Urgent: Demand That Federal and New Orleans Officials Allow Animals to Be Evacuated sign now

Urgent: Demand That Federal and New Orleans Officials Allow Animals to Be Evacuated
Please respond immediately and forward widely.

On August 29, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. In addition to the human misery that the storm left in its wake, Katrina left many thousands of animals dead and dying. But the greater problem has turned out to be state and federal governments adding to this tolland causing the slow and agonizing deaths of many thousands of much-loved dogs, cats, and other animalsthrough its failure to allow animal protection agents to rescue animals.

Worse, although the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) guidelines on animal handling in a disaster were carefully crafted years ago in cooperation with PETA and other animal organizations, our government has evidently thrown them out the window, even going so far as to order citizens to abandon their animals under threat of arrestanimals who in many cases were considered members of the family and were all that these people had left.

Volunteer Steve Miller told The Advocate in Baton Rouge (you can find the story here http://www.2theadvocate.com/stories/090705/new_evac001.shtml)that "FEMA has told us we cannot take the pets" along with the distraught human victims that they are evacuating. "They told [us] that we could not take one cat or dog in our boats," Miller said. "It's a stupid rule. More people are going to die because of that."

Telling these exasperated citizens of our country to abandon the animals they care for so deeply is, in fact, illegal. Chapter 14, Section 102.1(A)(1)(d) of Louisiana's Revised Statutes, for example, states that anyone who abandons an animal is guilty of the crime of cruelty to animals.

Please politely call on Michael Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response and head of FEMA, to immediately order his subordinates and their brave volunteers to evacuate animals with their human families, effective today, from areas affected by Katrina. Tell Mr. Brown that in these United States, we can and must do better for our citizens and their animals:

The Honorable Michael Brown
Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response
500 C St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20472
202-646-3900
202-646-3930 (fax)
[email protected]

On Tuesday, September 6, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reportedly issued a mandatory evacuation order and authorized police to remove people from their homes regardless of the residents' wishes, according to CNN. Although Lt. Gen. Russel Honore-Commander of the First U.S. Army and the man in charge in New Orleans-apparently stated that his military units will not carry out such evacuations, New Orleans police officers and other law enforcement agents may force city residents to abandon their animals when evacuating. Please ask Mayor Nagin to ensure that his beleaguered constitutents are allowed to bring their companion animals along should they be evacuated:

The Honorable Ray Nagin
Mayor of New Orleans
Send an e-mail to the Mayor's Office
http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=1&load=~/SystemModules/ContactUs.ascx&contacttype=message&contactid=207

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Young MosleyBy:
AnimalsIn:
Petition target:
Federal and New Orleans Officials

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