© The HSUS/Milani
A dog is evacuated from New Orleans in advance of Gustav.
This weekend as Hurricane Gustav brewed off the Gulf Coast we saw many of the major news outlets—NBC Nightly News, Reuters, USA Today, and more—run stories about the new evacuation procedures put in place for people and their pets. This time around thousands of pets accompanied Gulf residents as they retreated inland, with some heading for emergency shelters that welcomed both people and pets. It was images broadcast three years ago that spurred individuals, relief agencies and government agencies to no longer leave animals behind in times of disaster. The images of people’s family pets being refused entry onto evacuation buses in the days before Katrina, and of animals stranded in floodwaters and wreckage in the storm’s aftermath, moved the nation into action.
We should certainly celebrate every occasion where members of the media focus attention on the issues facing animals. But there are some reporters, writers, and producers who do this job in such an exceptional way that they deserve special recognition. We’ve got a tool to do that. Every year The HSUS pays tribute to the major news and entertainment media with the Genesis Awards, recognizing outstanding works that raise public understanding of animal issues.
The most recent Genesis Awards—the 22nd annual—was held this March in Los Angeles (see my blog post about the event). I wanted to let you know that you’ll soon have a chance to see the ceremony for yourself. It will air on the cable network AmericanLife TV this Sunday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. ET, re-air that evening at 11, and then play again on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 10 and 11 (we’ve listed all of the air times at humanesociety.org).
As our Genesis Awards theme says, “Cruelty Can’t Stand the Spotlight!” Help us celebrate the media and entertainment industry for celebrating animals. I encourage you to tune in for this special event and please encourage your friends and family to do the same. Here’s a short video preview of what you can look forward to.