Humane Society Of Louisiana
As Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, along with the many thousands of people who were finally taken to safety were many thousands of animals who also needed rescuing. But there are many more animals still, three months after the storms, in desperate need of help!
The Humane Society of Louisiana, a grassroots animal protection organization founded in New Orleans, has been working to fight cruelty and to create a more humane Louisiana since 1988. With Katrina barreling ashore with New Orleans as her bull's-eye, the group fled its sanctuary in the Big Easy. Three workers relocated more than 100 sanctuary animals to the organization's property in Tylertown, Miss., just hours before Katrina made landfall -- while their own homes, families, and pets were threatened.
Since weathering the storm, the group has organized and operated "Camp Katrina," an emergency relief shelter for animal victims of the disaster. Operated almost entirely by volunteers, the facility has treated and saved the lives of more than 600 animals. They have directly aided thousands of others by mobilizing supplies and volunteers around the region and by supporting small local groups. From reunions of pets with their owners to dramatic tales of animals surviving against all odds, the work done at the camp has been a grassroots labor of love, made possible only by the support of volunteers and donors from across the country.
On its wish list at the moment are the following essentials: Natural Choice cat and kitten food for those on special diets, humane cat and dog traps, frequent flier miles for pet/owner reunions, crates and carriers, vegetarian food for the volunteers camped out on site, heartworm tests and medications, feline leukemia/FIV tests, building supplies, veterinarians, contractors, electricians, plumbers ...
Without question, homeless and neglected pets are in need in the wake of these storms. But most cities and towns across the nation have animals in need of help. With so much work to be done, you might ask, "Why divert resources to a humane society in Louisiana?"
The Deep South has a historically and notoriously bad record on animal welfare that the hurricanes have brought into the spotlight. While there are many people in the area who do love and care for their animals, the overall situation for animals in the region is dire. Dog fighting is rampant, as are animal abuse and neglect. While there are laws in place, there is little enforcement, and the widespread attitude is, "That's just the way it is down here."
The Humane Society of Louisiana has been fighting that mindset for years. The group has directly aided tens of thousands of animals and has rescued, rehabilitated, and adopted more than 6,000 formerly abused pets. The agency has passed tough new laws and has spearheaded new animal protection initiatives. A licensed detective agency, the group earned a reputation for being tough on animal abusers and public corruption whenever the lives of animals were at stake.
Now, after the hurricanes, the group is facing even greater challenges. HSLA is committed to rebuilding the fragile infrastructure of animal protection in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. The road ahead is undoubtedly uphill. With its sanctuary destroyed and uninhabitable, its volunteers and members displaced, its fundraising events canceled (Nov. 19 would have been the date of their annual fundraising gala where they expected to raise $40,000, but the hurricanes have made just surviving, much less raising money, touch and go), and its thrift store closed, HSLA's work simply cannot continue without the help of donors from outside the affected region.
The Humane Society of Louisiana is a private 501©3 nonprofit agency. It is not affiliated or supported by any other group, not does it receive any government funding. The agency relies solely on private contributions to keep its programs in operation.