IFAW Helps Move Hurricane Animals to California Shelters

Friday, September 16, 2005
Baton Rouge, LA
Emergency rescuers with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) are today transporting approximately 200 dogs and cats from a massive triage animal shelter set up in Gonzales, LA at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center to Baton Rouge airport for a flight to Marin County Airport in California. Many of the animals were rescued by IFAW in door-to-door searches of flooded homes throughout New Orleans.
IFAW teams continue daily animal rescue missions searching for animals that have been reported missing or abandoned. Missing pet data continues to be compiled from concerned pet owners. (IFAW Missing Pet Database -- www.ifaw.org/us/missingpets.)

Once rescued form the floodwaters, IFAW transports the animals to the official triage shelter in Gonzales, LA where they receive urgent health care as necessary. The facility currently houses nearly 2,000 rescued animals including horses, dogs, cats, and others. There the animals are vaccinated, micro-chipped, and photographed to aid the process of reuniting them with their owners. The animals are being moved out of the triage shelter to locations around the country to make way for the continued influx of rescued animals, numbering in the hundreds on an almost daily basis.

IFAW is moving the animals – approximately 175 dogs and 25 cats – from Gonzales to Baton Rouge airport using specially designed animal transport vehicles known as the “Humane Train” operated by a Texas-based wildlife rescue group, the Wild Animal Orphanage. The vehicle has specially built compartments for the animal travel crates and is climate controlled to ensure the animals travel safely.

The animals are being flown on a chartered Continental flight and will be housed temporarily by local shelters in the San Francisco Bay area. Photos and microchip information will be used in an attempt to reunite the animals with their owners. Animals that are not identified by their owners by October 15th will be available for adoption, a decision made by Louisiana authorities.

IFAW is asking for support from the public to enable it to continue rescuing animals from the hurricane strike zone, and to provide care for these hurricane victims. Please visit www.ifaw.org/us/katrina to make a donation today.

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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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