As floodwaters recede in Louisiana, hundreds of homeless pets left stranded and searching for shelter after the storm are being helped. Several organizations and shelters, including a local animal hospital, have jumped into action and opened their doors to rescue these furry victims in need of homes.
Less than a year after Hurricane Katrina, the PETS Act of 2006 — Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards — was passed, forever changing the way pets are viewed by the government during disasters. Following a major disaster or emergency, this act authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for pets and service animals as well as to their owners.
This year, about 26 displaced canines headed to the Sunshine State in search of drier grounds. Rosie, a bubbly brown Chiweenie pup, is one of the lucky dogs who was transported to St. Francis Animal Hospital and is currently a boarding guest at their new facility. I caught up with Rosie at her temporary digs to find out her story:
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Louisiana, but was relocated after the flooding.
Were you scared during the flooding?
It was scary, but the people at the shelter where I lived were nice to me, so I felt safe.
How did you get to Jacksonville?
A really nice lady from Acadiana Animal Aid rescued me and loaded me in a van with 25 other dogs that were heading to Florida. Some nice people from St. Francis Animal Hospital picked me up in Tallahassee with four other super chill dogs and we drove to Jacksonville.
Are you receiving medical care?
Yes, I’m being treated for heartworms. They tell me I won’t be allowed to run and get excited while I’m being treated, which is going to be really hard for me because I love to play. I’m also blind in my right eye, but that doesn’t stop me from l-i-v-i-n.
Where are you eating kibble these days?
Right now I’m living at St. Francis and having fun exploring my temporary home.
Do you prefer sleep or play?
Play! Without a doubt! I love to play and have even more fun playing with my furry friends.
How about treats — peanut butter or bacon?
I’m not sure, but I’d love to try them both!
What about squirrels — do you bark at them or chase them?
I haven’t had a squirrel encounter yet, but I’d really like to meet one. I’ve heard they’re just like rats — but with cuter uniforms.
Are you excited about finding a new home?
Yes! I’m piddling just thinking about it, but don’t worry — I’m potty trained! I really am looking forward to starting a new life with a family who will play with me and take me places.
Anyone interested in fostering or adopting one of the Louisiana dogs should contact St. Francis Animal Hospital at [email protected] or call 674-7223.
For more information about PETS Act of 2006, go to wagnpetsafety.com/pdf/Pet_Parents_and_PETS_ACT_of_2006.pdf.
Davi the dachshund isn’t a certified disaster recovery specialist, but he’s always willing to help a furry friend in need.