retrieve basic supplies. But evacuees continued to fill the
overcrowded university and soon officers and firemen--outnumbered by angry
mobs vandalizing, stealing and raping‹left people to fend for themselves.

Tana escaped to a classroom where she hid her cherished cats in a cabinet.
When a gang seized the classroom, Tana slept on a walkway with her cats
tethered to her arms. Looters armed with flashlights looked for people to
rob
throughout the night. Gangs tossed computers and furniture into a swimming
pool and shattered windows.

The National Guard intervened, fabricating a lie about plans to explode the
levees for water drainage. The National Guard told hurricane victims they¹d
be under 10 feet of water in 10 hours. Guardsmen told them they had to
evacuate by helicopter now‹without their animals.

Tears streamed down the faces of grown men, who tied dogs to secure posts
and kissed them goodbye. One man attached his drivers license to his dog,
sobbing as he looked back upon the only treasured being left in his life.

But, Tana wouldn¹t budge. She confronted an army officer who told her: ³If
you wait until dead last, we might take your pets.²

Along with five other people, Tana stayed to care for hundreds of dogs
stranded at the university. She moved them into shaded areas and found
drinking water. She untied them so they¹d have a chance to swim for their
lives. But most remained in the spots where their guardians had left them,
waiting patiently for a familiar voice and touch.

Tana had two dogs. In 1996, Lola was crowned Queen of the Barkus Parade.
Robert was Lola¹s housemate. Both senior dogs are missing and presumed dead.
Tana, a vet tech, also had many rescue cats. She eventually recovered some,
but five perished because she was not permitted to evacuate with them.

Scott Sherman, Tana¹s friend, refused to evacuate without his nine dogs. He
died in his home, along with all nine dogs. Scott¹s name is listed among the
hurricane dead.

From: Shannon Moore
======================================

3. PEOPLE & PETS MARCH TO THE STATE CAPITOL STEPS
Bring Your Pet & March on April 17 to the State Capitol Steps
in Support of The Louisiana Pet Evacuation Bill (SB607):
http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=375498

WHEN: Monday, April 17, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Louisiana State Capitol, 900 N. 3rd St., Baton Rouge

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 504-305- 4113 or petevacuation@yahoo.com

PLEASE PRINT AND POST ATTACHED FLYER EVERYWHERE.

PEOPLE WHO NEED TRANSPORTATION TO APRIL 17 MARCH:
Transportation can be provided by calling 504-305-4113
or emailing pets@pets911.org

To honor animals lost, carry a picture and an empty collar or leash.

People are encouraged to wear t-shirts that say "If I leave they leave" or
"No Animal Left Behind" etc. to the March.

DIRECTIONS:
From New Orleans:
Take I-10 West and merge onto 1-10 North so that you do NOT go over the
river bridge.
Exit at Capitol Access Road.
Go back over the Interstate.
The first building is the Department of Transportation.
Then a red light.
The Governor's Mansion is on the right.
The road splits with a park in the middle.
To the right there is parking along the lake.
At the next split:
If you go left you will be at the Capitol Steps.
If you go right there will be some reserved parking spaces and some
available.
Proceed through the yellow caution light and there is a huge Public Parking
Lot.
Also, any Security Guard can direct you to available parking.
======================================

4. ATTEND HEARING FOR SB-607 AT STATE CAPITOL
Senate Judiciary B Committee will hear SB 607, The Pet Evacuation Bill.

WHEN: April 18, 2006 at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: The Louisiana State Capitol
900 North 3rd Street; Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Senate Committee Room "E" located on the ground floor of the Capitol
(driving directions above, in #3)

NEED TESTIMONIALS FROM LA EVACUEES
FORCED TO LEAVE WITHOUT THEIR ANIMALS
CONTACT: Cathy Wells, wellsc@legis.state.la.us

Senator Fontenot (District 13, Louisiana) needs statements from Katrina
evacuees who were stopped from evacuating with their pets.

To testify before a legislative committee, all you do is fill out a card
with your name and contact information and the chairman of the committee
will call on you when it is time to testify. Just tell the committee
specifically what happened to you and your family and how this bill would
have made you and your family's life better.

Cathy Wells, a staff member from Sen. Fontenot¹s office, is collecting
statements from affected parties.

Were you, or someone you know, forced to evacuate without your animal
companions? Your willingness to speak out is instrumental in influencing
legislators to support the Pet Evacuation Bill.

