Pets Are the Forgotten Victims of Deadly Storms, Says 'Forces of Nature' Author Joanne Greene

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When major storms and natural disasters hit, pets are often the forgotten victims. Pet rescuers Joanne Greene, a former Playboy Bunny; and Penny Koncz, an award winning bodybuilder; know these perils firsthand. It led to the publication of their story in the book "Forces of Nature."

In 2005, amid the devastation Hurricane Katrina wreaked on New Orleans, few observers thought not just of the human casualties of the disaster but also of the domestic pets separated from their owners, lost, stranded, drowned, or starving.

While humans were ordered to evacuate New Orleans, no provision was made for the estimated 300,000 pets left behind with only a bowl of food and water. Owners, who expected to return soon, were devastated to learn that when the levees broke, they couldn't return, leaving thousands of animals to sink or swim. Others, locked in homes, drowned as the raging waters burst through buildings, flooding rooms to the ceiling, or later perished drinking toxic water from ruptured sewers and petrochemical industries.

Hearing the news, Joanne and Penny knew they had to get involved. Traveling from Chicago to the Lamar Dixon Animal Rescue Center in Gonzales, LA., the friends forayed into the wreckage of New Orleans to rescue sick and traumatized animals. Day after day, they waded through polluted waters, crawled under snake-infested homes, stepped on bodies and bones, and gagged on the stench of putrefying corpses. Their bravery and determination were matched by pets with the unconquerable will to survive.

From this tragedy, Greene and Koncz knew that lessons could be learned for other's facing similar emergencies. Their book, "Forces of Nature," not only chronicles their inspiring work, but also is a vital record of best practices for domestic animal rescue in disaster zones. Their story will fascinate readers, pet-lovers, animal rescuers, and public policy makers.

Even 12 years later, their story resonates with pet owners in locations susceptible to natural or man-made disasters. Their message is to plan ahead for their pets' safety in the event of life-threatening danger. When natural disasters threaten, all life is precious.

SOURCE: BUSINESS WIRE. ©2017 Business Wire

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