Star Tribune Review by Kelli Ohrtman of Best Friends Animal Society

Book review by Kelli Ohrtman of Best Friends Animal Society, published in the Star Tribune PetCentral blog:

Touching Memoir of Katrina Animal Rescue

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8 State Hurricane Kate
A Minnesota woman’s Katrina story

by Kelli Ohrtman

8 State Hurricane Kate, a book by Minnesotan Jenny Pavlovic was scheduled for release several weeks before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Little did Pavlovic know that its release would coincide with another hurricane barreling down on New Orleans, making her book even more timely than expected.

While none of us who were there will ever forget Katrina’s aftermath, Hurricane Gustav’s approach brought the memories right back– just in time for Pavlovic’s book.

8 State Hurricane Kate is a heartfelt recap of what it was like to watch a natural disaster unfold on television and get on a plane to do something about it. It is a story of one woman’s experience of stepping out of her comfort zone and into a disaster zone, and then stepping out again with one significant difference: a dog that she was able to lift out of harm’s way.

Pavlovic’s story of her work at Lamar Dixon, a rescue camp where hundreds of animals were kept after being picked up from the New Orleans streets is one that many in the animal world can relate to. Katrina brought thousands of “regular people” together to help animals, and changed them in ways they could not have imagined.

For Pavlovic, the big change was bringing home Kate, a senior Australian cattle dog, the one dog that she just couldn’t leave behind. Her story can be divided into two sections: hurricane relief and the hardships of taking in a rescued dog. Both themes ring true in 8 State Hurricane Kate, told in Pavlovic’s matter-of fact, honest style.

The book includes Pavlovic’s trip to New Orleans, and then the ensuing year. As one can imagine, the story is far from over when she returns home with a new dog. Pavlovic tells of the difficulties of integrating Kate into her household, dealing with the all-too common medical problems and possible years of neglect Kate showed.

She tells of how her community stepped forward to help pay for Kate’s extensive medical care. It’s a reminder that people do care about one another in times of need and how fast friendships are formed under situations of duress. Pavlovic includes e-mails and letters she received from a new network of hurricane rescuers and Australian cattle dog lovers—-undeniable examples of how deeply Katrina affected everyone in animal welfare.

8 State Hurricane Kate is a book for anyone who has adopted a pet and ever wonders where he or she really came from. It’s a book for anyone who couldn’t go to help animals after Katrina, but wished they could. And last but not least, it’s a book for those who will never forget the devastation caused by a disaster in a city wholly unprepared and teeming with stray animals. At least 50% of the book’s profits go to the 8 State Hurricane Kate fund, to provide financial relief for animals in desperate situations.
Kelli Ohrtman is a freelance writer from Minneapolis who works at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. www.kelliohrtman.com

                  

 

 

 

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