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A Helluva Night for Animals

Written by PETA | August 28, 2011

It’s Sunday morning. Our building is in tatters, and two of our vehicles have cried “Uncle,” but we have two more vehicles, and they and our emergency rescue efforts are still going strong. We are all so glad to keep getting the calls. Last night was very hard indeed: Our journeys took us into dark, deserted streets without traffic lights, deep in water, all bridges closed, tunnels and many roads impassable, tree limbs blowing about like kudzu. It took us longer to go a mile than to go five on a good day. We often had to turn back to find a new route through to our destination, as cars were abandoned, their lights below the water. But it was a successful night for some animals! I shan’t tell you about them all, as we are leaving again now, but here are just a few of our rescues.

Just before dark, some wonderful person called in about this scared dog, named Nikita. The winds were nearing 70 miles per hour. He had been in this pen, with only one sheet of wood above him for “shelter” for three days. His people had left town. He came with us. That’s his “after” picture. We will be looking to talk to his people, and they are on the list of those we hope to see in court. And, no, we will not be returning any of the animals who were abandoned to their own devices.

Nikita’s PETA staff foster parents report:

He is a real trooper. He was so happy to be inside. He warmed right up to us, and within an hour, he was running around like he’d always lived with us. We even played tug of war! He laid on the couch, the floor, the chair, with us … wherever we were, he was. At one point, he heard a noise at the door, to which he promptly growled at the possible impending intruder to scare them off and protect us, even after humans had wronged him.

At midnight, I was at a Motel 6 with another PETA staffer. Members of an indigent, caring family, who had no apartment to call home, were holed up in a leaky room as their pit bull puppy, named Prada, lay dying of Parvo. She was barely 3 months old, and they clearly loved her. Thirty-six hours earlier, they had scraped together the money to take her to the vet. The vet had taken their cash and pumped the little tyke full of intravenous fluid, but it should have been clear that she had no chance, and he should have told them then. Now, she was in misery, crying, and the family was desperate, asking us to please relieve her of her suffering. Her guardian said, “When I saw tears streaming from her eyes, I knew I had to make the call.” Unable to lift her head, she was cuddled on our lap all the way back to our building before she was put to rest.

Early this morning, just as the water receded, leaving us to survey the extent of the damage to our building, a call came in from a fire department. A dog had wandered in, old and covered with mange, and collapsed on their floor. The firefighters were lovely to him, giving him more love than he must have had in his whole life. The marks of where he once had had a collar are around his neck, and he has more sores than hair. He is now on our couch in the big quarantine room, sleeping after a welcome meal.

Thank you to everyone for asking about us, to the staff who stayed in the swaying building all night (“It was like the earthquake all over again”), all the people who did not evacuate but stayed to take calls and go attend to them, and our vice president in charge of emergency response, Daphna Nachminovitch, who was out all night and had to swim the final block home, her waders no longer tall enough to keep the water out, (up to her waist!), the road too deep to drive through, only to be called out again. Thank you to the staff and volunteers and interns who made calls for three days straight to get people to take their animals inside; to Director Pete Raffeto and his operations crew, who provided everything we needed; to everyone out there now trying to remove the debris; and to so many more. And a huge “Thank you SO much!” to each one of you who has given to PETA’s Animal Emergency Fund. If you haven’t been able to donate yet, please consider that even a small donation will help with our rescue efforts during Hurricane Irene and beyond. We love you all!


Written by Ingrid Newkirk

Commenting is closed.
  • vicki says:

    thank you so much for all you do , putting your lives in danger to help those who had no way out.

  • Stephanie says:

    How could anyone turn their back on their pet and just leave town due to an upcoming hurricane knowing that they wont be safe? I am so glad this dog was found before he was hurt or killed…shame on those humans for replacing the trust the animal has for them for ignorance…SHAME ON YOU FOR LEAVING YOUR ANIMAL

  • fanny says:

    animals are just like us only less guarded and kinder.Please don’t betray their trust,do right by them.thet deserve our respect,they have earned it.

  • Sheila Thurlow says:

    Thank God for organizations like PETA who go out and rescue these scared, defenseless animals. I’m very happy to hear that these dogs will NOT be returned to their previous owners. After all, why should they be when they were abandoned in the first place.

