Saturday, October 08, 2005

Team 4, Day 2

Well, we are here at the New Orleans airport on our way home, flying out to Atlanta first, then into Seattle. It has been a long week, but a good week. I am going to try and get Tuesday posted for you now, but I have only 25 minutes, so we'll see how far I get.

I went out on search and rescue again today (Tuesday). Some of our team went to the Posada shelter. Posada was a group out of Washington State who have dealt with animal disasters before. They were on someones farm, and were using the barn and a corrall. People would drive through the barn with the animals they had rescued, and they would be triaged and examined, and then they would be admitted. They would be given dewormer, flea control and any medical treatment needed, then placed in a kennel.

We drove into town, and waited at a major intersection for our other vehicle to catch up. City is still very quiet, not much activity. I went around a building while we were waiting, and on the side of the building across the lane was a business that had the siding ripped off. I started to take a picture, as it seemed to me SO indicative of the destruction. As I was focussing, I realized that the picuter could never get across what I was experiencing. The picture didn't smell of decay. You couldn't hear the siding sliding and scraping across the wood underneath. You couldn't see that that noise would have been totally drowned out by the traffic on that corner, had the city not been empty. There was no way that that picture would do justice to what the owners of the business would have been feeling because of the damage to their building. I didn't take the shot.

We were in a poorer area of New Orleans today. Our first rescue (well, actually, our only one) was a kitten that someone had found in a dumpster and had given to the army. The army called us and we went to where they were sheltered. It was about 5-6 weeks old, covered in fleas, so anemic from the fleas that its gums were white, and could hardly lift its head. Kat must have picked off 100 fleas off that little baby over the course of the day. She syringed her water, and attempted syringing food, on and off throughout the day, until we could get it to the Posada shelter an hour away.

We went to a house that there had been reports that there was a dog. We walked through the front door, and a couch had been moved so that you had to balance yourself on it to get between it and the open door. I glanced at it briefly, and thought 'that's a nice floral pattern'. Then, when my hand slipped over the surface, I realized that the 'flowers' were actually 3 different colors of mold that had grown in flowery patterns. Yellow, black and brownish mold. Sure glad we had masks. We searched the house, and then I removed my gloves and left them there, as I didn't want anyone to be breathing that in the vehicle while we were driving.

We went into another house that said there was a dog. The wrought iron fencing had been pulled out from around the porch, and there was a broken window. We went inside, avoiding the downed power lines (there was still no electricity in many part of the city). We went through the window, and we could immediately see that the dog had been trapped inside for a length of time, but he was no longer there. There was water damage everywhere. There was a lot of feces all over the floor. A bag of chips had been ripped open and licked clean, a small snack I am sure for a starving dog that hadn't eaten. The dog bowls were pushed under the couch; I could see the dog trying to lick every last morsel of food and water out of them, and getting them stuck under the couch in his efforts. I think that is what is hardest for me, being able to put myself in the animals position, and thinking about what it must have been like for them, wondering where there people were, why they were so hungry and thursty, when was someone going to come and get them. We searched under beds and in closets, but there was not dog there. I hope that he got out through the broken window, and was picked up as a stray and is in some nice shelter somewhere.

Well, I still have much to say about Tuesday, but my time is up. We will not be getting home until early tomorrow morning (Sunday), so I will not be posting again until at least Sunday evening. Thanks for continuing to read.

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