The American Humane rescue team is on the ground in Louisiana managing an overflow temporary animal shelter for displaced pets in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. You can imagine how scared these innocent animals, who have been separated from their families, must be.
Both Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes suffered catastrophic damage during the storm, remaining without water and electricity for considerable time. An estimated 40 percent of houses are uninhabitable in the area, and many people that do have houses are currently still without power. Now, both human and animal first responders are trying to keep up with the tremendous need.
“We do it for the animals and we do it for the community because we all hope that when things happen to us, someone cares and steps in. So that’s why we’re here,” said Dr. Lesa Staubus, a rescue veterinarian with American Humane.
The American Humane Rescue team is currently caring for more than 80 displaced dogs that were picked up after Hurricane Ida ravaged the region. This number is flexing as animals continue to come in from the field. While many arrive scared and confused, the panic shining in their eyes, they slowly have started to adapt to their new, temporary home over the last few days. In addition to the essential physical and medical care we provide, it is the mental and emotional care that is truly making a difference for these sweet pups.
American Humane first responders spend most of the day positively interacting with the dogs – whether it be walks, play time or snuggles. And it is through this process that we can all truly witness the healing power of the human-animal bond.
For example, these little chihuahua siblings – Viola and Isabelle – were terrified when they entered the shelter. They didn’t trust us and were scared by the attention. But with a little love and slow movements, they have warmed up and feel more at ease. Now, when they are approached by a first responder, they jump up with joy asking to be doted upon.
Cori, an American Humane first responder, with Viola and Isabelle
Another pup, named Scooby, does not appear to be used to walking on a leash, and just wants to leap around and play. He is strong-headed and large, so one of our first responders, Manny, has taken a special interest in him, determined to help him relax and grow accustomed to using a leash. Their bond is growing, and Scooby continues to become happier and calmer, even when out walking.
Manny, an American Humane first responder, with Scooby
Some of the dogs have endured significant hardships. Their skinniness, scars and hair matts show all they have overcome. Nevertheless, they are sweet as can be and all they want is affection.
Martha, a terrier/American pit bull mix
If you are from the area and cannot find your pet, please contact Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter or Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter. We are so grateful to these local animal shelters and our national partner organizations for collaborating to care for these precious, displaced animals. With a little time and love, they will all recover and have permanent homes of their own.
The people and animals of Louisiana are still recovering from the terrible event that was monster Hurricane Ida. To support our ongoing disaster relief efforts, you can provide a gift at www.AmericanHumane.org/HurricaneIda.