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July 15th, 2010
10:25 AM ET

Video: Hundreds of Gulf-area pets homeless

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Editor's Note: For information on how you can help these homeless pets click here.

I just got back from a couple of hours at the Louisiana SPCA here in New Orleans. For me, as an animal lover and the proud owner of a cat, this shoot was very tough.

We went because we wanted to see how the oil spill in the gulf is affecting the family pet. It’s not just pelicans and turtles and dolphins that are feeling this. While the family pet may not be covered in oil, too many of them are now homeless because their owners, mainly fisherman, can no longer afford to take care of them. They are out of work and behind on bills, so now as many as 80 dogs a month are ending up in shelters, given away by their owners.

At one shelter in St. Bernard Parish, they saw an increase of more than 100 dogs this past June compared to June last year. In June of 2009, they had 17 dogs turned in by owners. This year, 127. They say it’s all because of the spill.

I couldn’t tear my eyes away from these cages. There were all kinds of dogs: terriers, golden retrievers, and every kind of mixed breed you can image. One cuter than the next. More dogs have been turned in than cats but there are plenty of cats that now need homes too.

The SPCA’s Ana Zorrilla told me when some families come in to turn in their pets they can hardly bring themselves to say it’s because of the spill. She says they are just too torn up. She says she’d like BP to help foot some of the bills and help keep the family pet at home instead of at the shelters. She would like BP to pay for petfood and veterinary expenses so families can stay intact. With donations, the Lousiana SPCA just launched a program this week to try and keep pets at home by providing food, vet care, spaying and neutering, even microchipping. But they don’t have the funds for all the families who need it.

The saddest part about this is that so many of these now homeless pets may never find another home. The shelter we visited is not a no-kill shelter and almost every cage was taken. The dogs we saw today only have about 2 or 3 weeks, if they’re lucky, to get adopted. If they don’t get a second chance, these pets will likely be euthanized. And they never even had a drop of oil on them….


Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Randi Kaye • Reporter's Notebook
July 15th, 2010
10:20 AM ET
July 15th, 2010
10:12 AM ET

BP replaces leaking line, hopes to resume critical testing

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/15/gulf.oil.disaster/c1main.oil.flow.bp.jpg caption="The tests could determine whether BP can stop the massive spill" width=300 height=169]

BP replaced a leaking pipe and hopes to resume a vital well test Thursday that could put an end to the oil that has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the last 12 weeks, said a top company official.

The "integrity" test is intended to determine the well's pressure to see if a new container cap will be able to contain the oil.

BP was forced to suspend operations Wednesday after a leak was discovered in a piece of equipment called the choke line. Senior Vice President Kent Wells told reporters Thursday the company was able to disconnect the leaking choke line and replace it.

Wells said BP hopes to go forward with integrity testing "sometime today."

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • T1
July 15th, 2010
10:04 AM ET

Letter to the President #542: 'A postcard from vacationland'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The most famous resident (currently) on Pennsylvania Avenue takes vacations now and then and so do I, but that’s no reason to let our correspondence dangle..

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/07/08/obama.campaign.trail/smlvid.obama.th.gi.jpg caption="The most famous resident (currently) on Pennsylvania Avenue takes vacations now and then and so do I, but that’s no reason to let our correspondence dangle.." width=300 height=169]

Dear Mr. President,

In case I haven’t told you, I’m on vacation this week. Like your vacations, it is a little crowded by work; a case in point being that I still need to keep up with these letters, but I’m not complaining. As I’ve said before, when so many people are out of jobs it is just bad form to gripe about being too busy.

In any event, after tending to our elder daughter’s enrollment at Georgia Tech (“Behold… the mystical world of aerospace studies!”) we rolled over to Alabama to see my mom, brother, sister and whoever else decides to stop by. On the way we stopped at one of my favorite barbeque places, Dreamland, which I highlighted during one of my Building Up America trips. It was not lunchtime and we really weren’t hungry, so sadly we had to fore-go the barbeque on this visit, but we did have room for some dessert and I’d been promising the girls a taste of the banana pudding from this joint for months.

As we stepped into the cool from the hundred degree heat, a very nice man behind the takeout counter called out a greeting and said, “What can I get for y’all?”

“We need some of your famous banana pudding,” I said.

“How much do you want?” he responded.

“Well, how much have you got?”

“As much as you can eat. We’ll sell you all of it! We can make more!”

We laughed a bit, ordered a quart, and passed it around as we continued rumbling down to Grandma’s house. And it was really good. If you come south again sometime soon, you really ought to chase some down. I’m pretty sure among all those helpers who follow you around there is someone who can find the place and maybe they’ll even give you a presidential discount. Ha! Wouldn’t that be sweet?

In any event, I wanted to let you know that my cell service here is very spotty if you want to call, so don’t get discouraged. Just leave a message and when I’m driving through one of the neighboring towns where reception is better, I’ll call you back. Other than that, not much to report today. Had a good workout this morning (stomach crunches nearly killed me) then tried to golf this afternoon with my brother, but wound up trapped under a shelter for a half hour by an insane rainstorm, at the end of which the course was too soaked to play. So we had ice cream instead.

Maybe we’ll try again tomorrow. Not following the news much this week, so forgive me if I seem a shade out of it, but I really must say… it’s a pleasure.

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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