Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Personal current account of animal rescue in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina

From someone in a local group. Really helps you to understand what is going on in Louisiana in regard to animal rescue....still!

Hello everyone, I thought I would share with you all how it was in LA. I just came back from a week in Monroe LA. I was working with EARS (United Animal Nations - Emergency Animal Rescue Services) they have a shelter in Monroe.
It was an intense experience that I really can't even begin to describe. We had 130 dogs when we got there on Sunday but then got 100 more on Wednesday.
My husband went with me and I can tell you we have never worked harder in all our lives. We worked from 7 or 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day in 100 + degree weather with 100+ humidity.
I have to say that I grew to hate people more and at the same time love people.....
The stories attached to some of these dogs, like.....an emaciated big black Shepard that came in whose records said, "found in locked pen in backyard with another dead dog inside...." his ears almost all gone, eaten by flies.... The fact that 98% of the dogs were un-neutered or un-spayed (and in heat) and the fact that so many of them had late stage heart worm, which means it did not just happen after Katrina.... All the Pit Bulls with old fighting scares on them....these things made me dislike people.
All these dogs were young dogs and it made me wonder why we did not have any older dogs...? Do they all die of heartworm at an early age and then the people just get new ones????
But the good in people also came out. We had people there from all walks of life and from all over the country. People who gave up there vacations and spent a lot of money to get there. We had a beautiful lady who just got over her 2nd time of chemo there doing what she could.
The people there were great, we all worked so hard and at the end of the day could barely walk, we had blisters and pains.... But we kept going and it was worth it to see the dogs do so well after just a week of us taking care of them. Most came in as skin and bones but by the end of my time they had gained weight and were having fun with us in an out door "off leash" play area my husband and I built for them.
I miss them all and wish I could bring them all home with me.
It is my feeling (and that of all the people that were there) that this was a mixed blessing for most of these animals. They will now go to homes like they have never had, homes that will love them and take care of them.
If anyone has the time to go down, help is desperately needed. This shelter will be open until at least October 15th. They are trying to get the dogs released by then. They need all kinds of help so if you can not do hard physical labor, there is still a need for you.
At this time you do not have to be an "official" EARS volunteer to go. This is not search and rescue work, just shelter work. All of the big projects are done, like building fences and setting up kennels and pens, so now it should be just taking care of the dogs.

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