(HELP ANIMALS/ANIMAL RESCUE) In the worst disaster since Hurricane Sandy, historic floods tore apart southern Louisiana over the weekend, leaving thousands evacuated.
“Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now,” Brad Kieserman, the Red Cross vice president of disaster services operations and logistics, told CNN.“This disaster is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, and we anticipate it will cost at least $30 million — a number which may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation.”
With residents displaced throughout East Baton Rouge Parish and Acadiana, there are countless pets and animals also in need of supplies and shelter.
While waters are beginning to recede, many organizations are lending a helping hand with food, supplies, and cleanup efforts.
As of Tuesday, first responders have rescued more than 20,000 people and more than 600 animals from devastating floodwaters thanks to the heroic efforts of many.
These rescue organizations include Companion Animal Alliance, which is also serving as a temporary emergency shelter for evacuees’ pets, and the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, who are monitoring floodwaters and distributing teams to assist with rescue efforts.
The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team is also on the ground providing disaster relief throughout the state.
Not only is the organization assisting in the transport of animals from local shelters to make room for more displaced animals, but the HSUS is also providing financial assistance to the Emergency Placement Partners taking in animals to help with initial costs.
“The recent flooding has displaced many family pets and caused damage to shelters throughout Louisiana,” Julia Breaux, Louisiana state director for The HSUS said.
“The Humane Society of the United States is assessing the needs of the displaced animals and damaged shelters, and is providing hands-on assistance, while these communities continue to endure heavy rain and flooding and look towards recovery.”
Hurricane Katrina forever changed the way animals are treated during emergency situations thanks to the passage of the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards. In its approval, Congress compelled first responders to save pets just as they save people.
Efforts to save animal victims are still underway. If you live in or near New Orleans, local shelters are in need of supplies like leashes, metal water bowls, and wire crates. If you live in Louisiana and would like to foster a displaced animal, you can also fill out an application here.
See below for details on affected shelters and organizations throughout Louisiana, and how to help them, courtesy of NOLA.com.
Companion Animal Alliance, Baton Rouge’s city animal shelter
- Status: “The animals here at CAA are safe and sound,” reads a recent Facebook update, “but many owners and pets have been displaced. Our shelter took in 90 evacuee animals and are expecting more.”
- Where: 2680 Progress Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70807
- What they need: Leashes, pet treats, pet food, dog toys, cash donations, temporary fosters until transportation is available Wednesday, Aug. 17
- How to help: Donations can be made in person or online by clicking here. Donations can also be mailed directly to the shelter.
Tangi Humane Society, a privately run shelter
- Status: Flooded. The shelter’s GoFundMe page gives this update: “The shelter was consumed by fast rising river water, and we had to evacuate all of the animals. Tangi operates on a donation-only basis, and needless to say, they have lost everything.”
- Where: 46219 River Road, Hammond
- What they need: Supplies and a place to temporarily store them, plus bottled water, bleach, shovels, large trash bags, Shop Vacs, blowers and rubber gloves.
- How to help: Donations can be made through its website, a GoFundMe account or directly via PayPal by using the email[email protected].The society also has an Amazon Wish List. By making purchases on Amazon, needed items will be sent directly to the shelter.
Denham Springs Animal Shelter
- Status: Flooded. The shelter’s GoFundMe page gives this update: “The dedicated staff and volunteers fought to save as many animals as possible from the flood waters, eventually having to unlatch the kennel doors and let the dogs swim out and climb onto the roof. The rescue efforts saved many animals, but the shelter is in need of rebuilding and repairs after the flood waters recede. The cattery is totally demolished, and the kennel area and office space are severely damaged.”
- What they need: A dry, safe place to store supplies, fosters and supplies.
- How to help: Those looking to foster a Denham Springs pet can fill out an application through Animal Rescue New Orleans by clicking here. Donations can also be made via the GoFundMe account, which PetCo is matching dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. The shelter also has an Amazon Wish List. By making purchases on Amazon, needed items will be sent directly to the shelter.
Lamar Dixon Expo Center, temporary shelter
- Status: Being used as a shelter for animals and people.
- What they need: Volunteers, hay, buckets, brooms, cleaning supplies, cat litter, plastic litter boxes, pet food for dogs, cats and horses.
- How to help: Drop off donations to be delivered there at 921 Rue La Cannes Drive, Luling, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Donations can also be hand-delivered.
- Status: Housing more than 60 pets that were evacuated from flooded shelters
- What they need: Cat carriers, clay littler, square litter boxes, canned cat and kitten food. Also, fosters or adoptive pet parents.
- How to help: Drop those items at 4601 Freret St., New Orleans, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Louisiana Bobcat Refuge
- Status: Flooded. The center, which is located in Eunice, didn’t lose any rescued animals, but water inundated the entire facility. See photos of the damage by clicking here.
- What they need: Cash donations to replace damaged items, plus construction items to rebuild.
- How to help: Donate online through the Refuge’s GoFundMe page. You can also order items directly through the center’s Amazon Wish List.
• Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter
- Status: Serving as a back-up site for the LASPCA to manage the number of animals affected by flooding.
- What they need: Leashes, pet treats, pet food, dog toys, cash donations, temporary fosters.
- How to help: Donate online. Items can also be mailed directly.
- Where: Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, 1869 Ames Blvd., Marrero, LA 70072
• Livingston SPCA
- Status: At least 75 percent of pet foster homes, supplies and medicine have been flooded.
- What they need: Donations and foster parents.
- How to help: Donate online or go to the PetCo at 1653 Millerville Road, Baton Rouge, on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to donate or sign up as a pet foster parent.
More Rain to Come
Several areas in Louisiana are still under flood warnings with scattered storms in the forecast.
“River levels are expected to continue to fall, but some will remain in flood (stages) at least through the weekend,” according to meteorologist Dave Hennen.
Given Louisiana’s flat topography, recovery will be exceptionally slow and difficult. Rescue efforts are expected to be ongoing for several more days.
Donate to Help Animals in Need
Global Animal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that funds emergency animal rescue worldwide, is collecting donations to disperse between vetted organizations working on the ground in the affected areas to help with medical costs for injured animals, boarding and food, and reuniting lost pets with their guardians. Please consider supporting the efforts to save animals in critical peril.
Your compassion in action and support of Global Animal Foundation can help save the lives of animals in crisis.
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the catastrophic Louisiana flooding, and our gratitude goes out to the countless volunteers who have donated their time and finances to help those in need.