Katrina Animal Rescue Custody Dispute
The Washington Post (WP) is featuring a story called “Fangs Are Bared Over MD. Group’s Katrina Dog Rescues”. This story comes in light of the collaborative effort between IFAW, the SPCA and other groups who are partnering to alleviate pet overpopulation in the south. IFAW has had a successful working relationship with the SPCA and holds them in high regard. For this reason, I’m interested to hear public opinion in response to the WP’s article.
The question now, months after Katrina, months after thousands of people roamed homeless in the streets, is: do they have the right to claim their animals that were separated from them in the hurricane?
In short, this is the situation: Following Hurricane Katrina many dogs were rescued, treated, and identified if possible. Those that could not be identified were sent to shelters outside Louisiana and Mississippi, shelters that were momentarily not being flooded with abandoned dogs and cats. The SPCA played a major role in this. Shelters then fostered out the animals. Additionally, the SPCA asked shelters to have foster owners sign an agreement whereby if the rightful owner did not claim their animal by Nov. 1st (according to the WP), they would then have the chance to officially adopt the animal.
Many pets were left abandoned and were thankfully rescued by organizations like IFAW and the SPCA. However, there are often heartbreaking stories behind the abandonment, making it unfair to assume that just because someone hasn’t ‘claimed’ their animal, they don’t wish to locate it.
Furthermore, what is the story behind the foster family? Why are they so content on keeping the animals and not making any contact what-so-ever with the previous owners? I'm interested to hear your thoughts.