CONTACT: Cathy Wells, wellsc@legis.state.la.us
====================================

5. EMAIL/PHONE/FAX ALL LOUISIANA STATE SENATORS

PLEASE SEND COMMENTS ASAP. The Senate Judiciary B Committee will hear SB
607, The Pet Evacuation Bill, on Tuesday, April 18. Take action now.

IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME TO CONTACT 1 SENATOR, SEND COMMENTS TO:
Senator Fontenot: fontenoc@legis.state.la.us
Capitol Office
P.O. Box 94183; Baton Rouge, LA 70804
ph: 225-342-2040
District Office
P.O. Box 1238; Livingston, LA 70754
ph: 225-686-0108; fax: 225-686-2161

SENATE BILL NO. 607 BY SENATOR FONTENOT
http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=375498
Bill Maps a Pet Evacuation Route
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-pets26mar26,1,7592180.s
tory

=====================================
SAMPLE LETTER & EMAIL BLOCK
*Personalizing your comments adds impact
FULL CONTACT INFO (street addresses, fax/phone) follows sample letter
=====================================

adleyr@legis.state.la.us, amedeej@legis.state.la.us,
websen@legis.state.la.us, barhamr@legis.state.la.us,
boassow@legis.state.la.us, lasen15@legis.state.la.us,
cainj@legis.state.la.us, websen@legis.state.la.us,
smithcheek@legis.state.la.us, websen@legis.state.la.us,
dardennej@legis.state.la.us, websen@legis.state.la.us,
lasen20@legis.state.la.us, ellingtn@legis.state.la.us,
fieldsc@legis.state.la.us, fontenoc@legis.state.la.us,
gautreauxn@legis.state.la.us, lasen21@legis.state.la.us,
heitmeierf@legis.state.la.us, hinesd@legis.state.la.us,
hollisk@legis.state.la.us, jacksonl@legis.state.la.us,
websen@legis.state.la.us, kostelka@legis.state.la.us,
lentini@legis.state.la.us, malonem@legis.state.la.us,
lasen17@legis.state.la.us, lasen29@legis.state.la.us,
lasen23@legis.state.la.us, lasen27@legis.state.la.us,
murraye@legis.state.la.us, websen@legis.state.la.us,
quinnj@legis.state.la.us, romeroc@legis.state.la.us,
schedlet@legis.state.la.us, websen@legis.state.la.us,
smithmi@legis.state.la.us, theunisg@legis.state.la.us,
websen@legis.state.la.us

Dear Senator,

In a single week last September, rescuers airlifted thousands of New Orleans
residents stranded in flooded homes. Among them, Denise Okojo clung to her
Labrador retriever in the shadows of their swamped apartment. When a rescue
team arrived, Okojo was ordered to leave Molly, her seeing-eye service dog,
behind. The blind woman said goodbye to her "eyes" and sole companion.

Laura K. Maloney, executive director of the Louisiana Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, claims animal protection volunteers
recovered about 16,000 animals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Most ended
up in shelters around the U.S. Only 3,000 were reunited with their
guardians. Okojo was one of the fortunate evacuees. At Lake Charles Memorial
Hospital, she relayed her story to a kindhearted nurse who alerted ASPCA
disaster relief workers. After smashing through a window, a rescue squad
found Molly trembling in an upstairs bedroom.

A disaster preparedness plan without provisions for animals is a bad plan.
In America, animals live in over half of all households. Cats inhabit 3 of
every 10 homes, according to Humane Society of the U.S. figures. In New
Orleans alone, 50,000 to 70,000 dogs were pre-Katrina family members.

Yet Louisiana disaster victims were forced to choose between survival and
their pets. Unforgivable images are etched into our nation's conscience: A
white dog is ripped from a boy's arms as he boards a bus. A bewildered
yellow Lab watches his family disappear in a helicopter. An elderly woman
cannot receive medical care unless she deserts her cats. A man swims and
walks for miles with his dog, only to learn he must abandon his loyal
friend.

An emergency plan with no animal component is out of touch with
constituents. In fact, Katrina "stragglers" cited pets as the foremost
reason for staying in flooded areas. The human death toll might have been
lower if a strategy to accommodate animals had been in place.

You have the opportunity to ensure this never happens again. I respectfully
ask for your full support of Senator Fontenot's Senate Bill No. 607 (SB-607)
Pet Evacuation Bill. SB-607 requires state and parish homeland security and
emergency preparedness agencies "to consult with experts in the fields of
animal sheltering, veterinary medicine, public health and safety, and other
professional and technical personnel deemed appropriate to formulate
emergency operation plans for the humane evacuation, transport, and
temporary sheltering of service animals and household pets in times of
emergency or disaster."

