MuttShack’s Evacuated Katrina Animals Moved To Higher Ground with Hurricane Rita’s New Wave of Devastation
Muttshackâ€™s Evacuated Katrina Animals Moved to Higher Ground
Late last night, about one hundred and fifty animals, rescued within the last twelve hours were hastily evacuated from the Lake Castle School. Some left in trailers, in the back of cars, and in trucks. Despite the evacuation, still more animals were arriving, from rescuers and other rescue organizations.
MuttShack Animal Rescuers have been going from house to house to find animals abandoned there since Katrina and bringing them to where they have set up a triage center in the flood ravaged Lake Castle School. Classrooms, filled with layers of mud, mouldy books and fallen ceiling boards are being used as an ad hoc emergency treatment and rescue center. The gymnasium is a makeshift shelter with rows and rows of crates, holding the frail and devastated animals.
Rescuers who at first found it easy to identify homes with animals are finding fewer animals barking or responding to their calls. Dogs, cats and birds are either too weak to make any sound or are lying dead and dying in their homes.
Thousands have died for lack of food and water and others died trying to escape. Rescuers report dead animals lying in cages, locked in rooms and tied up on balconies. Some died trying to escape through broken windows and died in pools of blood. One just died waiting on the front porch â€“ never being disobedient enough to put one paw print beyond the area where his owners left him, not even to go and find food.
The rescuers are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. Thousands of animals trapped have to be found by small independent non-profit rescue organizations with little to no resources. Rescuers have been camping in tents, sleeping in cars and on the ground. Their rescue vehicles are their own cars or trucks and trailers driven thousands of miles across the country to New Orleans. Others pay gouging rental fees for small mini-vans that can hold one or two crates.
There is no running water, electricity or food. The stores are boarded up or looted. Muttshack volunteers and rescuers arrive with only that which they can carry, everything they will need to survive – water, food, sleeping bags, and bolt-cutters, leashes and dogfood.
Their hopes of owners returning home finally after 21 days was shattered yesterday with the announcement once more that owners cannot return to their homes â€“ now, because of Hurricane Rita.
Rescuers persist their rescues amidst intermittent squalls, those overwhelmed by the horror of rescue work are taking care of the emaciated dogs. Shelter workers give what comfort they can, cleaning animals black with dirty floodwater, while others take on the endless cycle of cleaning cages, feeding, watering and walking amidst whispered promises that they are now safe.
Run-off water from the roof is collected to help wash dogs, and crates but the waterlevels on the levy are rising. Every levy dog-walk confirms that the water is getting higher. The pressure on the levy from Rita, even miles away is enough to cause a breach and flood the school.
With more reports that water is flooding vital access roads, MuttShack Volunteers moved the remaining animals to higher ground in the adjacent St. Charles parish, where they are now boarded in a barn. They will return to continue rescue efforts as soon as the Hurricane Rita has crested.Many animals have been sheltered â€˜in houseâ€™. Rescuers leave food and water to animals too shy to come out, or too hard to catch. Bags of food have been left on street corners where animals are spotted.
Rescued animals are shipped to neighboring Gonzales, Tylertown, or any accredited Shelter that may house them, and place them in foster care. Owners looking for their dogs can look on Petfinder.com.
MuttShack Animal Rescue and Foster is a non-profit 501(c)3, and in desperate need of support to provide veterinary care and supplies for their triage center.
Please donate at: https://www.registrationfactory.com/v3/?EventUUID=B47421FD