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The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever
New Katrina film documents Herculean animal rescue efforts.
Rescue Party Tour screenings help local shelters and rescue groups.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Those of us who lost so much on that day find it difficult to put our feelings into words. Filmmaker Tom McPhee gives voice to our turbulent thoughts and emotions with his moving documentary, "An American Opera: The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever." He estimates that half of the flood's victims chose to stay because of their pets. As someone who had the means to evacuate her four dogs and two cats, I can understand why many people risked their lives rather than leave their furry family members behind. You can see this film as part of the nationwide Rescue Party Tour (each screening benefits local animal charities) or purchase the DVD once the tour is over. It's an educational and inspiring look at the good that can come out of tragedy when people work together for animals.


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Lisa Wogan | September 24 2009 |

Reviews are coming in. This from Elise Nakhnikian's review for CentralJersey.com: "The greatest strength of this piece of citizen journalism is its often emotional immediacy. We see people rescuing dogs or breaking into houses to find them dead. We meet some of the volunteers who do the bulk of the rescuing, including a couple who came all the way from Canada. And then there are the animals.

Sad or scared, friendly or reserved, and almost always touchingly compliant, the dogs — the movie never gives us statistics on which species were rescued, but it looks as if nearly all of them were dogs — gaze into the lens and straight though to our hearts. Like their owners a few days before, they’re rounded up, processed, and herded onto planes, confused and alone in a strange new world.”

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