LIVINGSTON PARISH, La., Aug. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With as many as 70,000 homes damaged or destroyed in the catastrophic floods, animal rescuers are racing against time to save animal flood victims and working to reunite pets with their families.
A grassroots New-Orleans based charity, the Humane Society of Louisiana - no affiliation with any national organization - stepped up to help hard-hit Livingston parish provide field operations and disaster relief. The charity set up headquarters at the Livingston Parish Animal Shelter and has been working with dedicated teams from local and national groups to save animals.
"Katrina showed us the resilience of some animals after disaster strikes," says Executive Director and founder, Jeff Dorson of New Orleans, recalling firsthand that live animals were still being pulled out of flooded houses a month after the hurricane.
Not surprisingly, there have been incredible stories of survival against the odds coming out of the Livingston parish every day. Dogs who had been locked in crates since the flooding were discovered and rescued; two cats, who inexplicably survived inside a flooded trailer, were also rushed to safety. The animal first-responders have helped birds, wildlife, a pig and multiple species of animals in distress.
Besides those still trapped, other frightened animals - who somehow managed to escape the flood waters - are roaming the streets. Some are injured and in need of veterinary care. Groups have rushed animals to local vets and are caring for others at the ever-expanding camp of more than 130 animals. While many homeless, adoption-ready animals were transferred to agencies out of state for adoption, Livingston parish animals are being held for 45 days, both at the shelter and in foster homes, to give families a chance to reclaim them.
The Humane Society of Louisiana has seen its fair share of disasters. Although its small, no-kill New Orleans shelter was destroyed in Katrina (and never rebuilt) the charity operated the grassroots 'Camp Katrina' volunteer rescue effort, which helped save 1800 animal lives.
Another disaster struck when less than a year ago, the group lost its most recent shelter (the former 'Camp Katrina' rescue center) in a devastating fire. Rebuilding efforts were underway, when the need to respond to Louisiana's Great Flood of 2016 arose.
"Of the many challenges we've faced, his may be our biggest to date," says Dorson. "What we really need is support for the massive rescue and relief effort we've established. We've already spent and committed tens of thousands of dollars to save lives. We're also inundated by requests for help from small local groups, who we're trying to help to the best of our ability. Such a vast area has been devastated by the flooding, so the need is staggering.
Donors can give to support disaster relief efforts at www.HumaneLA.org. Checks and gift cards (for fuel and supplies, which are being distributed to support volunteers and first responders) can be sent to the group at: Humane Society of Louisiana, PO Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174.
The needs for supplies and volunteers are constantly in flux across the disaster zone, and the Humane Society encourages donors to check the web sites of local groups impacted by the storms for help with in-kind donations and volunteer support. Those wishing to help in that capacity can contact the agency at [email protected], and the Humane Society of Louisiana will do their best to match them to an organization/shelter in need.
SOURCE Humane Society of Louisiana