~Hurricane Katrina Relief Update~
UPDATE 10/6/05 - Michele and Melissa landed in New Orleans, picked up the Save A Dog van, and headed down to Winn Dixie in New Orleans with a vanload of supplies for the group. After driving through what appeared to be the remnants of a war, with overturned cars, downed power lines, police blocks, etc., they found their way to the parking area of Winn Dixie -- the only thing for blocks with power (generators). There were only two rotties there, and many of the dogs were bound for other rescue groups. That's the good news. This morning (Friday), they went out on a search and rescue mission. In the first hour, they found two living dogs -- and one that wasn't so lucky (a rottie). They are knee deep in contaminated sludge, crawling under houses and into atticks. They understand they're on CNN at 8 p.m. tonight. Watch for more!
UPDATE 10/4/05 - Good news for the moment! Sonja -- who's real name is Princess -- was identified from photos at St. Francis. We are speaking more to the owner to make sure that we do, in fact, have his dog. Princess Sonja will be returning to Louisiana, provided the match is accurate, mid-month with the Save-A-Dog vet transport. The owner was distressed to find out his dog was heartworm positive, but sadly Princess Sonja lives outdoors in Louisiana, and must have missed a few heartworm pills.
UPDATE 10/3/05 - The news isn't good coming from New Orleans for our animal friends. The major groups and facilities are closing doors, no longer taking animals, etc. This includes HSUS sites and other large operations. Much of the rescue is left to "renegade" rescue groups and individuals setting themselves up in barns, parking lots, and anywhere else they can put themselves up.
Michele & Melissa will be going down again on Thursday 10/6 and bringing the Save A Dog van back on the 10th. If you are still willing and/or able to foster a dog - and do not live in Massachusetts (but close enough to New Hampshire) -- please let us know!
Update 10/1/05 - All but one of the dogs brought back on last week's trip is in foster care. One last little pittie girl needs a foster home. She is a sweetie, but can't live with small critters. Please consider giving her a place to call "home" until she finds a home of her own.
All of the dogs have been examined by the vet now. Cajun, our sweet rottie boy, suffered the worst. He has a shattered femur, torn cruciate ligament and, if that's not enough, is heartworm positive. Our vet has indicated that the orthopedic injuries are fresh (like from the hurricane). Sadly, Cajun's medical expenses will cost over $2000, after generous discounts from the vets. Cajun will receive this help, and we thank all who have donated to make it possible.
Of the 21 dogs brought back, 7 are heartworm positive. That's 33% of the dogs. About the number I was expecting, but I was hoping for less. All of the dogs will be treated for heartworm, except possibly Helena who is old enough so that she may not make it through heartworm treatment. If you haven't seen these dogs on the web site, please take a look!
UPDATE 9/25/05 - Sunday. We arrived late on Friday night to scores of volunteers, Channel 4 in Boston and several local newspapers. Everyone was walked, and found a kennel -- except the two pitties who were dropped off in CT. Tiring night, we all made it home after several hours at the kennel.
On Saturday we spent the entire day at the kennel, re-evaluating the dogs, matching dogs with foster families, and having our vet check everyone out -- for the trauma these dogs all went through, they are all remarkably healthy and in good condition. Eight of the ten rotties and three of the smaller dogs went off to foster families in NH. The last six dogs went to foster homes for two all-breed groups in NH.
Per agreement with Best Friends, we are holding all of the dogs in foster care until December 4, 2005 -- ample time for their owners to claim them. After that time, they are available for adoption.
Pit stop at Elyse's on Friday
I can not thank everyone who helped us here enough for their support. The outpouring of love is amazing - these dogs have never had it so good. As rescue volunteers, we are never amazed at how creul owners can be to their animals, but that is always overshadowed by how giving everyone is when it comes to their plight. Thank you all, again, for your help, support, love, encouragement -- the dogs, especially thank you.
UPDATE 9/23/05 - Thursday, upon waking, the dogs were mixed in the kennels, apparently some of the pups figured out how to crawl under the kennel walls to room with their buddies. The girls woke up very early, to help assemble all dogs brought up in their vans. Six hours later, after required vaccinations, evaluations (some dogs were weeded out for various reasons), and paperwork was completed, dogs were loaded, one by one, into the air conditioned vans. In the end, the girls were left with 21 dogs total to be transported. The tired and coffeeless crew left with 10 rotties, 2 pitties, and 9 others (no cats, no COW). The original plan was to to take
30 animals from Mississippi and a whole slew more from Louisiana, but the end total was only 21. With the windshield full of love bugs, the girls are heading home and should be back tonight. The Rotties being brought back are as follows: 1-6mo M, 1-9mo M, 1-2yo M, 1-6mo F, 1-18mo F, 1-6yo F, 4-3yo F, all in surprisingly good condition. The dogs have been named after towns on the map, which are Aztek, Durango, Cajun, Margo, Helena, Cheyenne, Orleans, Tamminy, Madison, Sonya. We will need 5 foster homes for these lovable rotts, for the 4 adult females and the 1 adult male. Please open your home to one of these deserving lovable pets. Thank you for your support!!
