This front page story on Oily Dog provides a great opportunity for letters to the editor in support of the PETS Act (see https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_pets_act_house2) or in favor of adoption.
The Times-Picayune takes letters at http://www.nola.com/contactus/
Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
December 11, 2005 Sunday
RIVER PARISHES PICAYUNE; Pg. 1
Texas man adopts oily dog from Chalmette;
St. Rose woman has hand in 'Slick's' rescue
By Matt Scallan, River Parishes bureau
The photo of an oil-soaked dog in the ruins of a Chalmette neighborhood evoked a storm of outrage from readers of the Dallas Morning News when it was published Sept. 10.
Why hadn't the photographer rescued the slippery shih tzu, angry readers wanted to know.
Animal advocates launched a Web site devoted to "oily dog," not knowing that she had found her way to the home of Angie Robert, a St. Rose woman who works at the St. Charles Parish animal shelter.
"A friend on a rescue team told me that they had found this dog that had been soaked in the oil spill in St. Bernard," said Robert, who quickly agreed to take the dog and find it a new home.
She named her "Slick," and repeatedly washed her to get the oil out.
"She still smelled like oil for weeks," Robert said.
One potential adoption didn't work out, so Slick was back with Rogers.
Meanwhile, Don Rorschach, a retired lawyer who lives in Irving, Texas, had posters made of the Dallas Morning News photo and shipped them to Chalmette, where activists posted them on utility poles.
As complaints grew about Morning News photographer Tom Fox's failure to rescue the dog, Fox returned to the area along Judge Perez Drive where he had seen the dog, and turned over an animal believed to be "Oily Dog" to animal shelter workers in the area.
But activists quickly determined that the rescued canine was not the one that Fox photographed on Sept. 6, and outrage boiled up anew.
"It looked more like a lhasa (apso) than a shih tzu," Rorschach said.
The Morning News ran a Sept. 16 story with the headline: "ID of oily dog murky now," that included Fox' explanation of why he hadn't rescued the dog.
"The thought of helping the dog crossed our minds like it did several other times when we crossed paths with many stray dogs," Fox wrote. "Under the circumstances of having to cover this huge catastrophe, we couldn't do justice to aiding all of these dogs. Issues emerged: If we pick up this dog, what about the others? Where do we go with the dog to get him cleaned up and cared for? Who would we find that had a background in saving a polluted animal? "
By now, Robert, who had been keeping the dog at her home for more than a month, became aware that people were looking for the dog.
But she wanted to be sure that whoever got custody of the dog would take care of it.
"I wanted to know who I was dealing with," Robert said. "I wasn't going to give her to just anybody."
But Rorschach won her confidence, and he drove in from Irving to collect the dog.
"She's just an incredible dog. I spend about 23 hours a day with her," he said.
Rorschach and his wife wanted to give the dog a more dignified name, but one that gave homage to the circumstances that brought her into their home.
After searching the Internet, they settled on "Orli," which means "The light is mine" in Hebrew.
"We call her Orli Slick," he said.
When Rorschach arrived at the animal shelter, he wrote Robert a check for $2,000. She reluctantly accepted, then donated the money to the St. Charles Parish Humane Society's Building Fund.
"The money would have come in handy around Christmas," said Robert, who has two children. "But there were so many people involved in the rescue that I just couldn't keep it for myself," she said. "Rescuing animals is what I do."
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More details and links to news stories about Slick can be found at www.oilydog.org
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Matt Scallan may be reached at email@example.com or (985) 652-0953.
(END OF ARTICLE)
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Date: Sun Dec 11 12:04:23 2005