Chekia Dog Rescue Update
September 22, 2005

Hello Everyone,
It's been an overwhelming month of long hours of frustrated effort, heartbreaking reports and news stories, networking volunteers and funds to send trucks, boats, and even planes to desperately waiting workers and dying animals....  and as much as it's been a time of tragedy, it's been a time of triumph. Little Snowball, the Bichon wrenched from his young owner's arms while the little boy screamed, wept, and vomited uncontrollably was finally FOUND.  Spike, the Yorkie who patiently waited in a flooded upstairs bedroom for a family who was stranded and frantically making efforts to contact rescue groups was SAVED.  Buddy, the Pitt Bull who's owner sent a boat to his home to pull him out of the flood water, only to have him disappear in the rush to "ship them out" of overwhelmed makeshift veterinary facilities was REUNITED. Jake, the guide dog that "rescuers" illegally refused to take along when they pulled his blind owner from his flooded home was RESCUED. .....  As in our day-to-day dealings as animal rescuers, we network, we telephone consistently, we dig in our heels and expose our hearts, and we hold tight to the little wet nosed fluffy tailed triumphs who rise from the ashes into the loving arms of "forever" families.
And...  After weeks of waiting, and sustaining the discouragement of having FEMA confiscate our transport trucks, the H$U$ "disappear" animals....   after having numerous delays of a plane ready to be loaded and animals ready to board; after sniper fire halted the effort on Monday; the call to our little group came Tuesday morning:(Sept 20)  "Our Katrina Dogs And Cats Are Coming!  Be In Torrance By Three O'clock To Claim Your Ruffugees!"  It was almost too incredible to believe - We were finally getting some fur-babies out of  the disaster area and into our waiting arms! 
Upon arrival to the Torrance warehouse just outside of the LAX airport, we signed up as volunteers and went about the work of preparing for the new arrivals.  After about an hour, the transport  trucks started pulling in, and the rescue groups were sent to wait outside. There were fewer than we'd provided for.  They were dehydrated,  damaged by toxic flood water, frightened, jet lagged, and yet overall, amazingly resilient.  They were treated lovingly and respectfully. They endured the processing procedure and media attention patiently. They accepted food and water gratefully.  They came thru as a number assigned to a waiting rescue group, and each was clearly overjoyed to receive them.  Emotions ran high between alarm and elation.  We knew many would be emaciated, cut up, and toxin-damaged, but it was still difficult to witness.  We knew by general report what they'd been thru, but to finally have them safely in our care was overwhelmingly gratifying.   The process took many hours to complete, but no one seemed to mind.  By the end of the night, Chekia Dog Rescue had  received three.  They sat happily on our laps on the long  drive home....
We have a few volunteers lined up  to act as foster homes to care for these displaced pets until their owners can be located, or until the six month search period for owners is over, at which time the foster families will be given first refusal on adopting their fur-baby refugee. Thank You to those who have volunteered for this!  Please remain on "standby" if  we haven't yet received a foster furbaby to meet with your specifications  We may be receiving more....  To everyone else. Please consider helping a human victim of the Katrina tragedy by offering foster care to a canine victim until they can be reunited.  Although the reunions I've been able to help facilitate thus far have all been long distance by email and telephone, I can promise you that the privilege of being able to help in this way bring rewards of joy and elation that are well beyond the power of mere written expression.

Today we have an Airedale to find.  Ariel was shipped out of the overwhelmed Lamar-Dixon facility in Louisiana before her owner could reach her.  Her paperwork was lost.  The attendant "thought" she was sent to California on an evacuation transport to make room for more incoming, but thus far, we haven't been able to locate her on the west coast....  Perhaps she's still waiting somewhere for a truck, or a plane.... We'll continue to search until we find her.  Of course there are others, many others in fact, and now there is another storm on the horizon. ...
Please hug your fur-babies, and pray for those, flesh and fur, who have been separated, lost, and abandoned. 
Thank You For Helping The Victims;
And Thank You, Too, For Helping The Orphans!

Terry Thistlethwaite
Chekia Dog Rescue / Heartbandits; S Ca Chapter

Update: Sept. 23; Ariel The Airedale was FOUND in
Ft Lauderdale Florida, and REUNITED with her Ecstatic Family!

Update: Sept. 29; Rescue For Ruffugees brought 21 dogs
by RV directly out of flodded homes in Louisiana and to a
Los Angeles veterinary hospital,  where waiting rescuers received them between 8 and 11 PM.  Among the rescued dogs, two American Eskimos who came home with us to Chekia.

Now we have five!

Pictures Below  WereTaken
At The L.S.U. Temporary Shelter
by Dr. Patrick Thistlethwaite DVM
Triage at LSU Makeshift Veterinary Facility
Ariel View  of the Veterinary Arena
Tired Volunteer Workers  at the  LSU Facility
Our Five
Katrina Refugee
From The File (Note: Chekia is no longer an active dog rescue,
                                             and operates as referral only)
You're listening to
"City Of New Orleans"
written by
Steve Goodman