"I felt we were derelict in our duties to the citizens of Louisiana, because
we didn't make arrangements for pets," Senator Fontenot told reporters. "I
don't think we recognize that pet-human bond that was there, and a lot of
people refused to evacuate because they weren't going to leave their pets
behind."

Long after the last humans had evacuated, thousands of emaciated and
dehydrated pets roamed empty New Orleans parishes. Seven months beyond the
storm, animal advocates continue to rescue and rehabilitate displaced pets.
Please stand behind SB-607, which instructs government to consult with
animal welfare organizations to fully implement protocols on rescue/shelter
of animals during a disaster. I am counting on you to cosponsor the critical
Pet Evacuation Bill.

Thank you,

===========================================
COMPLETE CONTACT INFORMATION
http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Senators/Default.asp
===========================================

CENTRAL FAX NUMBER, when the Legislature is in session. Faxes are placed
directly into each senator's mailbox: 225-342-0617

CENTRAL PHONE NUMBER, when the Legislature is in session: 225-342-2040

LOUSIANA STATE SENATE MEMBERS
Senator Robert Adley
611 Jessie Jones Drive; Benton, LA 71006
ph: 225-342-2040, 318-965-1755; fax: 318-965-1757
email: adleyr@legis.state.la.us

Senator "Jody" Amedee
2109 S. Burnside Ave., Suite A; Gonzales, LA 70737
ph: 225-644-1526; fax: 225-644-7392
email: amedeej@legis.state.la.us

Senator Diana E. Bajoie
Post Office Box 15168; New Orleans, LA 70175
ph: 225-342-0752, 504-568-7760; fax: 504-896-1301
email: websen@legis.state.la.us

Senator Robert J. Barham
Post Office Box 249; Oak Ridge, LA 71264
ph: 225-342-2040, 318-244-5582; fax: 318-244-5015
email: barhamr@legis.state.la.us

Senator Walter J. Boasso
100 Intermodal Drive; Chalmette, LA 70043
ph: 225-342-2040, 504-270-9258; fax: 504-277-0113
email: boassow@legis.state.la.us

Senator Sharon Weston Broome
P. O. Box 52783; Baton Rouge, LA 70892
ph: 225-359-9352; fax: 225-359-9353
email: lasen15@legis.state.la.us

Senator James David Cain
Post Office Box 640; Dry Creek, LA 70637
ph: 225-342-2040, 337-328-7266; fax: 337-491-2027
email: cainj@legis.state.la.us

Senator Joel T. Chaisson
P.O. Box 1255; Destrehan, LA 70047
ph: 225-342-2040, 985-764-9911; fax: 985-764-9686
email: websen@legis.state.la.us

Senator Sherri Smith Cheek
9973 Mansfield Road; Keithville, LA 71047
ph: 318-687-4820; fax: 318-687-4077
email: smithcheek@legis.state.la.us

Senator Donald R. "Don" Cravins
Vice Chairman, Judiciary B Committee
200 West Pine Street; Lafayette, LA 70501
ph: 225-342-2114, 337-234-9695; fax: 337-234-7019
email: websen@legis.state.la.us

Senator Jay Dardenne, Judiciary B Committee Member
Post Office Box 94183; Baton Rouge, LA 70804
ph: 225-342-9788; fax: 225-383-3733
email: dardennej@legis.state.la.us

Senator Ann Duplessis
6600 Plaza Drive, Suite 211A; New Orleans, LA 70127
ph: 504-243-7795; fax: 504-246-7689
email: websen@legis.state.la.us

Senator Reggie P. Dupre
P. O. Box 3893; Houma, LA 70361-2016
ph: 985-876-9902; fax: 985-873-2016
email: lasen20@legis.state.la.us

Senator Noble E. Ellington, Judiciary B Committee Member
4272 Front Street; Winnsboro, LA 71295
ph: 318-435-7313; fax: 318-435-9885
email: ellingtn@legis.state.la.us

Senator Cleo Fields
Post Office Box 94183; Baton Rouge, LA 70804
ph: 225-342-9793; fax: 225-219-4354
email: fieldsc@legis.state.la.us

Senator Heulette "Clo" Fontenot
Author of SB 607, Pet Evacuation Bill
P.O. Box 1238; Livingston, LA 70754
ph: 225-686-0108; fax: 225-686-2161
email: fontenoc@legis.state.la.us

Senator "Nick" Gautreaux
209 E. St. Victor Street; Abbeville, LA 70510
ph: 337-740-NICK (6425), 1-866-740-NICK (6425)
fax: 337-740-6400; email: gautreauxn@legis.state.la.us

