Jake grew up beside the warm waters of the Gulf coast. He loved nothing more than a good run on the beach in the morning to start his day. When the oil spill occurred he was happy to donate his shorn locks to help the clean up – it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal. Until one day he found himself sitting in a strange,scary place that was a far cry from his warm,cozy home. Jake had been abandoned by the only family he had ever known. Jake is not a Brown Heron or a sea turtle,but another innocent victim of the oil spill.
Hundreds of dogs like Jake are being dropped off at Gulf Coast shelters because their owners can no longer afford to care for them. To give up a beloved family pet at a time when that very pet can provide comfort and be a buffer to despair,is truly heartbreaking. Dogs live for their families –how devastating is it to them to lose everything they know and love?
The Louisiana SPCA and other organizations have been actively trying to provide assistance through programs such as The Gulf Coast Companion Relief Program to Louisiana pet owners in the fishing industry. It’s a start,but where is BP in all of this? Have any payouts been earmarked for pet related issues? Perhaps pets should be allowed to file claims for assistance. After all,there are a lot of working dogs who are now out of a job because their owners aren’t fishing. One day you are getting 3 squares and chasing birds and the next the whole family is crying in your fur as they leave you at the shelter. Ken Feinberg – are you listening?
After Katrina struck,many pets were put in shelters. Later,when the owners had relocated or found a stable housing solution,they could not reclaim their pets because they had been adopted out. It’s like losing a child and knowing he’s out there somewhere. Will the same thing occur again? At the bleakest of times no one should have to make the Sophie’s Choice of giving up their pets. Hopefully more organizations can provide interim relief so that no dog goes hungry or has to be relinquished.
Right now,organizations are dependent on private donations . . . so check them and please give.