Archive: August, 2011
We were so wrapped up in Hurricane Irene and the aftermath that we neglected to alert readers to an important story last week by Inquirer reporter Emilie Lounsberry about developments in the 2006 tainted pet food scandal.
It took years, but at long last people whose dogs were sickened or killed by the tainted food were compensated by the Canadian manufacturer.
Under a $24 million settlement announced by a federal judge in New Jersey in 2008, 20,000 pet owners received payouts over the tainted food.
It's no secret that animal welfare groups often do not play nice with one another.
Even when the species at stake isn't so warm and cuddly and there are 40,000 of them to rehome. But no.
The New York Times has a delightful story today about battle over a bee hive exposed when a tree came crashing down in a Brooklyn park during Hurricane Irene.
UPDATE: Rescue workers with the Humane Society of the United States have joined local Red Cross volunteers mobilizing in Vermont to set up temporary shelters for displaced pets in Brattleboro. They also are providing pet food and supplies to evacuated families. In North Carolina, a large-capacity shelter is in operation to serve coastal Pamlico County at the Craven County Fair Grounds. The HSUS, along with local groups, is providing shelter for rescued animals as well as pets from families who have evacuated without a place to keep their animals. The shelter is also available for pets of first-responders.
For up-to-the-minute updates from HSUS see twitter.com/humansociety and field reports and video at http://www.humanesociety.org/disaster.
We were cleaning up sticks and leaves - the remnants of hurricane Irene - in the yard this morning and thinking of my friends in Richmond, Vermont, which got swamped by floodwaters on Sunday.
Listen to the news and you'd think Irene had packed up for good with relief that the mid-Atlantic was spared from the worst damages.
But it's not over yet for pets or their people, especially in the unexpectedly hard-hit areas of upstate New York and southern Vermont.
Communities in the Catskill mountain area of New York and river valley towns in bucolic Vermont are underwater today. One video showed a family evacuating by foot in waist-deep water, their black Lab swimming next to them.
When we heard Atlantic City was under an evacuation order and battening down ahead of Hurricane Irene, we wondered what would become of the famous feral cat colony that lives beneath its boardwalk.
After all, wouldn't they be swept away in the storm surge and how would anyone evacuate several dozen feral cats?
Dispatches from the twittersphere: As Hurricane Irene makes her way up the coast at least a handful of Philadelphia pet owners aren't taking any chances:
@mayornutter tweets several hours ago that 60 people, plus a dog and two turtles arrived at the Bartram High School shelter. Nutter also tweets that all Philadelphia shelters will accept animals.
Another tweeter points out that pet owners should be aware of the national Center for Lost Pets, an online registry sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, that gives both those who've lost pets and those who've found them a central place to file reports.
As the East Coast prepares for Hurricane Irene's arrival later today, it's clear government officials have gotten the message: Make a place for pets when you evacuate people.
The lessons of Katrina have been learned.
In 2005 hundreds of people in Mississippi and Louisiana put themselves in harm's way because pets were banned at the human shelters and they would not leave their pets to an unknown fate in the storm.
When the East Coast was jolted by its largest earthquake in more than a half century on Tuesday, no scientists saw it coming.
But did the vampire bats of the Philadelphia Zoo sense its imminent arrival?