Here is a video from IFAW, featuring Bill from the Animal Rescue League of Boston:
Rescue technicians Bill and Mark are back in Boston now, in part due to the well-organized animal relief efforts.
I’ve seen a number of news articles about animal disaster relief and it’s shocking how many people in the comments sections say that the owners don’t deserve their animals back after they abandoned them. During an emergency, it can be extremely difficult to take pets along. Some authorities won’t let you take them; many shelters won’t admit you with cats or dogs (this has started to change since Hurricane Katrina, but still persists).
I know that if Hurricane Sandy had hit Boston, I would have shoved Smirnoff and Bacardi into a carrier, filled my backpack with cat food and litter and traveled to wherever I could go that would accept all of us. But that’s not always possible. Sometimes people think they’re going to be evacuated for just a couple days (in which case it’s not unreasonable to set out enough food and water and leave a pet behind, especially for cats who are extremely environment-sensitive) but then find themselves unable to get back for weeks. Sometimes they just aren’t physically capable of taking their pet with them.
What we need is compassion in these circumstances. People who leave their animals behind still love them, as you can see in the video above. For people who are no longer able to take care of or find their lost pet, then we should try our best to find a good home for that animal. But when we can reunite, it’s the right thing to do.