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"...and your little dog, too!"

We've all seen the devastation wrought by two major hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, and we've all seen the havoc wreaked on people driven to flee from it. So what's an appropriate response?

More laws!

I swear, sometimes I feel guilty about bashing Massachusetts. And then someone from that state does something that just reaffirms all my previous opinions.

This time, it's Congressman Barney Frank. He's one of five Congressmen who filed a bill to help regulate evacuations in case of emergencies. And what great innovation do these fine solons wish to mandate now?

They want to withhold federal moneys for any state that doesn't include pets in its evacuation plans.

That's right. If your state decides that it would rather save human beings, and in that process choose to save a seat for a person instead of a cat, or a dog, or a goat, or a snake, or a bird, (all in appropriate and bulky carriers, I presume), the federal government does NOT approve and will take away their money.

The sponsors cite the abandoned animals in the disaster areas, and the people who refused to evacuate without their pets.

My answer: screw them. It's brutal, but it's reality: human life means more than animals.

And if I end up being one of those denied a place because Granny needed my seat for Fluffy and Mittens and Mr. Froo-Froo, those sponsors better goddamned PRAY that the disaster gets me.


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Comments (25)

But....but....Jay...you are... (Below threshold)

But....but....Jay...you aren't FEELING.....you are trying to think....

I mean, humans are evil things that should die. If a few humans can die to save Fluffy then so much the better.

You obviously don't have enough self loathing to truly understand those of us with more enlightened thought processes. Now excuse me whilst I put on my new emperor's clothing...

I have to agree. I've seen ... (Below threshold)

I have to agree. I've seen where PETA is already trying to get animal cruelty charges brought against LSU for abandoning their lab rats during Katrina.

It's good to know that the "caring" crowd has their heart in the right place.

Frank may be grandstanding,... (Below threshold)

Frank may be grandstanding, but in this case he has a good point. It seems to be an established fact that many people didn't evacuate largely because they couldn't take their pets, and that the surviving and now-feral pets left behind are a serious problem.

And frankly I do understand that. If I had to leave my house knowing that my two cats would drown horribly while waiting for me to come back and save them I don't know that I could do it. I'd probably put them in a backpack and take them with me, and God help anyone who tries to make me do otherwise. I know for a fact that my mom, who's a very intelligent and rational woman, would feel the same way about her dogs. Rational and logical? No. Common and predictable human behavior? Yes.

An evacuation plan doesn't have to equate the relative worth of human vs animal lives, but it absolutely should account for real, live human behavior. A plan that doesn't account for how people react regarding their pets is an incomplete plan, and it needs to be fixed or it'll cause problems.

I can think of more than on... (Below threshold)

I can think of more than one alleged human that I'd gladly kick off the plane to make room for a pet. I just wonder how many PETA members would complain about losing their seats.

Let me see if I understand ... (Below threshold)

Let me see if I understand this correctly, Repesentatives Frank, Shay, et al, are saying that either your state government takes steps to make them feel better about all creatures great and small when a natural disaster strikes your state or they'll do their damnedest to kick you while you are down by depriving you of federal help. Gosh, what about livestock? Or does their deeply felt concern only extend to animals with collars?

Tell me again why every single member of Congress shouldn't be thrown out of office.

Oh, and that whole freedom ... (Below threshold)

Oh, and that whole freedom thing is a real bitch isn't it? Better we make sure people have no choices than risk they'll make bad ones.

I love animals, and I have ... (Below threshold)

I love animals, and I have a few pets.

Having said that, I also have a vehicle and the means to gas it up, point it north (or whichever), and mash the tall-pedal-on-the-right.

For those that can't evacuate themselves along with their pets, perhaps they should consider not owning pets.

I would give up a seat for my pet if it meant saving the lives of people, but that's why I have a car.

You wrote this just for me,... (Below threshold)

You wrote this just for me, didn't you. ;)

I'd kill and eat your grandmother before letting the old sack of bones take up a seat for any of my cats.

Lair, you're about the LAST... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Lair, you're about the LAST person I'd expect to find demanding the government come and rescue you and Frisky, Nardo, and Piper. (Although I might make an exception for Nardo.)

But if that's the case, I'm adding a little anti-freeze to my emergency supply kit. If necessary, I'll MAKE a vacancy on that bus.


As much as I love my pets, ... (Below threshold)

As much as I love my pets, THEY ARE PROPERTY! They have no rights to government aid, except to protect them from intentional neglect or cruelty. It is up to the individual to protect his or her own property, including pets.

We must protect cats at all... (Below threshold)

We must protect cats at all costs. Cats are great!

If dogs can vote in ... (Below threshold)

If dogs can vote in elections:


they should be treated like any other voter. George Bush doesn't care about hairy people.

Jay Tea,It's that ... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

It's that time of year again where all the little critters outside my house try to move inside my house for the winter.

