Many cats, dogs, birds and other pets have been abandoned or displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Some pet owners, who evacuated from Louisiana to Texas, were forced to leave their beloved pets behind in order to be allowed to board the buses en route to the Astrodome. Others were able to hide their pets in their clothing or bags only to have to part ways once they arrived. Volunteers from the Houston SPCA met the buses and took hundreds of pets to its shelter until their owners are able to get back on their feet and care for them again.
While watching news coverage a day or two ago, I saw a woman with her dog saying that she and her family were ready to evacuate but she was told they couldn't take their dog. She looked into the camera and said, "We can't leave him. We won't." My eyes filled with tears. I know if I was in that situation there is no way I could leave my cats. I started thinking and wondering why there haven't been special shelters set up for people to bring their pets along. I live in Central Florida, and last year we endured three hurricanes within six weeks (although nothing compared to what those affected by Katrina have endured) but there were a few pet friendly shelters specially set up. Not many, but a few.
How can we help these animal survivors of Hurricane Katrina? What can we do to reunite hurricane victims with their beloved pets?
- Donate money, pet food or supplies
- Consider adopting a pet left homeless from this disaster
- Think about providing a foster home for a temporarily displaced pet
Below is a list of organizations aiding in animal rescue and care in such disasters as Katrina. Their needs include seeking donations, volunteers, foster and/or adoptive families for these beloved companion animals.
Petfinder.com is working on a comprehensive database to aid pets affected by Hurricane Katrina, including a photo listing of all rescued pets. If you or someone you know is searching for a lost pet, be sure to visit this website.
LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is currently caring for and providing shelter for over 600 animal victims of the hurricane.
Hotlines - For Shelter Information
For New Orleans residents, forced to leave pets behind:
For evacuees in Houston who need to find shelter for their pets:
For Louisiana Residents:
For Mississippi Residents:
National Hotline - To Report Lost Pets