Shelter from the Storm
Humans aren't the only creatures who are suffering because of Hurricane Katrina. The Washington Post has an article on the storm's impact on pets left behind when their owners evacuated. The extent of the problem is indicated by the Post's description of one temporary animal shelter in Louisiana:
They are brought here to Lamar-Dixon, in a small town between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. At its busiest, in the days after the storm, this facility held up to 2,000 dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and horses, along with pet mice, rats, frogs and pythons, even a boa stored inside a plastic bin wrapped with duct tape, lest the creature escape and eat some of the hamsters and ferrets nearby. A similar facility, at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, is housing more than a thousand pets. Rene Bafalis, spokeswoman for the national Humane Society, says roughly 60 percent of New Orleans residents were pet owners.
The response to Katrina is remarkable in many ways, one of them being the extent of organized efforts to help to the non-human victims of the storm. The Christian Science Monitor explained that the Katrina animal rescue efforts
had become the largest pet-rescue operation in the short history of such efforts, which date back to hurricane Andrew in 1992. As dozens of humane agencies descended, even soldiers turned at least a passing notice to lost, displaced, and left-behind pets. Two shelters - one for dropped-off pets at the Coliseum in Baton Rouge and another for rescued ones in Gonzales, La. - held more than 1,000 animals. More flowed in by the minute. Ninety percent of the rescued animals belong to someone.
Like everything else, these animal rescue and relief efforts need any help you can give them. The links below provide three legitimate rescue/relief organizations. There are many others.
Humans understandably need to concentrate their rescue and relief efforts on other humans, but animals need help too. Winston appreciates any help you can give. He is after all, a dog.
While you're at it, you might want to take a look at CRE's registry for displaced New Orleans musicians. These talented artists lost not only their homes, but also the places they performed. They are looking for someplace else to play. Can you help ?
Click here for Washington Post article
Click here for Christian Science Monitor article
Click here for HSUS Katrina animal relief efforts
Click here for NSALA Katrina animal relief efforts
Click here for Pet finder Katrina animal relief efforts