After Hurricane Katrina hit, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) scrambled animal rescue teams across the Gulf coast. In New Orleans teams worked off a master address list going door-to-door in boats and trucks looking for lost, abandoned and displaced pets.
Katrina displaced an estimated 30,000 animals. Most pets were evacuated before the storm but others weren’t as fortunate. Most shelters do not allow animals and evacuees were forced to leave pets behind. Others left enough food for a few days having no idea they would be unable to return home for weeks.
IFAW’s teams spent weeks rescuing animals and were continually surprised at how resilient and resourceful they could be. All kinds of pets were rescued dogs and cats, trumpeter swans and snakes, birds and gerbils, rabbits and iguanas and even a 300-lb. potbellied pig named Rooty! Together, more than 200 animal groups joined in the effort to rescue nearly 6,000 animals. In all, IFAW was able to rescue and transport more than 1,000 animals to safety. and worked closely with LSU where more than 80% of the 1,200 animals at that facility were reunited with their owners. Jade, a cocker spaniel mix, was reunited to Consalleo Anderson and her family. They had evacuated to Arizona without Jade. IFAW flew Jade back to Consalleo for a tear-filled reunion. Consalleo hugged Jade to her chest and closed her eyes, “Now that I have my baby back I can begin to rebuild my life. This was the missing piece!”
For more information visit: www.ifaw.org