Katrina victims have time to claim pets

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2005

Contributed Report

NEW ORLEANS- The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) announced today an extension has been worked out for owners to claim their pets rescued after Hurricane Katrina by the LA/SPCA and partner agencies.

The deadline has been extended thanks to the help and hard work of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), United Animal Nations (UAN) and Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS).

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The ASPCA, HSUS, UAN and BFAS are asking all animal shelters, breed rescue groups and others who are sheltering animal victims of Hurricane Katrina to voluntarily extend the hold period of those animals to allow for more family reunions to occur.

To locate your pet, please visit www.disaster.petfinder.com to help locate your family friend. If you have any questions regarding your pet, please call 1-800-745-9151.

After the December 15 deadline, all animals unclaimed by their owners will be available for adoption in the city shelter in which they are currently being housed.

“The ultimate goal of the LA/SPCA is to reunite families with their pets,” said Executive Director Laura Maloney, “however, we understand that during this difficult time it may not be possible.”

There are nearly 8,500 animal residents of the area waiting to be rescued again, this time by family members.

The animals left behind because of the challenges most families faced during the evacuation are being housed in shelters across the United States as well as the Lamar-Dixon facility in Gonzales, LA.

“It’s hard to think about all that has happened to the residents of the New Orleans metropolitan area in the past six weeks since Katrina hit,” said Maloney. “For some New Orleans residents, it’s even harder getting through this difficult time without their best friends and family.”

Like most residents and businesses in New Orleans, the LA/SPCA building and some of its vehicles were completely destroyed in the hurricane’s aftermath.

To make a donation to help the LA/SPCA you can visit the www.la-spca.org website or you can send a check or money order to: Louisiana SPCA, PO Box 127, Mandeville, LA 70470.

The Louisiana SPCA worked in cooperation with several other agencies to rescue the 8,500 animals after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29th.

The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering. Chartered in 1888, it is the oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization in the state of Louisiana providing care and basic medical services for approximately 11,000 homeless and unwanted animals each year. The LA/SPCA is a membership organization that depends upon the support of the public.