In the last day alone my three cats have "presented" me with two live mice and one dead 12-inch snake.

Can your grandmother do that??

Jay, I suspect this action ... (Below threshold)

Jay, I suspect this action is merely a step on the staircase toward having evacuation plans for farm animals and endangered species. It's ludicrous.

Anyone who CHOOSES to remai... (Below threshold)

Anyone who CHOOSES to remain in his home in the face of an evacuation order should not have a choice of WHAT he brings with him in a rescue boat or copter -- especially when it may displace another person. Simon's gotta be pulling Jay's leg.

There seems to be a consens... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

There seems to be a consensus. Government mandated pet rescue, bull! But I, like so many others, would evacuate in my pov with "Jo the Wonder Dog" riding in his spot in the back seat. If I couldn't take Jo, I would ride it out. But, that being said, if it got down to one human life vs. his, I'd have to sacrifice my best friend because human life is more important.
However, there are exceptions. If the basement of the Senate Office Building were flooding rapidly and Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Howard Dean were trapped in there with Laurence Simon's cats and I only had one shot at rescue, the cats win. But only because the cats are Republicans. I'm sure the non-survivors would understand "it's only politics".

I have heard a couple of fi... (Below threshold)

I have heard a couple of first hand accounts of veterinarians (i.e. people who really, really, really know how to take care of animals) having their animals die on them while trying to evacuate them. Its hard enough to move the people who understand what is going on, let alone the animals. I think Barney Frank is being a bit of a fruitcake on this one.

We should listen to Barney ... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

We should listen to Barney Frank on this one. After all, he knows his animals, and how to care for them. "You growl big boy, and I'll throw the meat to you"

. It seems to be a... (Below threshold)
. It seems to be an established fact that many people didn't evacuate largely because they couldn't take their pets,
In the now infamous words we all know...


I have a better idea for Barney "the Dinosour" Frank.

Mandate the only pets allowed in Massachusetts are horses, burros, and jackasses. The dimbulbs can ride out and not take up space with Fluffy that otherwise would be used to carry MY ass out!

I would be absolutely, comp... (Below threshold)

I would be absolutely, completely devasted if I had to leave my cats behind in a situation like that.

This is why I plan to take responsibility and NEVER be in a situation like that.

If you want control over things that matter to you, you have to take control and plan ahead, not leave things up to the fates.

Oh I don't know. Any one o... (Below threshold)
John S:

Oh I don't know. Any one of my dogs lives is more valuable than many of the "humans" that once infested New Orleans.

Wellll...I just saw on a Ya... (Below threshold)

Wellll...I just saw on a Yahoo image slideshow set that the horse that had been seen the day after the Hurricane (K) with a guy riding him through the flooded neighborhood there, and then that same horse featured weeks later on DRUDGE, seen stranded (the horse) on a tiny bit of pavement amidst the ugly waters of N.O., that that horse died. Yahoo has a photo of that dead horse lying there among their slideshow and I never felt so lowdown as when I saw it.

All someone had to do was lead that creature to somewhere he could have survived and had fresh water and some hay to tide him over until greener pastures, some shade from the heat. Instead, he was left to stand there for three + weeks and to die from all manner of awfulness.

I can't begin to tell you how sad I am about this.

The issue about pets/domesticated animals is that they cause humans to take additional risks of their own lives, and, worse, there doesn't seem much reason to exclude all but the most horribly behaved (and even then, you can muzzle an angry dog/cat) at times of emergency from rescue efforts.

Franks' statements are a tad extreme and probably a lot of grandstanding is involved, but, he probably understands that his bombastic policy is the only way to get some people to respond...

He has a point here but I agree that human life is more important. And, because of that, we have to get the pets/animals included in rescue efforts because by not doing so, everyone who owns them doesn't take adequate steps to seek higher/safer ground during these "mandatory evacuations."

Like you, however, I don't like hearing about it from Barney Frank, but he does have a theoretical point.

each State needs a plan, be... (Below threshold)

each State needs a plan, because

a) as a few have pointed out, without pet rescue some folks won't come

b) pets are dependent upon us for their well being - and it is inappropriate to abandon them if it doesn't risk a human life (or at least a Republican one)

c) most States already recognize this, besides the plan doesn't have to be at the expense of people being rescued/evacuated if handled correctly (the plan could include a form of triage)

d) after all its only a plan...

"each State needs a plan, b... (Below threshold)

"each State needs a plan, because a) as a few have pointed out, without pet rescue some folks won't come"

Remind me again why other people's poor choices are MY responsibility?

b) pets are dependent up... (Below threshold)

b) pets are dependent upon us for their well being - and it is inappropriate to abandon them if it doesn't risk a human life

Right. If you can take them, then do so. If you can't take them, then please watch "Old Yeller" before the next disaster occurs; you might learn something.

(or at least a Republican one)

Come now, didn't you mean to say right-wingnut?






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