HURRICANE KATRINA REPORT
Reunions and Rebuilding
Today we will wind down operations for what was the largest emergency animal shelter in modern history. Closing the temporary shelter ends a major chapter in the dramatic first phase of our massive response to Hurricane Katrina ' the animal rescue phase ' and allows us to move on to the next crucial steps of reunification and rebuilding.
We are still on the ground in the region, and we will be there for the animals and the shelters for months and years to come.
Here is what we accomplished over the past 6 weeks:
We helped rescue almost 10,000 stranded pets
and other animals across the region:
On some days more than 50 separate animal rescue teams travelled by boat, by truck and on foot ' literally breaking down doors to reach stranded pets. At its peak our emergency shelters housed over 2,000 animals, and more than 300 veterinarians, sheltering professionals, and volunteers attended to their needs. While some lucky pets were reunited with their caregivers at our emergency shelters, most were transported to animal shelters across the country to make room for more rescued animals.
At our disaster Call Centre we fielded more than 45,000 calls:
Including thousands from frantic pet owners urging our disaster teams to rescue their animals in stricken areas. Our teams on the ground used these call centre reports to locate and rescue stranded animals.
We have helped reunite over 1000 rescued pets with the people who love them: While our rescue phase is winding down, our reunion phase continues in earnest and our US office has pledged to pay whatever costs are necessary to transport animals to be reunited with their owners. Even as you read this we are working feverishly to match lost pets with their caregivers. With most pets now safely housed at animal shelters and in foster homes across the country, the challenge is formidable. But we will not stop until we' ve exhausted every lead.
It' s hard to adequately convey to you the sheer breadth of our disaster response, the chaotic nature and enormous challengers we faced in meeting a crisis of Katrina' s magnitude, and the incredible personal sacrifices that disaster responders made to help the hurricane' s victims. On behalf of the staff and volunteers involved please accept our thanks for your support, both moral and financial, during this crisis.
Image - Adeline Perkins carries her dog, Princess, as Lynell Batiste carries Timmy while Kewanda Batiste and Ulysses Batiste swim through the flood waters from their Lacombe, La. home on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005.
AP Photo/Mari Darr~Welch