Monday, September 26, 2005


(via Instapundit). One Mary Wlodarski wrote letters to her Illinois Senators "asking them to review the budget in light of the need of our southern states, foregoing our projects to help out the gulf states." In other words, asking to get rid of pork projects. The reply she says she received from Senator Obama clearly had other kinds of critters in mind:
Dear Mary:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Hurricane Katrina and rescue operations for the pets of evacuees. I appreciate hearing from you.

Among the many difficult and heartwrenching aspects of this tragedy has been the lack of resources to rescue and care for those pets left behind by evacuees who were unable to take them on evacuation transports. Fortunately, as news spread about the plight of these animals, several groups volunteered to travel into that dangerous environment to help rescue them.

As soon as the resources were available, the United States Navy and National Guard began searching for and rescuing these pets in New Orleans and elsewhere in the Gulf Coast. The U.S.S. Tortuga moored near New Orleans, and the Tortuga's repair division began a search and rescue mission for abandoned pets. The crew members set up "Camp Milo and Otis," a makeshift kennel where medical care and shelter was provided for dogs, cats and other displaced animals from the city. The Department of Homeland Security also assisted by deploying Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams to provide medical care to pets and livestock, as well as provide any needed veterinary medical care for dogs involved in the rescue effort. And only days after the storm, SPCAs, Humane Societies and other pet welfare organizations from across the country joined the United States Navy and National Guard in attempting to rescue stray animals. Several thousand pets were rescued and sheltered around the state by late last week.

Individual citizens have helped with this effort as well. I was particularly heartened by stories like one in Grand Rapids Michigan, where an anonymous donor helped relocate 175 displaced dogs and cats. While it is tragic that so many pets remain left behind, that is yet another example of how humanity can shine through any disaster.

As you know, the lack of government planning for this disaster has drawn the ire of many Americans, and a substantial review process must take place to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. Planning for the rescue and care of pets should certainly be part of that discussion.

Thank you again for writing.


Barack Obama
United States Senator
As Glenn Reynolds aptly notes, it is hard to tell whether it is worse that Obama replied to a letter about pork in this fashion or that he has a form letter about pets and Katrina.

UPDATE: At least Obama's staff are quick learners.

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