Practical > Companion Animals & Urban Wildlife > Companion Animals

Lost Katrina Pets

Six months have passed since Hurricane Katrina crippled our state, destroying our homes, taking the lives of our people, along with thousands of pets. Sadly, most people who remained behind with their pets, were later forced to leave them, some at gunpoint, some misled to believe their pets would leave with them. Many of those pets who managed to survive this disaster, were lost in the confusing massive frantic rescues; many escaped through broken windows, doors and entire walls; many were lost in complicated disorganized transfers to other shelters throughout the United States; many still roam the streets of New Orleans, now reverting back to primitive survival skills.

While some people focus on cleanup in New Orleans, others focus on rebuilding, and others have started new lives elsewhere. While some focus on searching for loved ones, others focus on body recovery (still occurring today.) While some displaced residents are forced to give up their pets, others still search for them. While millions came to the aid of the people of our state, a few thousand came to the aid of our animals, animal lovers from every state and many countries, they came in droves, joined as allies, for the sake of saving animal lives. And they continue to come, six months after the storm, although now at a trickle due to misleading reports of "all is well in New Orleans."

Some pet owners have given up the search for their pets, yet others continue to frantically investigate every lead in hopes their beloved pets will be returned to them, pets who are family members, not "animals." I can not imagine the torment, the agony these people endure. Whatever the reasons people stayed behind, whether they had no means to leave, whether they refused to leave their pets, or whether they did not believe the storm would reach us. What's done, is done--there is no reversing the chain of events that occurred.

Turn up your volume and watch the attached musical slide show (8mb .wmv) of the lost pets, terribly missed by families who still search for them. The photos were submitted by these family members, their own personal photos, many dug out from flooded and destroyed houses. Many of these photos I carry with me during animal relief work, in hopes that perhaps I can one day recognize a roaming animal in New Orleans and bring joy to a pet and his/her family.

See information on these pets, along with many more at