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I'd have to say the human needs always come first in my mind.
Something that I've found hard to listen to/see regarding the devastation of Katrina is people who are upset and arguing with rescuers to save their dog/cat/whatever pet. When it comes down to saving a dog/cat/pet's life or another human being's life, in my mind it's a no-brainer. I am a lover of animals, I have a cat who I love dearly but if I had to choose between saving her and saving a human being, no matter who the human was, I would pick the human.
That being said, I tend not to give my change to tins. I prefer to give food &/or time to needy humans in my hometown. I feel that a lot of (even totally legit) charities spend too much of the donations on 'administration' and not enough aid seems to get down to those who need it most.
That's my $0.02

I feel guilty admitting, even after others have already, that I'd probably donate to the SPCA before the 'children'. First, I feel as though so few people look out for animals and we animal rescuers need to stick together (I foster kittens- have 4 right now driving me batty). Secondly, I just think my heart strings are pulled on more realistically by the image of a starving animal- I've seen it in real life. I've dealt with it. I've tried to save the lives of animals that others thought were worthless (2 kittens someone tried to drown in a caustic fluid were the first 2 rescues I've ever done)- so it intimately connects with me. I haven't actually known a starving child- so it doesn't seem 'as real'. Horrible- yes. Because I KNOW it is real.

Anyways- after saying all of that- with Hurricane Katrina, I donated infant clothing, $50 to a displaced family from my husband's company that moved to our town (his company is matching donations- so I thought that was cool) and then my daughter had some Red Cross Penny Drive so I dug out all of my pennies and sent them in with her- probably for people as well. I'd have donated to animal charities if they had presented themselves at the time, I'm sure.

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