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Old 09-16-2008, 07:58 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,897,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 925mine View Post
On the flip side, my daughter is deathly afraid of dogs. She would not enter a building or get on a bus if there are dogs anywhere near. We carry pepper spray when we go to the park because so many people take their dogs and allow them to approach people. I would NOT be willing to leave my child behind because some people choose to take their dog on the bus we would need to evacuate, or dogs are in the shelter we would have to stay at.
I think that in the future, public officials will need to give serious thought to the planning and consequences of providing emergency shelter facilities for those with pets. I can see both sides of the argument because I love animals even though I'm deathly allergic to dogs and cats. Perhaps the public officials will designate certain shelters as 'pet friendly' and make sure that everyone who comes into that shelter is made aware beforehand that by doing so they are voluntarily exposing themselves to the risk of injury and/or health issues connected with sharing space with animals. Shelters will need to be clearly designated as either Pet-Free or Pet-Friendly.

Which brings up another point that would have to be addressed in connection with pet-friendly shelters: Hygiene and provision of food and water. Suppose a local school designates one of their gymnasiums as a shelter area for people bringing their pets. There would probably be dozens, probably scores, of dogs and cats; some in carriers, and the others hopefully leashed at all times. Even so, keeping control of that many animals in a confined space would not be an easy task, especially if the situation were such that people had to spend not hours but days (perhaps as much as a week or longer) in the shelter. If the power was out, there would probably be backup generators but they would be used only for critical things like lighting and heat... not for air conditioning. I'd hate to imagine the smell in that gym after a day or two. Some provision would need to be made for a place for all those animals to relieve themselves but you know there would be accidents.... Not pleasant things to contemplate but this would be the reality. And not all the pets brought in to such a situation may be healthy either.

Emergency food and water would be supplied for people by relief organizations but what about for the pets? To what lengths are public officials and organizations required to go in order to provide food and water for animals as well? Some pet owners would surely have taken some food with them but just as many may have had to choose between bringing things important to the human members of their family and pet 'necessaries'.

I think some people lose sight of the fact that in a major disaster it may not always be as simple as loading the family dog or cat into a carrier for a bus trip to some town 100 miles away, and then being able to return from there in a day or two. As the last poster said, the welfare of the animals has to be balanced against the welfare of the people with whom those animals will be brought into contact under stressful conditions.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by janeannwho View Post
I took my dog and cat, but my neighbors had to leave theirs and many died, and it was horrifying for them to come back to a devastated house and dead pets.
After Katrina, the Washington Post followed the lives of a handful of people who had arrive in the DC area. For many months these articles followed the experiences these people faced, everything from finding new jobs to dealing with supressed rage that would unexpectedly pop out.

Of all the articles, the one that broke my heart was when the father of one family went back to survey the wreckage and retrieve what he could. In the previous articles he had been a stoic man with a relatively cheerful, strong attitude. He had steeled himself for what he was likely to find, but the reality of finding dead pets was worse than he had imagined. The paragraph he wrote when he went back to his house and found the bodies of his dogs made me cry for a day. In fact, my eyes are welling up with tears right now, just remembering it.

You know, I totally understand the problems with having animals in shelters. The more I hear about life in shelters, the more I realize I'm just not the kind of person who would go to a shelter if I had any other option. Fortunately, I'm very lucky to have a network of friends and family all over the country and I think I'd keep driving past the shelter and stay with them.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Crossville TN
179 posts, read 497,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 925mine View Post
How can you POSSIBLY replace the work "pet" with "child". No contest. They are not equal, and there ISN'T always an option to take a pet with you. If you are in a position to HAVE to leave a pet behind, the most humane thing you can do is let it free to find it's way to safety.
Cause they are, I'd not hurt the kids, I'd not hurt the dogs. I'd not leave my dogs behind and I'd not leave my kids behind - Just how we are

And I agree letting them free worst case would be a heck of a lot better then what the woman did I was referring to above.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by 925mine View Post
On the flip side, my daughter is deathly afraid of dogs. She would not enter a building or get on a bus if there are dogs anywhere near. We carry pepper spray when we go to the park because so many people take their dogs and allow them to approach people. I would NOT be willing to leave my child behind because some people choose to take their dog on the bus we would need to evacuate, or dogs are in the shelter we would have to stay at.
I can appreciate phobias, they are strong indeed. I have gephyrophobia, which is a fear of driving over bridges. I got this after a bad experience during an earthquake. It's bad enough that I've had to see a doctor for it.

99% of the time I can't drive over a bridge. Seriously, one time I had to call for police help because I came upon a bridge unexpectedly. It was embarrassing but I simply couldn't stop the panic attack. But during a life or death emergency you bet I can. You'd be amazed how you can override phobias in an emergency. I have made it over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge when I needed to get someone to the hospital, and I would be able to get over the Galveston Bay Bridge if a hurricane was coming.

