21 August 2006

Dark Water Rising: The Truth About Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescues

Dark Water Rising: The Truth About Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescues

Posted by: "fsdmail" alicia@fsdinternational.org fsdmail

Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:19 am (PST)

Last year, the Bay Area responded with open arms to the devastation
caused by Hurricane Katrina by taking into their homes the
bewildered dogs and cats who had been abandoned and left to suffer
the wrath of the storm alone. In observance of the one-year
anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Marin Humane Society and In
Defense of Animals present a special one-time screening of Dark
Water Rising: The Truth About Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescues,
Wednesday, September 6, 7pm, at the Smith Rafael Film Center (1118
4th St., San Rafael). Award-winning documentary film director Mike
Shiley will make a personal appearance to introduce his new film and
answer questions, and Captain Cindy Machado of the Marin Humane
Society will present information about disaster preparedness for
people with pets. A $10 suggested donation will benefit animals in


More than 2,500 of the four-legged Katrina survivors were brought to
the Bay Area for care prior to being reunited with their families or
placed in new, loving homes. They were the lucky ones — more than
35,000 companion animals perished in New Orleans due to disaster
policies that didn't take pets into account. Dark Water Rising
introduces us to the courageous people who traveled to New Orleans
from around the country and risked their own lives to rescue trapped
and starving animals. The film also begs the question: How can we
protect our pets if something like this happens in the Bay Area?

Haunted by his memories of the dead, frightened and emaciated
animals he saw while filming in New Orleans, Shiley says, "It's my
deepest hope that this film motivates people to put pressure on
Congress to pass the PETS Act so that never again will anyone be
forced to evacuate without their pets."

The roles MHS and IDA played in the aftermath of the hurricanes
The Marin Humane Society was centrally involved with pet rescue
efforts in the aftermath of the hurricanes last fall. Leading the
first-ever pet airlifts to transport animals out of the disaster
region, 2,500 rescued dogs and cats were flown to the Bay Area as
part of MHS' Operation Orphans of the Storm. Animal shelters and
rescue organizations around the Bay cared for these animals until
they could be reunited or rehomed.

"I will never forget the looks of relief and gratitude in the eyes
of the dogs and cats as they emerged from their airplane crates into
the arms of volunteers waiting to care for them," says Diane
Allevato, executive director, Marin Humane Society. "We were happy
to help these animals, but they deserved much better — they deserved
to be evacuated with their families."

In Defense of Animals also played a key role in disaster relief
efforts for animals, sending volunteers to the hurricane-stricken
area to rescue animals and transport them to regional shelters with
the ability to care for them. IDA's Project Hope volunteers are
still involved in transporting animals out of the affected areas.

"This powerful film of bravery and compassion documents the courage
and dedication of caring people to right the wrongs of others," says
Elliot Katz, DVM, president, In Defense of Animals. "Viewing it made
me more determined than ever to advocate for disaster relief and
preparation. I hope that the harsh lessons we've learned from this
disaster have not been in vain and that our national leaders will
commit to animal evacuation plans being part of all future disaster
planning around the country."

Tickets for the screening of Dark Water Rising will be sold at the
door beginning at 6pm. Space is limited. For further information,
please call In Defense of Animals at (415) 388-9641 or the Marin
Humane Society at (415) 506-6256.

Please note:
Filmmaker Mike Shiley is available for interviews.
The film trailer can be viewed at:

Sheri Cardo
Marin Humane Society
(415) 506-6263