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10.13.2005
Frank Cox's son Chris - sends us a journal ~ he's a volunteer who has been doing animal rescue
Posted by: Nancy Wilson

All,

I had a very busy time in the south.

DAY1

I started out Saturday night the 1st on my flight that left sea tac at 10:30pm. After three flights and two layovers later I got to the Forrest Creek events center in Hattiesburg MS around 11:00am. I pitched my tent and went right to work walking the remaining dogs they had left there which were about 20 dogs. I finally had to sleep and went to bed around 9:00pm.

DAY2

The next morning I woke up at 5:30am and walked all the dogs for their morning walk. It was cool to see people coming to get there pets and adopt others. This shelter was being closed down and I worked to get everything packed up and helped load big containers with pallets of supplies to be dispersed out to locations for the next disaster, something that hasn't been done before. With things winding down I was looking to take off to another shelter.

DAY3

I started again walking the remaining dogs which was down to 4 not including other barns that had a mix of puppies and aggressive dogs. It was kind of sad to come to the barn every morning and see empty kennels. All I know is that they were being taken to other smaller shelters for adoption. I made plans to get a ride to Gonzales LA. I worked in the warehouse until about noon when I caught a ride in an RV with some nice folks from Minnesota. We had to go a long way around because of bridges that were out in LA. We got to Gonzales which had about 600 animals. I pitched my tent and we had time to kill before the 10:00pm briefing. At the meeting they were getting groups of people to go into New Orleans on rescue missions.

DAY4

I woke up at 5:00am to pack up for the morning meeting expecting to go out on rescue missions. They expressed an urgent need of volunteers out at the Pasado shelter. I was wondering if Pasado was the name of the town or the Pasado Safe Heaven organization in Seattle which it was. I caught a ride with three women from New Mexico, New York, and Pennsylvania. It was about a 90 mile drive out to a farm that was being turned in to a temporary shelter. Before my foot hit the ground a girl was shouting for help. I ran over and helped restrain a dog that was getting a bath. After that I was walking dog's constantly one cage after another they had been waiting a while and were happy to get out. There were some people that meant well but were not able to control the dogs which were mostly fighter pit bulls. I was shocked because at the end of the day they told all of the volunteers to leave and I didn't think they had the people to handle the number of animals left there. People were pissed and tensions were running high. We left back for Gonzales and had to wait for the next briefing at 10:00pm. I proceeded to have many drinks with the people turned away. At the meeting they didn't have any great explanations for what happened at Pasado and asked for people to meet in the morning for more missions to New Orleans. Lots of political BS and egos running the show.

DAY5

I went to the 5:30am meeting and decided I better start my way back to Hattiesburg after they announced that the Gonzalez shelter was closing. There were still many people going thru the streets of New Orleans on feeding missions and only picking up animals in critical need. There were no rental cars available so I got a ride into Baton Rouge to the Greyhound bus station. It was pretty scary because it was like being dropped off in South Central LA after the riots. I went in got my ticket and it was 11:00am and my bus didn't leave til 1:45am. I went back outside and caught a cab to anywhere else but that part of town. I got the driver to take me to a riverboat casino on the Mississippi river. I had a lot of time to kill till my bus ride. I went to the bar and everyone there had wristbands on I could tell they were all refugees. There was a shelter next door with 5600 people that lost everything. I was telling a couple about how I was waiting to get a greyhound bus back to Hattiesburg and they were like from the station on Florida street? I said yes and they were like watch your back that's a f'd up part of town. They said to stay in the station because it's a big crack neighborhood.

DAY6 and 7

I got back to the bus stop and got on the bus with no trouble and had an all night trip to Mobil Alabama, down thru Gulfport, and back up to Hattiesburg. I got there at 10:30am the next day and started to try and find a motel. They were all booked until December. I lucked out and found a motel six with a room for the night. I hung around there until my flight out the next morning. I woke up at 4:30am and got home at 5:00pm.

I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures and mostly tried while I was walking dogs so here are the best ones I shot.

Chris

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