Sunday, August 31, 2008

Load up and go, already!

As you know if you're not living under a rock, there is a large and powerful storm by the name of Gustav heading for the Gulf Coast. If you are in its path, stop fucking around and load up and go already.

I'm serious. I went down for a week after Katrina and helped with cat rescue. Pics. Blog. What a clusterfuck. If you think the authorities are going to take care of your animals, you are sadly mistaken. The authorities were telling us all NOT to show up, that everything was handled. I thought, oh yeah, I believe that. So I showed up, at the evacuation center in Gonzales. Hell, they practically rolled out a red carpet for me. They were desperate for help. There were three of us taking care of over 200 cats including mothers with newborn kittens. It was in the 90s all day, thick with humidity and the cats were terrified because, of course, they were being housed in the same barns with barking dogs (I have never seen so many scarred up, angry pit bulls in my life - apparently one thing Katrina washed up was a hell of a lot of dog fighting inventory). They had nowhere for volunteers to sleep except tents and having heard a thing or two about the safety of that, I slept in my rented minivan all week. Everybody was working 20 hours a day, only sleeping for a few hours when it was actually cool enough to sleep in the middle of the night.

The "authorities" such as they were basically involved the ASPCA and the HSUS bickering about who was in charge and having a lot of meetings in their air-conditioned RV's. When I suggested that they should bring some animals who were suffering from the heat into their air-conditioned RV, the HSUS guy looked at me like I had grown a second head. Nice. And the damn thing had cages built into it! What did he think they were put there for?

My head hurts just remembering all of this.

Anyway, my point is - the government is not going to help you. The government is going to fuck it up, like they fuck everything up. So will the big animal organizations. Really, the only major org I saw doing anything useful down there was Pasado's. (And yeah, I know about the Tammy Hansen thing. I still say, they did a better job than anybody else - one mistake does not mean overall failure). If you're in the path of the storm, GRAB YOUR ANIMALS AND GO! Now! While you still can! Don't think it's gonna miss you, like there's some golden cloud protecting you. And don't wait 'til the last minute when the highways are clogged or they close the highways. GO NOW.

If you have temporary boarding to offer, please post to this thread with your e-mail address (HTML links work if you know how to format them). From the NewsStar: The Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe began accepting evacuees with livestock on Thursday. The facility's manager, Ramona Martin, said the center is set up ideally to handle horses. "They are the ones that need to be leaving (today) because of the large trailers that must be used for transport," Adcock said.

I don't want to hear from anybody later that they lost a horse in this. You won't get {{{hugs}}} here if that happens. If you don't have a trailer, post and ask for help. Get them moved now. Today.