Friday, October 17, 2008

Horses of the Storm and Pawprints of Katrina

Horses of the Storm and Pawprints of Katrina are more accounts of the animal rescue operations which followed the Hurricane Katrina disaster in Louisiana.

Horses is mainly focussed on the efforts of the staff, students and volunteers of Louisiana State University's equine veterinary department and concentrates on the particular problems of rescuing horses and mules (although the LSU workers also saved a variety of other livestock and smaller domestic animals). Probably due to Ky Mortensen's professional position as a staff member of the University, Horses is less emotional than either Rescued or Pawprints and may therefore be more in tune with British tastes.
Pawprints concentrates on the work of Best Friends Animal Society and the emergency animal refuge which it set up to receive pets rescued from the flooded areas of New Orleans (the author, Cathy Scott, has a blog on Pawprints is more of a collection of heart-warming stories, than a detailed analysis, like Rescued, and if you're looking for "lessons learned", then Rescued is probably the better buy.
One common theme in all three books is the absolutely vital importance of micro-chipping as a method of permanent animal identification which cannot be lost and poses no risk. The second major lesson is preparedness: animals whose owners were organised to leave the danger area with them had the best chance of survival, but even the small amount of time needed to release horses from tethers and stalls was enough to give them a better chance of reaching safety by swimming. Horses has a fairly detailed appendix on emergency preparedness for horse-keepers, much of which would also be applicable to the UK.

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