by Cathy Scott
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many animals had to fend for themselves because their owners lost them or were unable to care for them. In Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned, Cathy Scott documents her experience working with the Best Friends Animal Society triage center to rescue lost animals and reunite them with their owners. Over two hundred stories with accompanying photos describe dramatic and challenging rescue cases with details about the rescues, the examinations, treatment, and follow-up care by the selfless volunteers who worked to save beloved best friends. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, it conveys the depth of the tragedy, more importantly, it celebrates the indomitable spirit of the volunteers who refused to give up, the determined pets who survived, and the owner (original and adoptive) who love these animals today.
About a year ago I wrote about Bourbon's story - he was a Hurricane Katrina evacuee so this topic is near and dear to my heart. If you notice from a picture in that post, I've had this book for a year and just now found time to read it! Shh, I am a bit behind on my piles of books, LOL.
I found this book completely absorbing and the stories were amazing but it was a bit confusing at times and organized in a disjointed way. These accounts are important social documentaries though and I really consider it a must-read. The rescue stories are both sad and beautiful, and admittedly I cried at the end of about every chapter - happy tears :). But not every story had a happy ending and that is okay. It was a time of great tragedy for both humans and animals so not everything can be unicorns and rainbows :).
This book celebrates the compassion of countless human volunteers, the survival instincts of our pets, and above all the human/animal bond. The inside look at the actual events really brings home how great the tragedy was for Southern residents and what needs to be changed in order to be prepared if there is a next time. I definitely recommend it to fellow readers.
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