  • Denise says:

    I don’t understand how anyone could evacuate and leave their pet. That’s as bad as leaving your child. So many humans do not have a heart or a care for anyone but themselves. It’s very sad. You know what If I ever had to evacuate and I couldn’t take my beautiful dog Shelby with me. I just wouldn’t go. I’d stay and protect her anyway i could think of.

  • Diane P says:

    God Bless you Peta

  • Brenda says:

    GOD BLESS YOU FOR TAKING CARE OF THE animals.This brought a happy tear to my eye. I cant stand to see animals suffer at the hands of uncaring unfeeling people. Peta thanks FOR ALL YOU DO FOR THE ANIMALS….

  • stop puppy mills says:

    Thanks PETA and all others who come forward to help. I have three dogs in my home right now who were tossed out like trash by someone else. I know this is not the same. We need to remember the numbers that are tossed out on a daily basis. Almost once week when I take the dogs to walk around the lake I see the face of another scared dog trying to find someone and I see the feeling of abandonment in their soulful eyes.

  • gary harris says:

    thank god for PETA your actions of all the brave kind people that save these poor animals that are in need is outstanding these people that leave there animals behind is unhuman they should never own a pet no matter what kind!!!! keep up the good work

  • Lynn says:

    Kudos to you and your group to brave the elements and help those poor four footed creatures who needed to be rescued!!

  • Marisa Anderson says:

    Please everyone leaving a comment, give something even small to PETA for continued assistance for the little one’s lost, abused, neglected or abandoned.

  • Sina says:

    i could cry when i think of these dogs left alonee in the cold, scared! especially dogs, with their eyes, the way they look at you. how can any person leave a dog alone looking at him scared , totally depending on you and you just leave him? i never understood how people are able to do this, and never would i even talk to a person like this. no respect for these kind of creatures who call themselves human beings! thanks to all the people at peta, you are truly amazing, walking angels on earth, love you guys! thank you for your work

  • Darlene D says:

    A HUGE THANK YOU to all volunteers that braved the hurricane to go out and rescue the animals that ALL THOSE STUPID IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE left behind. It breaks my heart to see that people leave horses, cattle, dogs etc. behind. Either take them with you or move this out to somewhere safe. But to leave them behind is unforgiveable!!!!!

  • Barbie says:

    God bless you Peta! You are doing what is right and just. Those individuals who felt compelled to leave their pets will be paid back – it’s karma.

  • Sue says:

    PETA rocks and always has. Thank you for making a difference and educating along the way. One of my favorite quotes “You think there will be no dogs in heaven? They will be there long before any of us.” (There will definitely be a short line there for the PETA staffers and volunteers, as well.) Thank you and much love.

  • Jinny Lee says:

    You do a great job honoring these animals. Thank you so much!

  • Anthony says:

    I love people who speak for THE speechless, À proud member of peta , Greetings from Belguim

  • Rosa says:

    Bless you guys!!! I will make a small donation once I may the First of the month bills!! Bless, you for rescuing and saving our animal friends! You guys rock!!

  • Doris Malow says:

    PETA, thank you from the botton of my heart for helping all these precious animals. Please do not retur the dogs that were left behind by their owners.It is clear that they do not love and respect the life of animals.These dogs or any other animals should go to a good,compassionate family who is against animal cruelty. Thank you.

  • Doris Malow says:

    PETA, thank you from the botton of my heart for helping all these precious animals. Please do not retur the dogs that were left behind by their owners.It is clear that they do not love and respect the life of animals.These dogs or any other animals should go to a good,compassionate family who is against animal cruelty. Thank you.

  • Kiti says:

    Thank you so much, PETA supporters/workers.  It means more than the universe to me that there are still people who take their time out to save the lives of those we cherish.  Thank you so very much.  I only hope these sweet creatures will be loved far more than their previous owners dared to show.

    This is what PETA is all about.

  • Lori says:

    Love what you are doing! So happy that you will not be returning any of the animals that were left behind. Keep up the good work!

  • Eva Heinfling says:

    Thank you so much to everyone at PETA!

