NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Many people across Louisiana were affected by Hurricane Ida, including man’s best friend. The Louisiana SPCA has seen an influx of animals at their shelters, post-Hurricane Ida. As of Wednesday, September 29, the Louisiana SPCA campus has 384 animals in its care.
Ana Zorrilla, the CEO of the Louisiana SPCA has worked at the shelter for over 10 years and she said that there has been a significant increase of animals this time of year compared to recent years.
“Hurricane Ida impacted the Louisiana SPCA pretty significantly, we have been taking in dogs who were abandoned or dogs who have gotten out of their yard we’ve had a lot of people whose fences have been blown down and have not been able to secure their pets. So we have had more than four hundred animals that have come in just in the first few weeks after the storm. ”
Zorilla is proud to say she and her team have been able to help hundreds of animals prior, during, and after the storm. Some animals have been transported to different states to find forever homes, while some are being cared for and in the recovery process to be cleared to find a family.
“Before the storm, we worked really hard to remove as many adoptable animals out of the area as possible we had about 150 that we were able to transport to Texas for adoption but that left us with almost 400 animals in the building,” said Zorilla.
The team is still in the process of transporting cats and dogs to different states. The next group will be sent to Denver after a thorough health examination. Before traveling across state lines, animals must be examined by a licensed veterinarian and have a health certificate.
Along with adoption efforts, they are also focusing on helping pet owners who can’t take care of their fur babies at the moment through a foster system.
Zorilla added, “Our neighbors in Lower Jefferson, Terrebonne, and Lafourche, many of them don’t have a roof over their heads and are really struggling at the moment who have pets which sometimes are their only treasured belonging in their life before the storm.”
911FosterPets is a resource for families dealing with the aftermath of the storm, linking their pets with temporary foster homes. Doing so prevents these pets from having to enter a shelter and prevents pet owners from having to permanently give up a pet. If anyone is willing to foster a pet temporarily or if an owner needs temporary foster care for their pet, owners can sign up through 911fosterpets.com.
The Louisiana SPCA is not able to board-owned pets.
Zorilla said many people have been making generous donations to the shelter. The nonprofit organization appreciates any help they can get whether it is donations or fostering a pet.
If you see your pet on the Louisiana SPCA’s website, here’s what you should do.
- Immediately fill out a lost report at www.louisianaspca.org/lost. If you are unable to fill out the report yourself, call 504.368.5191 for assistance.
- Once the report is received, someone from the Louisiana SPCA will contact you within 24-hours to set an appointment to reclaim your pet.
If you have lost your pet and don’t see them on our website, these are the steps to take:
- Complete a lost report with us at www.louisianaspca.org/lostreport to fill out a lost report or call us at 504.368.5191. We cross-reference our lost reports with our found ones filed and the animals in our care.
- Post lost pet information on your Nextdoor group and on Lost and Found Facebook groups. It is possible your pet may be at a neighbor’s home being cared for rather than being at the shelter.
- Additional tips to find a pet can be found at: www.missionreunite.com
The Louisiana SPCA is still closed to the public but is operating lost and found services by appointment and is responding to all calls for animal control services. For the most up-to-date information about the Louisiana SPCA’s operations visit www.louisianaspca.org/ida or call 504.368.5191.