Family that fled Katrina gets pet dog back

Published: November 17, 2005 | 2748th good news item since 2003

As Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans, Ann Gadel and her family crammed into a small car and fled north. But there was no room for Daisy, a 70-pound boxer-Doberman mix.

Daisy was left behind in the house with the windows boarded up. When they realized their neighborhood had been flooded, they thought there was no hope for the dog.

“At the time we thought we’d be back in a few days,” said Gadel, 47. “When we realized our house was pretty much a total loss, I was heartbroken that we had to leave her behind. I cried my eyes out.”

Daisy defied the odds and survived, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sent the dog in a truck to Ohio along with three others rescued in New Orleans. On Wednesday, Daisy flew from Cleveland to Orlando, Fla.

“I can’t believe she’s alive,” Gadel said shortly after being reunited with Daisy. “This is the happiest day of my life.” [Conversations with My Old Dog : For Anyone Who Has Ever Loved and Lost a Pet]

Gadel, now living in Titusville, Fla., with her father and three adult siblings, said Daisy has been in the family for seven years.

After Katrina, Daisy’s picture was spotted on the Animal Emergency Response Network.

Daisy was in good condition when she arrived in Ohio, say shelter workers, who helped identify her.

Eric Rayvid, a spokesman in New York for the ASPCA, said it wasn’t unusual for Daisy to end up in another state – more than 300 animal shelters or rescue groups in about 40 states are housing hurricane-displaced animals.

Gadel says the big mystery is how Daisy got out of the house and survived the flood waters.

“I was so thrilled,” she said. “I didn’t think it was even possible Daisy was still alive.” [Dogs Are Smarter Than Jack : 91 Amazing True Dog Stories]

Published in Animals, Hurricane Katrina, Reunited
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