Posted: 05/11/2010




by Laura Tucker

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There aren’t many people out there that will argue that something didn’t happen the way it should have in Hurricane Katrina. People in this country shouldn’t have to suffer the way residents of the Gulf region did when the levee came crashing down. You can put the blame anywhere you want, as there is certainly enough to go around. But beyond all the tragedy and sadness, there is even more than we hadn’t been exposed to yet.

The document MINE shows this sadness. There is a whole population out there who were forgotten about, and as sad as it may seem, it made sense initially. We have to worry about the hundreds of thousands of people out there who were stranded with no homes, no food, no belongings, and lost family members. Resources had to be used to help them before they were used on their pets. MINE is the story of the families behind those pets, why they left them behind, and how they struggled to get them back after they were allowed to return home, or at least return to where their homes used to be.

These residents of the New Orleans area featured in MINE left their dogs behind because they had no choice. They were not abusive pet owners. They were forced out of their homes and told they were not allowed to take their pets to the shelters they were going to. These were people without options, and they weren’t wrong to save their families.

When the problems came up, it was after everyone was cleared to go back to the area, or what was left of their homes. The pets had since been removed from the homes or some had even escaped on their own. They had been collected by volunteers and animal organizations and had been cataloged in whatever fashion was available. It would seem the owners would just need to call up the authorities and get their dogs back. But this was rarely ever the case, at least for the cases that are highlighted here in MINE.

This documentary follows residents from the time they arrived back in the area through all their attempts to get their pets back. There is a 90-year-old man who had no choice before he went to the Super Dome, other than to leave 50 pounds of dog food and a big pan of water out for his beloved dog and hope he was okay. There was another man whose dog and home had been everything to him after being homeless for several years and now working for a homeless organization. There’s an elderly woman who claimed they’d have to handcuff her to separate her from her dog, and they did.

Sometimes by the time the owners caught up with their dogs, they had already been placed with new families, families who had been told that either the owners no longer wanted the dog back or that the original family had been abusive to their pet. Some of the time I am sure that was true, but certainly not in the cases that were highlighted here in MINE.

And that right there is the story behind MINE. When making a disaster plan on such a large scale, people are thought of first, and even then, these people were failed in this instance. The pets were an afterthought, and everyone that loved these animals was wronged in some way in the end, and it wasn’t for lack of them loving their pets. These people lost everything, and losing their pets only compounded that problem.

Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

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