Among the thousands of crushing moments from last week's deadly hurricane, one image brought the anguish home to many: a tearful little boy torn from his dog while being shuttled to safety.
The boy was among the thousands who ended up sheltered at the Superdome after the hurricane.
But when he went to board a bus to be evacuated to Houston, a police officer took the dog away. The boy cried out — "Snowball! Snowball!" — then vomited in distress.
Authorities say they don't know where the boy or his family ended up.
witnesses called Snowball a terrier mix, while others consider the
dog a bichon frise.
If the boy and his dog are indeed safe, they have beaten long odds.
Many of the animals — dogs, cats, ferrets and birds — that police collected at the Superdome were herded into a stairwell until the human evacuation was complete. Of the 50 animals rescued from the Superdome on Sunday, not all of them survived.
More than 600 displaced pets remain in Houston. Hundreds more fill kennels and cages in Dallas and around the state. Shelters try to arrange foster homes for pets, and many families have volunteered.
"We had dogs that swam the entire time in 4 feet of water and survived," said a pet rescue worker "Even cats were in about 8 to 9 inches of water in the upper cages and they swam and survived, too. Just like everybody else, they're survivors."
Reuniting Snowball and
his owner will require work, patience and luck.
Volunteers planned to make visits to shelters in the Houston area looking for the dog's owners. They were considering walking around carrying signs with Snowball's photo.
They've been scouring shelters, posting notes on the Internet and making phone calls to track them down. One woman set up a Web site to help people pair up pets with their owners. Another set up a reward to encourage someone to come forward with information on Snowball's or the boy's whereabouts.
"Everyone wants to know about Snowball," said Laura Maloney, executive director of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.