  • Lauriebg7 says:

    My aunt in Chesapeake said that the shelters were NOT taking animals. You’d think that they would learn after Katrina…why would someone leave Nikita behind otherwise?? Please let us know if there’s a petition to sign for leaving w/ your pets and going to shelters.

  • woodlyn says:

    Thank you Ingrid and PETA staff, you’re all truly amazing people! I love you all.

  • Audrey says:

    Thank you PETA for helping these animals in need. As stated in emails on this site: WHY ON EARTH WERE THEY LEFT BEHIND! I can’t comprehend this action on the owners. They should NOT be allowed to have them returned to these people. My pets were my children – would they have left their children behind as well? Storm or no storm – it is still their responsibility to find shelter for their animals if they were not able to take them with them – sickens my stomach. GOD Bless everyone who worked through this storm and risked your life to save the life of these animals. There is a special place in heaven for each of you.

  • Oscar says:

    You guys are amazing! It’s astonishing how stupid and careless people are with their pets. Just savage. Thanks for being guardian angels.

  • Maria says:

    I love you are a true inspiration..good luck in everything you do, you are really changing the world one animal at a time!!

  • Barb says:

    Shame on those people who leave their animals behind. They are living breathing beings just like us. They deserve thebest. Thank you Peta for your compassion.

  • Sheckyb says:

    It’s very gratifying reading all the PETA rescue stories. Thank you PETA for raising our awareness and for all you do to help animals everywhere. Sheckyb, NYC

  • Toni Greene says:

    PETA – what you do is amazing, and so inspiring!It’s beyond me how people can treat animals – how can one leave an animal behind????? Thank you for all that you do – it’s truly amazing!!

  • Ann says:

    It’s selfless, caring people like these PETA workers and supporters who make this sad old world a better place and give us all hope. God Bless all of you and thank you for all you do for “all creatures great and small”

  • Lissa Lane says:

    PETA you are amazing.I’ve just started working full time again, but as soon as I am able, which should be very shortly,I am signing up to give monthly.The work you do is so important.I have donated when I can and in fact give family members a gift of a donation to PETA for their birthdays and any other special occasion and try and teach as many people as possible about PETA’s work and how we an help. Soon though I will be on the monthly plan and giving as much as possible. My husband and I do not have children and plan on naming PETA in our Will. The work you do is so important. Thank you for all that you do for all the animals out there. So many of them need help and if it wasn’t for you guys, many more would as well. Thank you, Lissa Lane.

  • deborah scott says:

    You guys are so awesome. Even though times are tough and it’s difficult to donate, I am so glad that I make the sacrifice to help in some way. Just knowing that you put your lives on the line for these animals, you are the truest of Heros!!! Bravo PETA!!!

  • Sheryl says:

    How do people abandon their pets during a storm? Tie out a dog or leave a dog in a pen, unable to leave or get to safer ground, in a hurricane and leave? I cried reading this article! Thank you for rescuing all the fur babies you did during Irene.

  • Mary Ann says:

    Thank you PETA. Thank you Ingrid and thank you to all the staff. You guys are so amazing. Keep up the great loving work you do. PETA is definitely in our WILL

  • MA says:

    THANKYOU PETA! for all the efforts and love you guys have given to these animals. 🙂

  • John says:

    There are people out there who say they love animals but by what we see they dont. Thank God for PETA..

  • krlos says:

    Horrible people that have no heart are the only ones that can abandon their pets like that when they are most vulnerable. THANK YOU PETA!

  • Laura says:

    Thank you so much for all you do. You are angels!

  • Judy and Dave says:

    Thank you once again, PETA, for all you do for animals. Your Irene response was valiant and a lifesaver for many innocent beings.

  • S says:

    you’re heroic. awesome work.

  • Elizabeth says:

    How can you tie up an animal and just let them fend for themselves in 80 mile an hour wind? I am currently donating to Peta for doghouses, but will donate alittle more to help Peta help the neglected.

  • Jasmin says:

    To all PETA Members… are truly angels to all animals! And a bravo that you keep all those abandoned animals and see their owners being brought up for justice! Shame on them leaving dogs behind without shelter! Without you the animals would be lost!

  • cindy says:

    Would people leave their family members at home while they evacuated? One would hope not.My animals are my family and if i go,they come with me.Thanks for everything you do for these animals.