Film Reveals Fight Over Katrina Dogs

"Mine” looks at dog owners struggling to reclaim their pets.

Posted: January 29, 2010, 2 a.m. EST

Hurricane Katrina’s pets – and the people who loved them – suffered untold misery during the 2005 storm and its devastating aftermath. Now a new documentary, “Mine,” chronicles the plight of dog owners who found their pets in new homes living with rescuers or adopters who didn’t want to give them back.

“A lot of people that I met just didn’t know what they could do,” filmmaker Geralyn Pezanoski told The Associated Press.

One of Pezanoski’s subjects, Jessie Pullins, was just reunited with his dog J.J. in June.

“He stuck with it,” she says. “Hundreds of families were looking. It’s [been] four years; most have given up and moved on. I know of a handful of cases of people still looking.”

Pezanoski herself adopted a Katrina pet, and can empathize with people who returned foster animals to their rightful owners.

“You go into it thinking there’s a good guy and a villain, and I realized there isn’t one or the other. They were all trying to do the right thing,” she says. “They all loved animals.”

“Mine” won an Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival. To learn more, visit the film’s website.


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lauri   minneapolis, MN

5/1/2010 8:08:40 AM

it's not enough to live thru katrina, lose your home, be forced to leave your beloved pet and NEVER see that family member again? Thank God for the big hearted people who took these refugees fromthe stormm in, but god lord people if you have a dog who's original family is searching for him, GIVE HIM BACK! Please!

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J.T.   Glendale, AZ

2/1/2010 5:10:05 PM

This would be a very interesting film to see.

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Carol   Louisville, TN

1/31/2010 9:53:46 AM

I too would like to say I would never leave my pets behind, however, in those extreme conditions with the smell of death and the dead right there and the water getting deeper - and a rescuer standing there telling me I could not take them.. I honestly do not know what I would do and I don't think anyone would until they have lived in their shoes. I urge folks to try to be understanding. Now, 4 years later when the sun is shining it is very easy to be judgemental. Should they get their dogs back - if after all this time they are still looking for them - they do not think they are disposable animals. They CARE and the parties involved should work it out.

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Cheryl   Kansas City, KS

1/31/2010 7:59:23 AM

Not everyone had a choice when they left their pets. I would never make that choice with my own, I would rather sink than swim without them.

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