Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Family struggles to get dog back after Katrina

Via a blog called Doggie News, I learned about Eric's Dog Blog, by a guy who has been involved with efforts to rescue animals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. His latest entry is a great rant about a heart-wrenching case of a New Orleans family desperately trying to get back their dog, who was adopted out after Katrina (even though the dog's papers stated that he had known owners). The adopter, Hillsborough County prosecutor and TV news "celebrity" lawyer Pam Bondi, is refusing to allow the dog to go back to its family, claiming she is giving it a better life. The story has attracted international news attention and Bondi has enlisted her own high-profile lawyer in her fight to keep someone else's dog because she would rather win than do the right thing and give the dog back to its family.

In other news, another "Katrina dog" that had been adopted out is being returned to its family. The adopter was going to keep the dog until talking to staff of TV celebrity Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer."

“What the Dog Whisperer said is that unless (the animal) is beaten or abused, it’s better to (send it back),” Welsh said. “My hope is that other families who have adopted pets (from hurricane-ravaged areas) give them back.”
Well, I'm no TV star, but I could have told her that ...


Elayne said...

Hands up who else thinks Pam Bondi needs a flaming bag of dog poop on her front porch as well as a trip back to kindergarten for some lessons in how to be a decent human being.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out and what the ramifications will be for rescue groups.

Lisa B. said...

*raises hand*

The issue here is that the family, it seems, never permanently relinquished the animals to the St. Bernard, LA, shelter--they were placed there temporarily because the family had no home. The Pinellas, FL, shelter, where they were sent, doesn't seem to have actually had legal rights to adopt the dogs out permanently. I don't see how this adoption can be seen as valid ... but we'll see what the judge says.

Elayne said...

I understand all that. I'm hoping that if the suit is successful, these rogue shelters/rescue groups will start acting more responsibly (ie quit screwing over the poor people). A normal person would think the case was cut & dried but once the lawyers & judges get involved, well, who knows.