Rushing Aid to Louisiana’s Animal Flood Victims

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Zeus’ Rescue shelter director Michelle Ingram with a dog rescued from a shelter that was flooded

As catastrophic flooding has devastated Louisiana, the Petfinder Foundation is rushing funds to the organizations working to save the region’s pets. These are the shelters we’ve sent grant money to already; we continue to send funds as groups contact us.

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Bark and Roll Rescue’s adoptable dog Elphie is safe from floodwaters.

Bark and Roll Rescue Companions
The majority of the foster homes at this Baton Rouge rescue group were flooded, and some are currently under eight feet of water. The group was able to transfer some animals to a rescue in Virginia, but others are being boarded.

“We also took in four dogs and a kitten from the floods who are ill from being in the cold waters and will need ongoing care,” says founder Dana Kahn. “Our rescue has offered to provide microchips and free registration to all the pets of flood victims who have been displaced to ensure they can get their animals back if they are separated during this trying time.”

We sent Bark and Roll a $1,500 grant to help the organization cover veterinary expenses and meet its animals’ daily needs of enrichment, food and care.

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Rescutopia has been distributing pet food to residents displaced with their animals.

Rescutopia’s Happy Tails Island
Savannah Brown, founder of the Baton Rouge cat-rescue group, tells us, “All of our foster homes are flooded and all pet supplies were destroyed. We need food, blankets, towels, crates, heartworm medications, flea preventative and anything else we can get.

“We focus on the East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parish Area; both areas have been 90 percent flooded. We have taken in several homeless pets who were evacuated. All of South Louisiana is completely devastated, as a flood like this has never occurred. The flooding is worse than Katrina. Our community is devastated.”

We sent Rescutopia $1,000, which will be used to pay for food, crates, pet supplies and any medical treatment that may be required.

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A dog from a flooded shelter who has found refuge at Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans

Zeus’ Rescues
The New Orleans shelter did not flood, but it has taken in more than 160 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies from shelters north of it that did — and many more are expected. Most of them have had minimal vaccinations and are not spayed or neutered; all will need to be altered and microchipped prior to being adopted at the reduced cost of $75 per animal.

Volunteer Kellie Grengs describes the desperate situation: “Shelter director Michelle Ingram and volunteers have driven in flood waters for the past four days to reach shelters that have taken on several feet of water. On Sunday, Aug. 14, Michelle pulled more than 60 animals from the Sorrento no-kill shelter and we expect more.

“Numerous shelters just a few miles north of us were impacted. One was overwhelmed by fast-rising flood waters and all they could do was open the kennels and let the dogs swim free so they didn’t drown. Rescue boats are in the process of saving human lives first and animals second. Michelle is on the scene pulling these animals and caring for them with a team of volunteers. Our shelter averages 400 adoptions annually; this will put a great strain on our already-limited resources, but we simply could not let these animals drown.”

We sent Zeus’ Rescues $2,500 to offset the costs of spaying and neutering the rescued pets. “Thank you so much!” Grengs says. “Last week was a whirl! We vetted 62 cats and one dog on Saturday afternoon alone and shipped 10,000 lbs. of dog/cat food and supplies to the flooded shelters. It was wild, to say the least. So many of the wonderful animals are in foster and will be getting adopted soon!”

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This pup rescued from Louisiana floodwaters is being cared for by Animal Aid for Vermilion Area in Abbeville.

Animal Aid for Vermilion Area
“Vermilion Parish and surrounding areas have been devastated by flooding,” says Roxanne Bayard, vice president of the Abbeville, La., shelter. “Many animals have drowned and waters continue to rise. We are having to evacuate homes with pets as well as the shelter to avoid animals drowning. We need to purchase crates, leashes, collars, cleaning supplies, new bedding, fans, litter, litter boxes and food. Many animals need emergency vetting due to injuries sustained in the flooding.” We sent $2,500 to help with these expenses.

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