Almost every year, the state of Louisiana is hit with some form of natural disaster, whether it be a hurricane or tropical storm. This year, Hurricane Ida made its way to the Bayou State, making landfall at 150 mph and flooding the streets of Louisiana. While many of the residents were prepared, the overloaded shelters of southern Louisiana had to act fast to keep their rescues safe, as well as make room for the pets that would unfortunately be separated from their owners after the storm.
The situation in Louisiana remains urgent with more and more animals finding themselves without a home, and for many without a family. It’s an ‘all hands on deck’ situation in Louisiana with rescuers scrambling to get as many supplies as they can. Luckily, shelters across the U.S. are stepping up to help those in Louisiana that have been hit hard by this catastrophe.
Austin Pets Alive is one of those shelters that stepped up and led the charge in transporting animals to safety from Louisiana to Texas. The shelter that they were helping had completely lost power, had no water, and the grounds were flooded.
“We were able to meet a group in Lake Charles, LA that was focusing on transports out of the hardest hurricane hit areas and meeting transporters in the Lake Charles area,” said Clare Callison from Austin Pets Alive.
“The dogs and cats that we rescued came out of a dire situation and we are so glad we were able to help and thankful for our Louisiana contacts for coordinating this, and our volunteers for being willing to assist on short notice.”
Austin Pets Alive was recently gifted a van by CUDDLY to help transport animals to safety. This van became a crucial tool in the midst of Hurricane Ida as the Austin Pets Alive team was able to safely rescue more animals than they typically would have with their volunteer’s cars. The van allows them to act fast during natural disasters and in times of crisis like this one.
“The van has been a game changer and has allowed us to confidently go into shelters and fit several dogs and cats at one time, and ensure they have ample space to get back to safety in Austin,” said Callison. “Instead of focusing just on figuring out transportation logistics and coordinating multiple personal vehicles to help, we’re able to focus on the animals that need saving and we can save lives at a greater capacity.”
While the van helped make their journey to and from Louisiana easier, the team was still faced with several challenges including the lack of cell service and connection.
“It’s a good lesson to be flexible in times like these, because we want to be as understanding as possible with the affected shelters. We really felt for their situation and rescue coordination can be tricky as it is – but losing power and cell service would make it even harder and we’re thinking about all the groups during this recovery of time.”
The Houston Humane Society is another shelter that has been making a big impact on bringing many of the Louisiana animals to safety. So far they have rescued 96 animals from a devastated shelter in New Orleans in an effort to ease capacity and make space for Jefferson SPCA to house Ida-related rescues. They’ve established a Hurricane Ida relief fund to cover the cost of food, shelter, and medical care.
The Forgotten Dogs of 5th Ward is another shelter that has stepped up to the plate, traveling from Texas to Louisiana to deliver a van full of much needed supplies. They have been in Louisiana for over a week delivering dog and cat food to all residents they could find who needed help. To help the Forgotten Dogs of 5th Ward, please consider donating necessities such as food, crates, blankets and beds so families have one less thing to worry about in times like this.
Rescuers in Louisiana are stepping up to the challenge by helping heavily affected shelters and rescues in the state. Parish Paws in Shreveport, Louisiana are making supply runs to several shelters. Every Paw Animal Rescue is taking in every stray animal they see in hopes of saving them all from the destruction. They are desperately scrambling to find all the supplies they need, but medical supplies and rescue supplies are becoming scarce as the entire state is on the hunt for the same.
All rescuers are working day and night in the aftermath of this natural disaster trying to help every animal that has been lost, abandoned, or orphaned. Without help, many of these animals don’t stand a chance. Compassion is needed now more than ever, so please find it in your best intentions to lend a helping hand out to our shelter and rescue partners who are doing everything they can to help all those affected by Hurricane Ida.
Get involved with this and other rescue efforts: