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One Year After Hurricane Katrina: Documentary explores the pet tragedy and asks “Are your

Monday, August 28, 2006
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Event Type:
Sheri Cardo
Location Details:
the Roxie Theater in San Francisco

One Year After Hurricane Katrina
Documentary explores the pet tragedy and asks “Are your pets safe?”

(NOVATO, CALIF., August 17, 2006) (OPEN PRESS) 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 two special screenings of Dark Water Rising: The Truth About Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescues. The first will be at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco on Monday, August 28th at 6:30, 8:00, and 9:30 p.m. The second screening will take place on Wednesday, September 6, 7:00 p.m., 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 at the San Rafael screening, Captain Cindy Machado of the Marin Humane Society will present information about disaster preparedness for people with pets. Admission to the San Francisco screening is $8.50, and a $10 suggested donation for the San Rafael screening will benefit animals in need.

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 San Rafael 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. Tickets for the San Francisco screenings will be sold at the Roxie box office prior to each show.

Please note:
Filmmaker Mike Shiley is available for interviews.
The film trailer can be viewed at:
Added to the calendar on Thu, Aug 17, 2006 1:32PM
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