Historic Animal Rescue boot-camp leads to dog rescue in Louisiana

Our Disaster Response team worked hard at the 10 year Katrina Commemorative Boot-camp and feel stronger than ever to help animals in crisis. We all shared experiences of responding to those affected by Hurricane Katrina but dozens of disasters across the United States since.

One of the greatest lessons learned during these last 10 years of animal rescue work is that in order to save humans in the aftermath of disasters, we must keep families together which means our pets too of course!

As we worked day after day there was no doubt that the animals brought in from the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control facility for the Humane Animal Handling and Animal Decontamination classes were patiently working their way into our hearts…and the IFAW Animal Rescue rig!

Benny, Scrappy, Jethro, Freckles, Sunshine and Blue…just a few of the 15 sweet dogs we are proud to have transported up to Delaware!

Although Tropical Storm Erika weakened as we made the final decision to rescue all 15 dogs Tropical Storm Fred was brewing in the Atlantic Ocean, we needed to get these dogs on the road!



Delaware Humane Association again stepped up to accept dogs in crisis and we are very grateful.

DHA activated their mobile vet unit in the aftermath of Katrina and subsequently transported 40 dogs up to their facility for medical care and adoption. Last week they again did not hesitate when asked about accepting 15 dogs that would all require medical care before finding their forever home – not even a little hesitation.

In the hours before we arrived with the dogs, I passed on updates to DHA Executive Director Patrick Carroll and a whole team of staff and volunteers anxiously awaiting the special delivery.

When they arrived, John and Jennifer were welcomed with open hearts and arms but that was nothing compared to how they embraced the 15 dogs!

In the few days since, Patrick said the dogs continue to be a source of joy and inspiration for the team.

I fell in love with Berry, a young dachshund mix who arrived at TPAC with her newborn pups who were all adopted last month. She was so nervous and shy when we walked her in the grass which meant that she often ended up in a responder’s arms.

In preparing for the transport Berry was tested for heartworm disease, and unfortunately her results came back positive. Heartworm disease is very preventable and can be treated if diagnosed but did we catch it in time?

DHA staff is providing treatment for Berry and they are optimistic she will recover quickly primarily because of one woman’s selfless act. Berry’s chances are greatly improved because of one special woman who is taking on the responsibility of fostering Berry through treatment which includes long drives each week for treatment, keeping physical activity to a minimum, and nursing her through side effects of the disease and treatment.

We will keep you all posted on Berry and the other 14 dogs that have a new leash, I mean lease, on life thanks to our supporters and our friends at Delaware Humane Association.

We are also grateful for the assistance from the Louisiana State Animal Response Team and the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control staff.

Thousands of people and animals were transported to safety following Hurricane Katrina – our transport of these special 15 dogs is but one way to honor the rescuers participating in the 10-year Katrina Commemorative Boot-camp and working every day to keep families together no matter what.


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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy