With 26 parishes now declared disaster areas statewide, the Humane Society of Louisiana has appointed a Disaster Relief Coordinator and is urging people to donate on behalf of the animal victims of the recent flooding.
The New Orleans-based Humane Society, founded in 1988, operates two facilities in the disaster zone, the Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary in Washington parish and the TransPUPtation Station (the former Camp Katrina) in nearby Tylertown.
We're currently assessing the post-flood needs of animals, shelters and communities. Our plan is to coordinate food and supply collection drives to assist small shelters and rescue groups. We also anticipate that our TransPUPtation program, which runs lifesaving transports of animals from Louisiana shelters to families on the East Coast, will be called upon to intake many additional animals in need.
Making matter worse is the general lack of animal protection infrastructure in the state.
“Many of the parishes in the disaster zone have no animal control agencies or shelters to house or help animals in need,” says our Executive Director and founder, Jeff Dorson. “This is a serious problem in the best of times. We will reach out to parish governments and other relief agencies to find ways to bridge this gap in services."
The Humane Society stresses the fact that like human victims, animals will continue to need assistance for months after the waters have subsided.
“As we know from our experience with disaster relief, families who have lost everything will find it difficult if not impossible in some circumstances to keep beloved family pets, because of financial strains and housing difficulties.”
Those wanting to help the flood’s animal victims are encouraged to assist with monetary gifts at this time: for vet care, medical supplies, emergency needs and adoption transports. Petco stores in Covington, Slidell and Metairie are collecting donations for both human and animal flood victims and other drop-off points will be announced.
The Humane Society also encourages people to donate directly to the small animal charities in the impacted parishes, noting that all humane societies, SPCAs and rescue groups are independent agencies.
“Our hearts go out to our fellow citizens and to the animals suffering as a result of the floods,” Dorson concludes. “We are committed to doing whatever we can to help.”