A fascinating contrast. The Washington Post and New York Times keep flogging the story of three Red Cross volunteers (out of 225,000) dismissed for allegedly diverting food and misusing funds. The Louisiana attorney general is now expressing interest.
But what gets the attention of the New Orleans Times Picayune is the announcement that the Humane Society of the United States is also under investigation by AG Charles Foti. The bulk of their story reports the details of the pet rescue effort.
[But the Tuesday morning front page story in New Orleans features a protest at a local Catholic church against a parish closure - Click on the image for a pop up.]
Humane Society chief executive Wayne Pacelle is quoted in the Post saying simply, "I can't for the life of me see any issue here." But to the Times Picayune, he explains that the HSUS operated under guidelines set forth by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture about pet sheltering and reunification.
Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odum confirmed that 7,000 to 8,000 animals were processed by the Gonzales Lamar Dixon Center. HSUS even requested that animal shelters nationwide hold animals for reunification until at least December 15, far beyond usual guidelines for most shelters, to give owners more time to reunite with their pets. Eventually, it was in the best interest of the animals to find them homes rather than continue to hold them in kennels.