We negotiated downed wires, pylons and other other submerged hazards. At around 5 feet the depth of the water was an obvious concern especially as we juggled our cameras around the animal crates and supplies in the small boat, but we also wore waders so a chance of drowning if we fell in was a real concern.
Approaching the home we saw two people standing on the steps. "Do you have an animal to rescue?" someone asked. "It's my pig." the man cried. "Can you take my pig?"
We entered his home and were introduced to Rooty, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. "She's my baby," the man said with love.
"I can't leave her." The day before mandatory evacuations had been ordered across New Orleans, the National Guard were patrolling in air boats and following through on those orders.
"I asked them to shoot her," said the man, tears welling in his eyes, "but they wouldn't do it. I can't leave her to starve"
Rooty snorted and mooched around the house as a plan was drawn up on how we could get her down the stairs and into our boat. We decided to throw a blanket over her and several of us fought to keep her inside as she was lowered into the largest crate we had.