My heart is breaking. I know the human devastation from Katrina is overwhelming, but my heart feels like it is ripped out of my chest every time I hear the stories about the animals suffering.
On Oprah today they were doing live coverage of the hurricane. I lost all control when Nate spoke to a 24-year-old man who'd been with his dog for 14 years and was being told he'd have to leave the dog behind to get on the helicopter to safety. Actually, the man never said a word. It was an older man next to him who explained to Nate that the man and the dog had rescued him from his house.
What most struck me was the young man's pose. He had pressed his forehead to the animal's forehead and they clung to each other--emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I burst into tears and even momentarily changed the channel thinking, "I can't watch, I can't watch." I made myself turn back thinking, "I must watch. I must watch."
Neither man was going to get on the helicopter without the dog. And yet, that meant they would most likely starve, the dog along with them. No options.
Nate stepped in on this one and saved the dog, reuniting him a day later with the two men. But that's just one. I can't bear to think about all the other animals, scared and starving and separated from their owners, and their owners just as frantic for their welfare in return.
I believe we all must act on our passions. My heart goes out to the people, but it overflows for those with animals, trying to feed them, to save them. I will be focusing my energy and money on getting needed food, supplies and transport to animals. The human toll is immense, but I know if I were separated from my cats, I'd give everything I owned if I knew someone was taking care of them and feeding them and being kind.
I'm going to be posting some places where donations may be made. I understand people perhaps first wanting to focus on human lives. But so many of us out there have had pets and animals who have touched our lives, asking little in return. If you're one of them, I hope you'll consider making a donation to help all the volunteers who are working night and day to help all the abandoned, lost, and scared animals in need.