Scores of pets rescued from homes in New Orleans

Thursday, September 8, 2005
Gonzalez, LA
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) is currently searching door-to-door in New Orleans for pets displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Over the past two days, IFAW has rescued 43 dogs, 41 cats, a snake, a bird, an iguana, a hamster and a 300-pound potbelly pig named Ruty.
IFAW’s team, working with Code-3 Associates, is currently searching a list of more than 300 addresses where animals are reported to be stranded. The animals rescued from homes are evacuated to a triage facility in nearby Gonzales, Louisiana for veterinary care. Some animals are expected then to move to the Houston SPCA, where an IFAW team is assisting at emergency shelters for incoming animals.

To date more than 3,500 requests have been fielded, by rescuers, from people looking for lost pets. The list of requests is being maintained by the Louisiana ASPCA and compiled by various organizations and agencies around the country that have collected data from concerned pet owners. (IFAW Missing Pet Database -- www.ifaw.org/us/missingpets ).

IFAW and Code-3 Associates are part of a larger cooperating group of animal rescue groups working under the authority of Louisiana agencies (USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services) with home searches permitted by the Louisiana State Police. Teams disperse out to grid locations across the New Orleans area each morning at approximately 7am and are required to leave the rescue areas before the 5:30pm curfew.

Among other hazards, rescuers are battling heat and exhaustion. Temperatures have been hot and the team must wear dry suits to protect from infections caused by the contaminated water.

Yesterday, IFAW’s team also rescued 5 people trapped in their homes, including a man  stranded with his two black lab chows and a 70-year-old stroke victim.

Those who want to help rescue pets in Louisiana can donate online at www.ifaw.org. All funds raised will go directly toward IFAW’s Hurricane Katrina efforts.

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Chris Cutter (IFAW, Headquarters)
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Experts

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Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
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Dr. Ian Robinson, Vice President, Programs & Int'l Operations
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Gail A'Brunzo, IFAW Wildlife Rescue Manager
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Katie Moore, Program Director, Animal Rescue
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Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
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