Pit stop at Elyse's on Friday
Thank You to...
Helen, Ed & family and the Fabulous Sonja!|
Tina, Carolyn's daughter
Cara, Jack, Aimee & Carmen
Rob, Christine, Missy & Rodney
Beverly Animal Medical Center
Sue & Tim and Reba & Corrina Yarrington
Elyse Kascik and MANY friends
Stephanie Sullivan & Apollo
Pauline, Lace, Harley & family
Tracy & Mara
Enterprise Rent A Van
Totowa Animal Hospital
Friends of Linda W
Beaver Valley Farm & Pelham Saddlery
Bill, Cindy & Shannon
Lynn GentleBarry and family
Barbara Bullard & family
Neal & Margaret Murphy
Dr. Makatansky and Karen of Sturbridge Veterinary Hospital
Bill, Cindy & Shannon Massaro
Tom Fish & "crew"
Gabe Bartus and his people
PetsMart of Nashua
|UPDATE 9/22/05 - Wednesday: Apologize for the day-late update, as there were no communications available for updates on Wednesday. What a sight! The Mississippi shelter being used to house the 700+ abandoned animals is quite amazing. It is a private sanctuary, which is being used by Best Friends of Utah. Best Friends employees are managing the operation which is essentially an outdoor facility, comprised of tents and trailers. Dale and the crew slept in a tent, among the love bugs (bugs which swarm and but do not bite) and the bird-sized dragon flies. The goal of the day was to get 94 animals loaded up and brought to the airport in order to board a plane to California. After 6 hours of humid, hot weather, these girls operating on coffee and sweat, finished their job. Wed night, they set up their tents next to "Rottie Row", a place where 26 rotties were kept. Dale and Andrea guarded the rotts from being stolen by some of society's less desirable people, while Janis and Michele went to Gonzales to pick up the Save-A Dog van and any animals to be re-united with their owners. Janis and Michele returned to Mississippi at about 1 am without the animals, as they were not allowed to be released due to some red tape. The group was relieved to be all back together, as they had no cell phone in case of trouble. Tired and cranky, they called it a night.
UPDATE 9/20/05 - Today, Dale and the gang are in good ole Tennessee, somewhere between Chattanooga and Knoxville. They are now heading for Mississippi (just in time for hurricane Rita - GREAT), where they will be getting the animals, which have been kept thus far in various fairgrounds. Sleeping quarters are unknown, at this time, as New Orleans, where they were going to stay, is being re-evacuated due to the threat of Rita. Sleeping bags and tents, perhaps? Tomorrow, this crew from NH, MA and VT will be going to Gonzales, Louisiana, to the HSUS, to pick up the other Save-a-Dog Van. All people encountered in their travels have been very nice to them. There seem to be a lot of other Katrina rescue workers crossing their paths, as they are on the Katrina helper/rescue superhighway. The game plan is to leave Thursday morning and to be home sometime Friday night with 40 animals, INCLUDING A COW (for Janis) ;-) Rumor has it that these dedicated folks have come up with a new collective name for themselves (which I will not mention)!!! PS - I tried to get some dirt about their travels, but they wouldn't budge... what happens in the van, STAYS in the van, they say.....
9/18/05 - Support for our endeavor has been overwhelming! People came up to me at work last night and handed me things for the trip ~ water bottles, money, food and water! A guest at the restaurant, who I've seen before but don't really know, told me she has a kennel on her property WITH a kennel license! I felt that God looked down on the animals last night. We actually are headed for Mississiippi, just over the border from Louisiana. We're working with Save A Dog to get two vanloads of dogs back (instead of one). One van is packed. We leave tomorrow.
9/16/05 - It's official. We've gotten the call to go, and we're leaving Monday 9/19. The plans keep changing, but as it looks now, there are four of us driving down - returning with 2 van loads of animals. The original plan said we would just get them into shelters up here. However, as of yesterday, we were being asked to help transport animals to their owners who are now residing in New England (Otis AFB, primarily) and New York (9 cats). The adventure team of "crazy dog ladies" is Dale, Michele, Janis and Andrea. We're on a mission... Thanks to Tamara who will be updating the site while we are gone.
Please help us make this happen. Your donation will go directly to helping to bring animals out of New Orleans and is tax deductable. Thank you.