Written by Michelle Kretzer
of us would never consider leaving our four-legged family members behind in an
emergency, and it seems that people a century ago had similar sentiments. On
the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, we are finally hearing
about the dogs onboard—and the guardians who refused to leave them.
University in Pennsylvania is hosting a centennial Titanic exhibit, part of
which focuses on the twelve dogs who were onboard the ship. The three who
survived were small dogs whose guardians smuggled them onto lifeboats, likely
without the other passengers noticing. Passenger Margaret Hays reportedly got
her dog, Lady, onto the lifeboat by wrapping her in a blanket.
least one of the Titanic's passengers jumped out of a lifeboat when she was
told her dog couldn't accompany her. Ann Elizabeth Isham refused to leave her
Great Dane behind, and days later, a recovery ship found the body of a woman
still clinging to a large dog, which all accounts identify as Isham and her
beloved Great Dane.
recently, when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, PETA rescuers saw
stories similar to Isham's repeated again and again. But these distraught guardians
were forced to evacuate and leave
their animals behind. Many animals didn't make it, although some were rescued and returned to their
families after months of searching by PETA and other animal organizations.
The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina forced the issue of
animals suffering during disasters into the national spotlight and resulted in
the Pets Evacuation and
Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires state and local disaster plans to include provisions for safely accommodating
animal companions in the event of a major disaster or emergency.
We've seen the benefits of the nation's heightened
awareness of the need for disaster planning for animals in the wake of the
recent Navy jet crash in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, which destroyed or damaged 40 apartments. Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center immediately
spread word to rescue workers that it would take in all displaced animals, and
families knew that their animal companions had a safe place to go while they
Many more families are now doing their own advance planning to protect
animals in emergencies, including taking the following steps:
planning can't prevent natural disasters, but it can prevent disasters from
becoming tragedies for our animal companions.
Written by PETA
When natural disasters strike around the globe, rescuers from PETA and its international affiliates travel straight into the hardest-hit areas to rescue animals who have been displaced, abandoned, or lost. We recently caught up with three dogs who had happy endings thanks to those brave souls.
Sporty's elderly guardian tried everything he could to stay with his dog during Hurricane Katrina, including swimming for two blocks with Sporty in his arms, but he was eventually forced to evacuate and leave his dog behind. PETA rescued the little poodle, and three months later, Sporty and his guardian were reunited. The guardian, who lost nearly everything in the hurricane, still sends us updates on Sporty, and PETA continues to pay for the dog's vet care, including a recent tooth extraction.
Licorice's mom was at the bedside of a hospitalized relative when Hurricane Katrina hit and rescue workers wouldn't let the panic-stricken guardian retrieve Licorice from her home. PETA fostered Licorice for several months and provided her with vet care until we could locate her guardian. Grateful to have Licorice back, she tells us that the poodle is enjoying the high life, going for rides with her family and getting her "mani-pedis."
Brophie somehow outsmarted Hurricane Irene, and after the worst was over, he had the good sense to walk into a Norfolk fire station and lay down on the floor. He was weak, emaciated, and suffering from a flea allergy so severe that he was severely anemic and had lost much of his fur. The fire department staff treated him like royalty during the hurricane and then called PETA for help. A PETA Foundation staffer fell hard for the sweet southern gentleman, and he now enjoys five walks a day, romps on the beach, and plenty of square meals. His ribs are no longer showing, and his fur is growing back. He even went back to pay a visit to his pals at the fire station recently.
PETA relies on donations to our Animal Emergency Fund to make rescues like these possible. With the holiday season coming up, consider giving someone on your list the gift of saving an animal's life by making a donation in your loved one's name.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Some East Coast residents are actually enjoying the relentless snowstorms that have been battering the Eastern Seaboard. Former Denver stray Ted (left) challenges Nola—whom PETA evacuated from New Orleans (hence her name) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina—to a race through a winter wonderland.
Nola now lives with PETA Foundation staffer Sarah McCluskey in Boston. Looks like this former southern belle is giving snow veteran Ted a run for his money.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.