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Happy Reunions for Four-Legged Katrina Survivors


One year ago thousands of people fled New Orleans and surrounding areas because of Hurricane Katrina. Many left behind beloved pets. This is the story of one, named Faith.

In the aftermath of Katrina, Racelle Carlson went to New Orleans to rescue stranded and abandoned pets. Her volunteer team often had to sedate scared animals before bringing them to safety. Today she's rescuing animals in her home state of Arizona. But she remembers her lifesaving work in New Orleans, and particularly, one special puppy she found in a crate.

"We see these two eyes with some liquid around them, and it ended up being a pit bull puppy where its litter mate had died. And we opened the kennel and she walked out and when we saw her we just grabbed her and we just started back," said Carlson, who works with the Arizona Humane Society.

They rushed her to safety, stabilized her and named her Faith. Racelle's team went on to save as many of the thousands of marooned pets as they could. Animals were not allowed on evacuation buses.

Joe and Dorine Moses left ''Wimpy'' home when they left. They believed -- like many people -- the storm would soon blow over. They lost everything, including, they thought, their pet.

"I had tears in my eyes,” said Joe. “I used to sit up and think about him.”

Joe, who had a heart transplant three years ago, was devastated. A best friend was gone. Months later, their daughter found a picture of Wimpy on the Internet. Last April, after several temporary shelters and homes for both family and pet, they were reunited in the apartment the Moses now call home.

''I tell him often, 'God saved you, and he saved me too.' "

Faith never found her owner. But one year later, she is happy, healthy, and living with volunteer Vicky Payne. "When we found her and the situation she was in, my heart went out to her, and I really did everything I could to make sure she was going to be OK. Every animal has a story behind it. Hers is just a little more special."

These two stories are happy exceptions. One year after the floods there are still hundreds of lost pets on the Internet and hundreds of owners still searching.