Thursday, September 22, 2005

IDA: Another Great Group I Trust to Help With Katrina Animal Victims: How You Can Help Them

Thousands of Animals Remain Trapped Without Food or Water in
Abandoned Homes

IDA's Project Hope animal relief team continues to rescue
animals in Mississippi and place them safely in shelters and
foster homes. Working closely with Randy Grim and others from
Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the group took in 20 dogs with
particularly aggressive temperaments last week. They transported
the dogs back to Stray Rescue's shelter in Missouri, where they
will be cared for until claimed by their guardians or placed in
new homes. Additional IDA staff also flew down south this week
to help with the relief effort.

The Project Hope team is just one of many groups working on the
ground in areas of the South devastated by the most destructive
storm on record ever to hit the U.S. Jane Garrison leads the
food and water program at the makeshift animal shelter at the
Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, the central staging area
for animal rescue in the state of Louisiana. In the weeks she
has spent in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina hit, she has
personally rescued hundreds of animals trapped on rooftops and
inside locked houses without food or water while organizing
relief and rescue teams.

Armed with a list of over 3,000 residential addresses where
guardians say their animal companions remain trapped, Garrison
and her volunteers are bringing food and clean water to animals
who are dying of malnutrition because they have not eaten for
over two weeks. Rescuers find that animals have survived in
about half the houses they visit. There are also thousands of
homes where animals remain barely alive that have not been
reported to rescue organizations, and volunteers sometimes enter
houses only after hearing barking inside. Even though they are
working as fast as they can, Garrison's team is only able to
visit about 300 houses per day. At that rate, they will never be
able to save all of the animals now on the verge of starvation.

What You Can Do

- Volunteers are needed in Gonzales to help save animals still
trapped in houses throughout the New Orleans area. Timing is
critical, and every day counts for these starving animals. If
you can join the relief effort in Gonzales, you will save the
lives of animals every day that you are there. You do not need
to be a "certified disaster rescuer" to help, and even one day
of volunteering can make a huge difference, whether you join the
search and rescue operations, work with animals at the shelter
or do data entry of field notes. If you are willing to rough it
for the duration of your stay (that is, sleep in a car or tent)
and work hard, please contact IDA President Dr. Elliot Katz for
more information at (415) 388-9641, ext. 225 or by email at
EMK@idausa.org and send a copy of your email to
Alicia@idausa.org.

- IDA's Project Hope animal relief team needs medical supplies
to provide basic health care for many of the animals at the
Jackson staging area. Please ask your veterinarian to donate
medical supplies for this urgent cause.

Supplies can be sent to:
Project Hope
Rt. 1 Box 128
Grenada, MS 38901
(662) 237-0233

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