Barkus! The Humane Society Of Louisiana’s 25th Anniversary! Animal Rescue Dream!
- Breed: American Staffordshire Terrier/American Pit Bull Terrier Mix
- Color: Black – With White
- Age: Adult
- Size: Med. 26-60 lbs (12-27 kg)
- Sex: Female
Nina is looking for her forever home. She is a sweet and calm girl that loves to just be near you. She is happy laying at your feet or taking a walk with you. if you would like to give Nina a home please fill out an application at www.humanela.org
Animal Fair Media‘s Wendy Diamond high-tailed down to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit and was shocked by the destruction and displacement of animals that she witnessed. But, from that day forward she has been totally impressed with Jeff Dorson, Director of The Humane Society of Louisiana, for the years of dedication, perseverance, and love of animals he displayed when rebuilding the destroyed shelter.
Wendy and Lucky Diamond (may she rest in peace) spent much time in New Orleans after the storm and were honored as the Chairdog and Chairperson for the Katrina Pet Memorial, and holders of the prestigious Humane Society of Louisiana’s International Animal Ambassadors. They teamed with Jeff Dorson to bring national awareness to the plight of homeless and lost animals, launching a campaign to rebuild!
Wendy Diamond is a big fan of Jeff Dorson, and she sat down with him so he could share his story of doggie dreams and animal rescue.
WD: What is your inspiration for working with animals and building, then rebuilding, The Humane Society of Louisiana?
JD: I actually began my work as an animal advocate/activist way back in 1986, when I lived and worked as a tennis instructor (I was only good enough to teach and not play professionally!!!) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I went to the public library one day and picked up a brochure that had a raccoon caught in a leg hold trap. At the time, I didn’t know what a leg hold trap was and horrified to learn about how they were lawfully used in all fifty states!!!
I could barely sleep that night, thinking of all the animals in these terrible traps. Within a week, I called my local animal rights group and attended a meeting. From there, I taught myself how to lobby, started an animal rights group on the campus of the University of Minnesota, attended workshops, protests, sit-ins, introduced and passed local legislation. I finally moved to New Orleans in 1987 and established The Humane Society of Louisiana the following year. I have worked almost non-stop for the past 27 years!
WD: Bark about your personal pets?
JD: I am the proud owner of five companion animals: two cats named Wood (rather silly name; but we found her starving in the woods) and Lou Lou, who is as big as a raccoon and is adorable. Both enjoy sleeping next to my face at night, which makes it rather difficult since I enjoy breathing. My three dogs were all castaways: Willy, a little white mix breed; Missy, a toothless houndish dog; and Wolfman, a Shina Inu, that the neighborhood kids mistake for a wolf. That is how disconnected we are with wildlife – city kids can no longer distinguish between a wolf, fox, coyote or a dog!!!! That is a sad commentary!
WD: If your pets were celebrities who would they be?
JD: My pets are all characters and would be perfect to play small roles in the “bar scene” in the Star Wars movie….
WD: Share your most cherished dreams for your animal organization?
JD: We have wonderful big goals and dreams for our group.
First, we want to establish 30 or more satellite chapters around the state, so we can develop grass-roots programs in areas that lack formal animal control or humane agencies. Through these volunteer-run chapters, and we currently have 13 in operation, we want to develop leadership skills around the state, so we can have 30 or more leaders, rather than the usual 1 or 2 per state. We think that we can help more animals through this grass-roots approach, and it seems to be working.
Second, we started the Louisiana Anti-Dog Fighting Task Force, and we meet throughout the year to share tips and strategies with other groups and law enforcement agencies. We currently have 40 active participants, and we intend to expand this program around the state. The task force was recently featured on a segment of Pit Bulls and Parolees.
Third, we recently purchased a 47 acre piece of property in rural Louisiana (75 miles NW of New Orleans) and within the next few years we intend to establish the state’s largest no-kill sanctuary.
Fourth and last, we will be forming the Louisiana Shelter Reform and Improvement Council to address problems at some of our run-down rural shelters. We have found that forming and working with a team of dedicated advocates is the most effective way to see change in our communities. We believe in the team concept in everything thing we do!
WD: How do you train an animal to lend a paw in the community?
JD: You don’t have to have a trained pet to volunteer!! Simply contact us: 1.888.6humane or register online through our website or join our volunteer support group. We have volunteers around the country who help us …and you don’t have to live in New Orleans or Louisiana to help.
WD: What does your organization need to bring your animal advocate dream to fruition?
JD: We are seeking financial support for our newly-purchased sanctuary – specifically $150,000, which will pay off our mortgage. We are seeking donors to sponsor portions of our property for only $3000 per acre or a fraction of thereof. One can “sponsor” a forth of an acre for only $500! All donations are tax-deductible. For more information on our sponsorship program, please call us at 1.888.6humane and we can send potential donors a brochure that fully details the program and our long-term vision for the property.
WD: What is the condition of New Orleans since the wave of hurricanes?
JD: Luckily, the city has made a full recovery, thanks for the generosity of the rest of the nation. Everyone has chipped in to help and every institution is fully operational and life has returned to normal!
WD: If you could pick an alpha dog actor to play your life story would it be?
JD: I would love for Brad Pitt to play me, because he also lives in New Orleans and is a lot better looking than I am! So, I bet we could embellish my story and add a lot of interesting love interests – you know, girls chasing me, instead of how it usually is. It can’t all be about dogs and cats, you know!!!
Jeff Dorson has dedicated his life to animals, and is building a legacy of animal welfare – all the animals in the U.S. are better for it!