I’ve been out of town but here are the most recent updates. Scroll down to read Hurricane Katrina & Hurricane Rita Animal Rescue tidbits.
The bill introduced to congress now has a name! The “Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act” us a bipartisan bill would make state and local governments devise emergency evacuation plans for pets. If they don’t, then they would be ineligible for FEMA grants.
Don’t forget to visit the government action page via the archives or continue to scroll to urge that they support the animal rescue legislation.
American Humane Association
Lake Charles, LA
Calcasieu Parrish Animal Services Shelter
2 October 2005
The work of the American Humane Animal Emergency Responders continues on our third day in Lake Charles. Partnering with the Calcasieu Parish Animal Control Department, our teams of volunteers continue to go door to door in devastated neighborhoods. This involves walking house-to-house, knocking on doors, checking backyards, looking through windows in order to determine any signs of pets in distress. A week after Hurricane Rita, many residents still have not returned due to power outages, the lack of safe drinking water, and the thousand of downed trees and limbs blocking the roads. Many smaller neighboring communities suffered 80-100% total destruction.
Our teams of responders are finding animals that were left behind, often tied outside with no food or water. This weekend, many teams have come across small “backyard farms” with a few goats, chickens, pigs, and sometimes a horse or two. These family farms create unique challenges for our teams. With stores and business still closed, finding goat feed is a little more difficult than finding dog or cat food. Also, gaining entrance into some of the enclosures can be challenging. At one home, volunteer responder Connor had to climb over barbed wire and an 8 foot fence in order to feed a hungry momma pig and her four piglets.
American Humane is partnering with Maryland’s Days End Farms Horse Rescue for the care of injured horses. Allen Schwartz with Days End has been assisting American Humane Responders with horses as well as goats, pigeons, and pigs. He is an experienced horseman and has been asked to transport sickly horses, many who were outside in pastures and corrals as Hurricane Rita blew through the area. During a recent reconnaissance flight our volunteer helicopter pilot spotted two horses stranded in a pasture and the only water to drink was contaminated with oil. Allen and a team of responders located the horses and managed to get them safely into a trailer and evacuated.
Our teams of responders are distributing thousands of pounds of Pedigree dog food to the area, this is critical because stores are still closed. Often times, teams find that one neighbor (who stayed through the hurricane) is feeding many of his neighbors pets. A week after the hurricane, these good neighbors are running out of food and are very grateful to see the American Humane responders arrive with truckloads of dog and cat food.
By going door-to-door, responders are finding animals left behind to fend for themselves before the storm. These animals have had no food or water for a week and are bounding through the house or across the yard, overjoyed to see our responders.
United Animal Nation’s EARS Program
MONROE, LOUISIANA: Volunteers at UAN’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) shelter are now caring for more than 200 dogs who were transferred from the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, which was the main staging area for animals rescued from New Orleans. Many of these animals are emaciated and suffering from chemical burns, skin conditions and injuries that require significant care. All animals are being vaccinated, tested for heartworm and posted on Petfinder.com. EARS volunteers have already reunited more than a dozen of the dogs with their owners. More than 50 EARS volunteers are assisting in Monroe, including several veterinarians. The heat and humidity, combined with the critical medical needs of the animals in our care, are making this an arduous effort.
CHALMETTE, LOUISIANA: EARS Northwest Regional Director Kurt Cruickshank redeployed last weekend to assist St. Bernard Parish Animal Control with its rescue and recovery efforts. EARS is coordinating its assistance with the ASPCA, with support from Best Friends Animal Society and other rescue organizations. A temporary shelter is housing just over 200 animals and animals are being transferred to a Jacksonville, Florida shelter through transport arranged by IFAW. An action plan has been implemented and trapping and rescue efforts are well underway. More trained animal control officers are needed.
LUFKIN, TEXAS: EARS is helping the Texas Animal Control Association (TACA) to wind down operations at a temporary emergency animal shelter that is now housing fewer than 100 animals evacuated before Hurricane Rita struck. Paul Tharp, Utah State Coordinator, is managing the EARS volunteers at this site. UAN is working with HSUS and the ASPCA to support TACA’s efforts in Lufkin.UAN has already deployed 250 volunteers to assist with this effort, including 14 veterinarians. Volunteers are still greatly needed but should not deploy unless requested to by UAN headquarters. Volunteers traveling to the shelters must have their tetanus shots and are strongly advised to have their hepatitis shots.Rescue teams and shelter operators are posting photos of rescued and found animals in a searchable database on Petfinders.com. It is the sincerest hope of all involved with this relief effort that as many families that can be reunited are. The last thing any hurricane victims need is the trauma of losing their companions.
Humane Society of the United States
No updates since our last post.