Friday, September 23, 2005

David waits for Hurricane Rita - September 23

The coming of Hurricane Rita has made the last few days terribly hectic, with frantic rescue missions whenever possible. We knew that so many animals would not be rescued in time, so we began a massive street feeding program, whereby we leave food and water in protected spots all over the city for all the now-stray dogs and cats. This morning, many of us made a daring last-minute rush to the city, even though the storm had already begun, and my little team was able to save 4 more dogs that surely would have drowned today. All in all, the volunteers pulled in about 30 more dogs (tragically, we were not able to find any cats) in the final moments before this newest terrible storm began unleashing its fury. Now we have heard that the levees are again breeched and the city is flooding.

I pray that the animals still left in the city who survived Hurricane Katrina can miraculously survive this one too, although I know that is about as logical as thinking someone who survived a house fire once can survive a house fire again. In fact, the dogs knew it was coming and all of the volunteers today reported that dogs literally ran up to us and practically jumped into our cars. It's so terrible.

The aurthorities have insisited we scale down our staff here at our makeshift animal shelter in Gonzales. This is, I believe, by far the nation's largest shelter at the moment with 2,000 pets. We have been able to move many out to other Humane Societies, and there are only 750 animals here now. They exist in cages set together in horse stalls in this tremendous equestrian facility. To prepare for Hurricane Rita, we condensed the space they occupy by pulling all the cages close together and leaving the outside stalls bare. Then we cleared away all objects that could be thrown about in a hurricane and circled dozens and dozens of rigs and RV's to create a makeshift barrier to protect these animals from the wind. While I was racing against time in New Orleans this morning, tornados were touching down dangerously close to our shelter. There now remains only a skeleton crew of 30 to care for these animals.

We are making preparations to resume rescue opertations when the storm breaks- I expect I will see a very different New Orleans, freshly submerged again. Most of our nearly 1000 feeding stations will be washed away and we will be starting over from scratch. Also, those animals who survive at all will again be clinging to life in the most precarious of places. We must adapt to the environment and return to searching for pets from boats, which is a dangerous and slow process. The first moment that we can safely enter the city, I will do so as part of an advance team to survey damage and plan our continued rescue strategy. We need more people here Sunday morning, The animals were starving already, and now this new storm...it is a companion animal tragedy unprecedented in the history of our nation

2 Comments:

Blogger annuity said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:23 PM  
Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

For the next hurricane katrina victim ; the easy way to keep going.

11:52 PM  

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