Senator D. A. "Butch" Gautreaux
1103 Eighth Street; Morgan City, LA 70380
ph: 800-562-3204; fax: 985-380-2447
email: lasen21@legis.state.la.us

Senator Francis C. Heitmeier
3709 General DeGaulle; New Orleans, LA 70114
ph: 504-361-6014; fax: 504-361-9794
email: heitmeierf@legis.state.la.us

Senator Donald E. Hines
Post Office Box 262; Bunkie, LA 71322
ph: 318-346-4619; fax: 318-346-2301
email: hinesd@legis.state.la.us

Senator Ken Hollis, Judiciary B Committee Member
2800 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Suite 365; Metairie, LA 70002
ph: 225-342-8325, 504-828-9300; fax: 504-828-9355
email: hollisk@legis.state.la.us

Senator Lydia P. Jackson
610 Texas Street, Suite 201; Shreveport, LA 71101
ph: 318-676-7029; fax: 318-676-7034
email: jacksonl@legis.state.la.us

Senator Charles D. "C.D." Jones, Judiciary B Committee Member
141 Desiard Street, Suite 315; Monroe, LA 71201
ph: 225-342-2366, 318-362-5469;
fax: 318-325-2647; email: websen@legis.state.la.us

Senator Robert W. "Bob" Kostelka
Post Office Box 2122; Monroe, LA 71207
ph: 800-508-5572; fax: 318-329-9150
email: kostelka@legis.state.la.us

Senator Arthur J. "Art" Lentini
6620 Riverside Drive, Suite 312; Metairie, LA 70003
ph: 504-780-8700; fax: 504-465-3463
email: lentini@legis.state.la.us

Senator Max T. Malone
610 Marshall Street, Suite 722; Shreveport, LA 71101
ph: 318-676-5733; fax: 318-676-5734
email: malonem@legis.state.la.us

Senator Robert "Rob" Marionneaux
Chairman, Judiciary B Committee
P.O. Box 577; Livonia, LA 70755-0577
ph: 225-637-3623; fax: 225-637-3124
email: lasen17@legis.state.la.us

Senator Joe McPherson
880 Robinson Bridge Road; Woodworth, LA 71485
ph: 318-484-2211; fax: 318-445-2872
email: lasen29@legis.state.la.us

Senator Michael J. "Mike" Michot
P.O. Box 80372; Lafayette, LA 70598
ph: 337-262-1332; fax: 337-237-1185
email: lasen23@legis.state.la.us

Senator Willie L. Mount
P.O. Box 3004; Lake Charles, LA 70602
ph: 337-491-2016; fax: 337-433-8080
email: lasen27@legis.state.la.us

Senator Edwin R. Murray
1540 N. Broad St.; New Orleans, LA 70119
ph: 504-945-0042; fax: 504-942-5968
email: murraye@legis.state.la.us

Senator Ben Nevers
724 Avenue F; Bogalusa, LA 70427
ph: 985-732-6863, 1-800-881-2749; fax: 985-732-6860
email: websen@legis.state.la.us

Senator Julie Quinn
3330 North Causeway Boulevard, Suite 438; Metairie, LA 70002
ph: 504-219-4640; fax: 504-219-4639
email: quinnj@legis.state.la.us

Senator Craig F. Romero
300 Iberia Street, Suite B-150; New Iberia, LA 70560
ph: 337-364-8006; fax: 337-364-7355
email: romeroc@legis.state.la.us

Senator John T. "Tom" Schedler
3840 Highway 22, Suite 200; Mandeville, LA 70471
ph: 225-342-2040, 985-727-7949, 1-800-836-9581
fax: 985-727-9904; email: schedlet@legis.state.la.us

Senator Derrick Shepherd
2009 Ames Boulevard; Marrero, LA 70072
ph: 504-371-0263; fax: 504-371-0265
email: websen@legis.state.la.us

Senator Kenneth M. "Mike" Smith
Post Office Box 1381; Winnfield, LA 71483
ph: 225-342-0637, 318-628-3075; fax: 318-628-5286
email: smithmi@legis.state.la.us

Senator Gerald J. Theunissen
Post Office Box 287; Jennings, LA 70546
ph: 337-824-0376; fax: 337-824-4780
email: theunisg@legis.state.la.us

Senator J. Chris Ullo
2150 Westbank Expressway, Suite 705; Harvey, LA 70058
ph: 504-361-6690; fax: 504-361-6691
email: websen@legis.state.la.us

No comments:

Search for More Content

Custom Search
Bookmark and Share

Past Articles