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 Created: 09/12/05


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Hurricane Relief for Displaced Pets

September 12, 2005 – No words can adequately describe the horror, frustration and sadness we all feel for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I won't even try. So much has been said already.

Some of you have asked about the ongoing rescue efforts for displaced pets. Fortunately, now that human evacuations are nearing completion, many relief workers are working hard to rescue pets still trapped on rooftops and front porches. It's clear that many of these animals can't last much longer. Those lucky enough to be rescued are unlikely to be reunited with their owners anytime soon. As such, there is a dire need for for long-term housing of these displaced animals.

How can we help? There is no single group or agency overseeing the animal rescue effort, so information has to be compiled from various sources. I am attempting to put together a list of reliable resources and agencies. You, the reader, are invited to add to the collection.


  • ASPCA Disaster Relief Fund
    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a very active disaster relief program. If you'd like to help, you can donate online or call (866)275-3923 to donate by phone. Volunteer opportunities exist for those who can work at Gulf Coast area shelters or in other shelters around the country that are short-staffed because their own "home teams" are assisting at the Gulf Coast.
  • Louisiana SPCA
    The Louisiana SPCA is a private non-profit organization that is struggling to handle the daily influx of displaced pets. Their only source of income is donations from the public. You can help them out by donating online. Right now they are in desperate need of large dog kennels. They write, "Kennels are being brought in from various areas around the country next week, but we can't wait that long. If you are located near the rescue area, and are able to donate these items, please take them to the Louisiana SPCA Temp Shelter at Lamar Dixon Expo Center, Gonzales, (225) 647-0712. If you are able to enter the Jefferson area, the dog kennels are needed at the staging area, Jefferson Feed, 4421 Jefferson Hwy, (504) 733-8572." (Note: I've been told privately that more volunteers are needed at these facilities, so if you can help out, please contact them.)
  • Hurricane Katrina Emergency Animal Shelter at LSU
    The Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge is doing everything it can to help with the crisis. "As of Saturday, September 10, 2005, LSU's Parker Coliseum was housing almost 1,100 companion animals, including over 600 dogs, over 400 cats, and assorted pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, mice, and birds. Most of these pets are being cared for by volunteers; owners who are staying here in town are caring for 120 of the animals. Daily admission of animals is still exceeding the numbers being discharged to their owners, but people and their pets are being reunited every day." Click here for information on how you can donate funds or goods; click here for information on how you can volunteer to work at a pet shelter
  • Pasado's Safe Haven
    This small but well-respected non-profit rescue organization located near Seattle, Washington, sent a team to the New Orleans area. Pasado's Safe Haven seems to consistently receive glowing reports from people in the field and they have a lot of needs right now. Please visit their Katrina News section to see photos and read about their activities. They are begging for foster homes because some of the large area shelters, established specifically for Katrina rescues, are filled to capacity. Donations are also needed to enable them to keep up their good work.
  • Noah's Wish
    Noah's Wish is a not-for-profit, animal welfare organization located in California. It exists for one purpose only – to keep animals alive during disasters. That's all they do. Noah's Wish, in conjunction with Slidell Animal Control, has set up a temporary shelter in Slidell, LA, where they are caring for almost 500 dogs, cats, rabbits, parakeets, hamsters, iguanas, snakes, parrots, etc. Their volunteers continue to rescue stranded pets, and they're attempting to reunite as many as possible with their owners. Meanwhile, foster homes in the Gulf Coast region are sorely needed. If you'd like to help Noah's Wish, click here for more information about their immediate needs and how you can contribute.
  • Humane Society of the United States Disaster Center
    The HSUS Disaster Center has over 200 people in the field and they say they've already rescued more than 3,000 pets. Wayne Pacelle, HSUS's president and chief executive, recently stated, "In New Orleans alone, we think there are 50,000 pets." You can make an emergency donation to the HSUS Disaster Relief Fund via their web site or send a check to HSUS, Dept. DRF-HBM, Disaster Relief Fund, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037. I have heard conflicting report regarding their efficacy in this crisis, "Lots of shirts, little action." The jury is out, and I would welcome further input.
  • Your recommendations
    If you would like to comment on this list of animal relief organizations and/or contribute information about other worthy groups, please leave a comment using the following link:

(Reuniting Pets with their Owners) recently established a comprehensive Animal Emergency Response Network to assist companion animal victims and their caretakers during disasters. They've created a collaborative database that links information from public and emergency response organizations and makes that information available to rescuers, victims and volunteers.

  • The AERN database enables displaced hurricane victims to post the whereabouts of their pets so that rescuers can locate and retrieve them:

    If you had to leave your pet(s) behind, click here to enroll him in the AERN database so attempts can be made to locate and rescue him.

    If you need to find a temporary home or a foster home for your displaced pet(s), click here to register your request.

    If you'd like to search the database for foster care offers, click here.

    If you have lost your pet, click here to register your lost pet in the "lost" database.

    If you would like to search the "found" database for your lost pet, click here.

    If you need help for a pet that is still with you, click here.

  • The AERN database enables rescuers to post descriptions and photos of retrieved pets to help their owners find them in the rescue system.

    If you have found a pet, click here.

    If you would like to examine the database to search for a pet that has been reported as lost, click here.

  • The AERN database enables volunteers and individuals to post offers of foster care for displaced pets. Hurricane victims can use the information to find temporary care for their pets.

    Click here
    to enroll for fostering a displaced pet, or to volunteer your services.

    If you would like to examine the database of animals that are currently in need of fostering, click here.

I'd like to add more pertinent information to this page, assuming there is an interest. If you have any comments or suggestions for additional listings, etc., please post your thoughts in the appropriate comment areas.

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