Yarmouth Port Based IFAW Rescuing Pets in Wake of Katrina

IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) 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.

A dog is rescued and brought to safety after Hurricane Katrina. Photo courtesy of IFAW.

IFAWâ??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 ).

Ruty the 300-pound potbelly pig is transported to safety through the flooded streets of New Orleans. Photo courtesy of IFAW.

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, IFAWâ??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 IFAWâ??s Hurricane Katrina efforts.  Donations may also be mailed to:

411 Main Street
Yarmouth Port, MA 02675 USA

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.