Rescuing animals during disasters - United StatesIn a disaster, animals can’t ask for help
Updated: September 28, 2021
IFAW’s Disaster Response is on the ground in Louisiana, continuing to support animals and communities recovering from Hurricane Ida. Recently, we set up a 250-animal capacity temporary shelter for overflow dogs in the Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. We also provided emergency grants to help over 1,000 cats, dogs and community animals as they recover from the tragedy. We recognize that animals are a part of the family and are doing everything we can to keep families together during these challenging times.
September 14, 2021
We funded an emergency airlift flight with our partner, Greater Good Charities (GGC) of 95 shelter cats and dogs from Louisiana to new adoptive homes in Washington state. Good Flights is a program of Greater Good Charities which conducts life-saving airlifts and supports ground transport for at-risk pet populations with a heavy focus on disaster relief, harder to adopt large-breed dogs, homeless cats, and asymptomatic heartworm positive shelter dogs. The airplane departed Baton Rouge, LA in the early morning with more than 95 shelter pets and landed in Everett, WA in the early afternoon.
As families lost their homes or were evacuated, local animal shelters are reporting an influx of animals in need of temporary housing and care. Transporting out pets who were in shelters prior to the storm helps ensure they are adopted and that there is room in operating shelters to accept an influx of new pets.
All shelter pets transported via Good Flights were done so in compliance with the USDA interstate regulations.
September 6, 2021
Our teams continue to work in the community of Terrebonne Parish during our Hurricane Ida response. IFAW vet tech, Freddy, examined a stray Rottweiler whose owner left the area after the hurricane destroyed his home. The Rottweiler was dehydrated and exhausted, and was evacuated for further care.
After rescuing the Rottweiler, Freddy rescued a beagle found in the rubble of a home that was completely destroyed by the hurricane. The beagle was also dehydrated and exhausted and evacuated to a shelter for care.
IFAW’s Jennifer Gardner and Freddy also provided food and water to a dog tethered to tree that was split in half by the hurricane. And Jennifer Gardner found four kittens in the rubble of a home. She offered food and water to the kittens. Two of the kittens showed signs of respiratory distress and were taken to a shelter for veterinary care.
We also spent the day helping Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter care for the shelter dogs in their care. Our friends at the ASPCA were with us to transport the existing shelter dogs to free up kennel space for temporary sheltering. Some rescued pets from Hurricane Ida are also staying at the shelter until they can be reunited with their families. The dogs enjoyed outside playtime and scratches from the teams.
September 3, 2021
We checked up on Baby Rooty, the pig rescued during water rescue operations this week, and he is doing fantastic. He loves taking mud baths and rooting around for his food. It is summer here and still hot in the middle of the day, so we worked with our wonderful partner ASPCA, to install sun shields around part of his enclosure. Baby Rooty was also treated to pig-friendly vegetables, fruit, snuggles and chin scratches.
Next, our team traveled to help CiCi the dog and his mom get settled into a cohabitation shelter for people and their pets. While this family has a long recovery after a storm like Ida, we were happy to see CiCi more relaxed and enjoying the grass with his mom.
September 2, 2021
Today the teams conducted field assessments in Terrebonne Parish, one of the hardest hit communities. We are assisting local animal shelters with identifying unmet needs and distributing pet food to families in the community. We came across an abandoned home with several cats and two smalls dogs, the neighbors had been providing food to the animals and we logged the address and location for follow up. The animals had access to some water and we gave food to the neighbors so they could continue to feed them.
During our water rescue operations in Lafitte, a potbelly pig was rescued after her owner called in for assistance. The pig was safely rescued and transported to a temporary shelter where he will be cared for until the family can be reunited.
Rescuing animals in the wake of Hurricane Ida
September 1, 2021
Our disaster response team is on the ground in Louisiana, helping animals and families impacted by the devastation from Hurricane Ida.
While the team was in Lafitte conducting water rescue operations with our partners Code 3 and ASPCA, a resident flagged them down and asked for help with her animals. She didn’t have enough carriers for her four cats and didn’t want to leave them behind—her home was no longer safe to stay in due to severe damage by Hurricane Ida. She also has a 16-year-old cocker spaniel named CiCi that she refused to leave.
The team safely loaded her cats into crates and rescued her and CiCi out of the home, and contacted local authorities to find a cohabitation shelter so she could be safe with CiCi. She now has a place to stay together with CiCi, and her cats are staying at the local shelter until the family can be reunited.
Monday, August 30, 2021
On Sunday, 29 August 2021, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The catastrophic Category 4 hurricane unleashed devastating high winds, life-threatening storm surges, and massive flooding.
Within 24 hours of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) request to IFAW, our response teams are en route to arrive today. Support needs include water rescue, temporary shelter, and animal search and rescue (ASAR).
Please keep the people and animals of Louisiana and Mississippi in your thoughts. Stay tuned for updates from the field. Thank you for your support.