And likewise, in an evacuation situation do you really think your child would refuse to get on a bus just because there was a dog on it? Do you seriously think she would insist upon being left behind? Or that she would rather watch someone shoot his dog (because that would be the more humane choice than the other ways the animal can die if you leave it behind at a bus stop).

You daughter gets my sympathy. Phobias are rough. But (IMO) in an emergency situation, fear is just not a good enough reason to condemn someone's pet to a gruesome death. And you would also be condemning the pet owner to a lifetime of guilt and nightmares. If you child knew the consequences of catering to her fear, would she want you to do it?
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
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Food for Thought:

It wasn't all that long ago that racism was an acceptable reason to refuse shelter during an emergency.

Have you ever seen the 1940's movie Key Largo? It's a great movie about a hurricane striking the Florida Keys and the people holed up in a beachfront hotel. There's a side plot that's very disturbing by today's standards.

Right before the storm hits, a family of Seminole Indians arrive, begging for shelter. They have little children and an elderly woman. But they aren't allowed into the hotel and have to huddle outside, while the people inside listen to them pounding on the door throughout the whole storm.

The heroine wants to let them in because "they're living creatures, after all." The bad guy refuses. And even though the other people think it's tragic to have the family out in the storm--nobody thinks it's an outrage, nobody insists on letting them in. At the end of the storm, the family has survived the hurricane but two older brothers get killed when the sheriff makes a careless mistake. And everyone is momentarily sad, but, again, nobody is outraged.

The message is "these aren't white people so their lives don't matter as much."

Nowadays, of course, people would be outraged by such cruelty. That's how I would feel if I was at a bus stop and someone brought his pet in a carrier but the bus driver insisted the pet be left behind. It's a living creature that's probably been loyal and loving all its life.

How can people think "A dog isn't a human, so if he dies a horrible death it doesn't matter. So what if he's a member of your family? So what if he's your loyal, trustworthy best friend?" Is that so different from the 40's when people thought the only life that matters is a white person's life?

A pet is a member of the family, and all family members deserve shelter. I can understand a demand that the pet be in a carrier. I could understand a policy that pets have to be given a mild tranquilizer (maybe the bus driver would have them on hand). I can even understand if certain busses were designated animal-free zones, as long as there was another bus arriving that would take pets.

But I can't swallow the idea of leaving a beloved pet behind at a bus stop. It's cruel.

Last edited by normie; 09-16-2008 at 11:46 AM..
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Crossville TN
179 posts, read 497,260 times
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Normie, I really like what you just written there and I myself sure hope just how human's amongst themselves have changed that going fwd that the Bahamian between human / pet will also change (positive change for the pets that is).
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:59 PM
 
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 11,929,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Excellent point. But.... if a major hurricane was coming, and you knew you had to board a bus I bet you'd rather put that dog in a carrier than leave it behind. No matter how challenging it might be.
You tell em.....life or death my large dogs go in large crates or carriers whether they like it or not! They go with me! If not, we all die together! I would never leave any of my pets behind to drown or suffer in any way. They are all a huge part of my life, if not all!
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Camberville
11,394 posts, read 15,991,510 times
Reputation: 18031
Quote:
Originally Posted by 925mine View Post
On the flip side, my daughter is deathly afraid of dogs. She would not enter a building or get on a bus if there are dogs anywhere near. We carry pepper spray when we go to the park because so many people take their dogs and allow them to approach people. I would NOT be willing to leave my child behind because some people choose to take their dog on the bus we would need to evacuate, or dogs are in the shelter we would have to stay at.
On the flip side, I surely hope you come across a person walking their dog packing their own pepper spray. If anyone maced my dog because she- being the friendly dog that she is- approached them, the entire family would be getting a faceful of my pepper spray. Phobia or no, your daughter would have to get over it. I've been hospitalized for my plane phobia but sometimes you've got to balls up. I would get on a plane to evacuate a hurricane. If someone refuses to evacuate because of a phobia, it's Darwin at work.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:14 PM
 
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 11,929,221 times
Reputation: 3000
Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
On the flip side, I surely hope you come across a person walking their dog packing their own pepper spray. If anyone maced my dog because she- being the friendly dog that she is- approached them, the entire family would be getting a faceful of my pepper spray. Phobia or no, your daughter would have to get over it. I've been hospitalized for my plane phobia but sometimes you've got to balls up. I would get on a plane to evacuate a hurricane. If someone refuses to evacuate because of a phobia, it's Darwin at work.
I second the motion!
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:19 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,228,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallville View Post
What do you think about it? I think it's absurd; to let a pet drown or die a cruel death.

I, for one, treat my pets like family members. No matter what, I would find a way to bring my pets with me.

Your opinions?
I would never leave my pets behind. I would bring them with me also. Fortunately, many emergency shelters are beginning to realized that there are a lot of people who feel the same way we do and they are being more lienient about allowing fur babies. Thank Goodness.

20yrsinBranson
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