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Above) Every major catastrophe in any year could provide as many stories of this kind, but victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 are apt to long be remembered as a key example.

For not only did the government fail (through a combination of Bush era ineptitude and racism against a largely black city) fail to respond in a timely or effective manner for human beings, "mere" pets were disregarded altogether.

People already helpless were forced by governmental policy and command to abandon what were usually regarded as real members of shattered families. Animals were unnecessarily left to suffer and die just as so many people had been.

Sgt. Kevin Coakley rescued this chihuahua from a flooded house after Katrina. He gave the abandoned dog to his 83-year-old mother. Someone likely missed their dog forever after, but at least it was saved and found someone to love and be loved by.

Below) Strange to tell, a few abandoned animals probably were not missed by owners who had always been abusiive. One post-Hurrican Katrina rescue, Thumbelina, had clearly suffered long neglect even before abandoned during the catastrophic events that overwhelmed New Orleans.

She lost all her teeth due to neglect, was covered with parasites, and weighed less than three pounds, but had the audacity and tenacity to fight for her own life. She had to be fed a combination of baby cereal blended with ground chicken. In the shelter she gained a full pound of weight and her parasites were gotten rid of.

As a special needs and elderly dog she became a permanent resident of the Flower Dogs Sanctuary she was heroic and adorable to children when she became part of a therapy-dog program visiting hospitalized kids. Thumbelina spent the last of her life doing just such good deeds for others, as she'd long waited to be done for her.


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