Cats and kittens wrestle playfully and dogs yap excitedly. So much positive energy abounds in the rooms of these abandoned and homeless animals that it makes one wonder what put them in this situation. Most of these creatures aren’t strays but rather pets whose owners never returned after Hurricane Katrina.
While many Louisiana residents died because they refused to leave their cherished pets as floodwaters raised, others left their animals behind. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and pets adapted to their environment among the urban tangle of crumbling homes, molding cars and dead foliage.
Life continued and instincts played an important role — both in basic survival and in procreation. Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) Director Charlotte Bass Lilly estimates that “cat colonies are in their third generation since Katrina and dogs are in their second generation.” Funded by donations from organizations such as The Humane Society of the United States and the Best Friends Animal Society, ARNO serves a multitude of purposes, namely to reunite animals with their owners. The organization:
Provides food and water on site and in the shelter.
Reunites lost pets with their families, who are scattered nationwide now.
Humanely traps lost pets and homeless, injured, newborn and pregnant animals.
Provides medical triage and daily care.
Transports rescued pets to safe havens across the country.
**For the full article, pick up the November issue of CAT FANCY.**
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