‘It’s [Not] All about the Dogs’: Volunteers and Pet Rescue
In September 2005, Hurricane Katrina became the most devastating hurricane to strike the USA. It came onshore along the gulf coast, hitting Louisiana and Mississippi and creating havoc throughout a region the size of Great Britain. The flooding that followed left much of New Orleans under water up to 20 feet deep, destroying public utilities and communications as well as buildings and roads. Tens of thousands of people had remained in the city, hoping to ride out the storm; as flood-waters rose, many were trapped in their homes. Over 20,000 people fled into a sports stadium in downtown New Orleans that was designated as an evacuation site; trapped by floods, they lived in the stadium without food and electricity for up to a week. A desperate chaos ensued. Local and federal agencies, initially paralysed by the enormity of the damage, took several days to assemble a full complement of safety and military personnel who secured the area and assisted evacuation. Overall, over 50,000 people needed rescue and 3,400 people died or were declared missing. The house-to-house search for survivors extended for four agonizing weeks and repair to the city has gone on for years. The political damage — including a strong distrust in government services — still plagues that region today.1
KeywordsAnimal Shelter Citizen Volunteer Leisure Study Leisure Engagement Animal Welfare Organization
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