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Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Later

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Unbelievably, the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is now upon us, and many of us are now making plans to re-visit the Gulf Coast for a 10-Year Memorial Observance. Hurricane Katrina was one of the most life-altering storms in U.S. history, for both people and for pets, and it also resulted in the largest pet rescue operation ever launched in the history of our nation.

It has been estimated that over half a million companion animals resided on the Gulf Coast when Katrina struck with all her fury in late August of 2005, and the vast majority of these animals were left behind to fend for themselves when their families evacuated. As a result, far too many of them perished in this horrendous storm.

I was one of the hundreds of pet rescuers who soon traveled to the devastated Gulf Coast to help in any way that we could. Through the extremely dedicated work of many marvelous volunteers, we managed to rescue over 15,000 pets in the weeks and months following the storm.

I eventually published a book about my experience – Through Katrina's Eyes: Poems from an Animal Rescuer's Soul – which won The 2006 ‘Merial Human-Animal Bond’ Award.

The following is an excerpt from my book’s preface:

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Recap of Blogpaws 2015

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We’ve made it back from a week in Nashville, Tennessee and we’re more exhausted upon our return than when we left! BlogPaws, for those who don’t know, is an organization of pet writers and bloggers who get together to celebrate their work, their pets and to see like-minded individuals. We were able to attend this annual event thanks to a sponsorship from MARS petcare, who sponsored the event.

First, the highlights. PetsWeekly received our first Nose-To-Nose award as “Best Unconventional Blog”! This is a huge honor for us. When we were asked to explain why we had won the best unconventional award, my only thought is because “we value individuality." While we're a part of the pack, we don’t feel obligated to follow the pack. That’s not what I said when I accepted it, because I was so surprised we won, but that’s what I meant.

The award came with a $500 donation for the rescue of our choice. This is an unrestricted donation - they can use it for veterinarian bills, feed, or any other item. Since we were nominated for our horse section, I let Katriona (our newest equine writer/specialist) to choose the rescue. She selected Arizona Equine Rescue Organization who devotes themselves to the care and rescue of large animals. They also have a large education component to their rescue, so it fits our mission perfectly!

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6 Surprising Dog Superstitions

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Dogs have always played an important role in our lives. Throughout history, they have played important roles - from occurring in plays as far back as The Odyssey by Virgil to mentions of them in the bible.

It’s no surprise, then that quite a few superstitions have made their way into our lives - and what better time to read about them than during the most superstitious time of the year: Halloween.

 

Dogs Lead Us To New Worlds

The dog has been seen as a guide throughout history. Cultures around the world often associate dogs with the path to heaven, and Cerebrus, a ferocious three-headed dog was once thought to guard the gate to Hades.

The Aztecs worshiped a dog-headed god known as Xolotl who also happened to guide wayward souls to the afterworld, and Egyptians dressed as Anubis when preparing the dead for burial.

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Luck of the Irish: 5 Irish Dog Breeds You'll Adore

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It’s that time of year when we’re all a wee bit Irish, and this St. Patrick’s Day, we’re taking a look at a few dogs who lay claim to a bit of Irish heritage.

The emerald isle has also birthed some beautiful dogs, (most with the instinctive urge to run away at any given time). We’re not sure if that characteristic also applies to their kilted men, but we suspect it’s a possibility.

Without further ado, here are the dog breeds of Ireland and a look at what you can expect if you bring them into your life!

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Titus: A Cautionary Tale

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There are a lot of things wrong in today's society. I could give you a list, but I'm sure we all have our own opinion on the issues our nation faces. Today, you get to read about one of mine: the fact that we are a throwaway society, particularly when it comes to animals.

I want to talk about what happens in a shelter when you decide to give up a pet. While most of my readers already know what happens, I’m hoping I can prevail upon you to share this story with those who don’t know; those who list animals on Craigslist as “free to a good home” or drop it off at the humane society because they believe the dog or cat "will be better off" and that since the humane society touts themselves as a "no kill" society, that their pet is safe.

Because as George RR Martin writes, "If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention..."

Today, I want to tell you a story about a dog named Titus. Titus is a dog that was owned by a 20-something female. This person got Titus as a puppy and for just over a year, they lived a happy life together, sharing a home with a cat and Titus' best friend, a husky.

I’m not sure why the girl decided to give Titus up other than she gave everyone the old, "I have to move and can't take him with me" excuse. I'm sure he was just impacting her social life too much. All I know is when I came into the picture...

A friend of the owner sent me a picture of the dog and said that the owner had begun looking for a home for Titus.

Read more: Titus: A Cautionary Tale

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