I hope you've had a nice summer and managed to get in some fun. Things will begin to cool off now as we head into autumn and then into winter.

As we make our own preparations, we also need to be mindful of those less fortunate families and animals who are trying desperately to recover from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.

I know you probably have been flooded with requests for help for those families, and I will be no different. For this issue, I want to share some information with you that might help some of those victims, too. Especially the animal victims.

I think Laura Bevan, Incident Commander for the Humane Society of the United States said it best:
"... the difficult and dangerous task of saving animals' lives in disaster situations is vital not only to the animals, but to the people who love them, too."

This may be the weak spot that many people overlook. As some of the critics like to shout, people are more important than animals, or, they are "just cats" or "just dogs" and we should save the people first. They are not really thinking about the people in a totally compassionate way. Just saving someone's life physically is not the whole picture. These people have feelings, too!

Some of them are feeling especially hurt because some parts of their families are missing - their pets! If you are very connected to your little buddies, maybe you know what I'm talking about. How would you feel if you were uprooted, lost everything you owned, and then to top it all off, you lost your best friend too?

Luckily, there are some people and groups out there who are trying their darndest to rescue the animals also.

In fact, if you know someone who lives near the affected area and you think they might be able to help, please write to me. I have specific names and addresses and cell phone numbers of people who cannot get to their pets. One woman is frantic about her dog, tied in the back yard with her puppy. She also has 3 cats locked in the back bedroom. Another lady is worried sick about her two dogs shut up in the garage. Is there even a garage? If not, have the dogs run off? Are they OK?

Most of these contacts are people who have animals locked in or tied up. We need to help them find those little guys and get them out, or at the LEAST, fed and watered.

For help of a more general nature, here are some links and contacts to either make donations or to send supplies, as well as to report lost and found animals:

Lost and Found Reports: http://www.h4ha.org/lostfound/

Send Supplies: write to hurricane@bestfriends.org or call 435-644-3965.

Donate: http://go.care2.com/36770
Email: disaster@hsus.org, or call 202-452-1100 for information on how to help.

If I can help with more information, please ask,