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August 31, 2008

Pet rescues already underway in New Orleans

Posted: 11:15 PM ET

A rescue group that saved 1200 animals after Hurricane Katrina is back at work in Louisiana.

This puppy now has a safe place to ride out the storm north of St. Bernard parish. Photo courtesy Pasado’s Safe Haven

Overnight they moved 67 animals to safety from the St. Bernard parish [county] shelter to a donated farm near Folsom, Louisiana.

Volunteers from Pasado's Safe Haven, based in Monroe, Washington, took 45 dogs and 22 cats to the 600 acre farm. Among the canines rescued were 8 puppies dumped in the shelter parking lot.

The St. Bernard Shelter has just two employees, and does not have the kind of funding it would take for such a major undertaking as relocating all of its animals. The visiting rescue crew arrived at the farm about 9pm Saturday night, then walked the dogs and cleaned their cages after the journey from the shelter. Some of the volunteers spent the night on air mattresses in the barn with the animals.

But Pasado founder Susan Michaels said the real work will start after Gustav hits.

"Our biggest concern is that a lot of animals will be left behind," said Michaels.

During hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, some residents perished or were stranded when they refused to leave their homes and go to shelters because they could not take their pets. The state of Louisiana made some changes to prevent that kind of tragedy again.

Their major focus was on citizens with special needs. Those with small animals, 15 pounds or less, could bring their animals with them on evacuation buses. Larger animals were crated and transported to two special shelters where pet owners would be near their pets. Those shelters are in Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana.

And while there are some other pet/human shelters, state officials have been urging the general population to take care of their pets with the same care as they would any other family member.

"From the commissioner's office to the state veterinarian, we have all been preaching personal responsibility. Planning for an emergency is part of being a responsible pet owner," said Sam Irwin, press secretary for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

The non profit rescue group Pasado's Safe Haven, founded in 1994, has helped pass four anti-cruelty laws. They are looking for volunteers, and provide a no-nonsense list of criteria for those who think they might want to travel to Louisiana AFTER Gustav hits. Among the requirements:

–You will need to be able-bodied
–Be able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs.
–Be willing to muck stalls, clean kennels, walk dogs.
–Have upbeat attitude. No WHINERS.

More information is available at the Pasado web site.

Marsha Walton CNN Science and Technology Producer in New Orleans

Filed under: Animals • hurricanes • Severe weather

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Franko   August 31st, 2008 11:59 pm ET

People eat Dogs and Cats, Rats and Elephants
I will say a chcken and fish eating vegatarian

S Callahan   September 1st, 2008 12:26 am ET

Great info to pass on. My daughter works at a Vet Practice..they did lots of fundraising in the aftermath of Katrina and even help coordinate some placements. This time the pets seem to be treated as one of the family.

Solar John   September 1st, 2008 12:29 am ET

I say we should save every man, woman, child, and pet in New Orleans by refusing to let them reside in any area that is 10 feet below sea level.

Franko   September 1st, 2008 1:27 am ET

Pet should have lease in mouth, pulling on collar, around the owner's neck.
Back to owner in control, when on high ground ?

Common sense, not in Human, need to be high ground trained.

jpinter   September 1st, 2008 2:46 am ET

Every person who stays and keeps there pet with them should be charged with animal cruelty.

M   September 1st, 2008 9:02 am ET


FYI, in a manner similar to, there is an official wiki for Gustav help at:

For a full and growing list of animal rescue resources, please see:


Dean   September 1st, 2008 9:52 am ET

Franko, would you happen to have a rational translation for the gibberish you've been writing here?

Franko   September 1st, 2008 2:40 pm ET

Dean: A dog would understand. Ask a puppy to explain to you.

Gracie   September 1st, 2008 6:26 pm ET

There have been NO requests from any parishes in the city or surrounding areas for animal rescue. It is a possibility that people will start returning to their homes as early as tomorrow. There are no animal rescue operations going on at this time, the only thing that was done by this organization was the relocation of shelter animals to a safer area to weather the storm.

S Callhan   September 1st, 2008 8:18 pm ET

lol I'll give you this one Franko...I got it (hint: I have two dogs) they will surely make it safety on their own (at least mine would)

Franko   September 1st, 2008 9:40 pm ET

What does a Dog think ? They certainly dream.
Just watch one sleeprun, while lying on it's side.
Startled when woken up, and you are the monster in the Dog nightmare.
Dogs are pure loyalty, to extreme, die of grief at the dead master's feet.
Treat Dogs fairly, and they will not politician you.

S Callhan   September 1st, 2008 9:53 pm ET

So true....I love mine to bits
And so do all the owners that lost their pets through Katrina...that's why the inlcusions of pets in the Master Plan of evacuation was being recognized.

BJM   September 2nd, 2008 2:24 pm ET

Local government made arrangements ahead of time (hallelujah!) with various animal rescue groups, including Best Friends, Pasado's Safe Haven, Louisiana SART, and so on. These local government groups are COORDINATING and in many cases leading, investigations of reported animal issues, be it stray animal at large or a family unable to get home before the storm to evacuate their animals.In other words, no animal rescue groups are going in just because they think its needed – their assistance was REQUESTED!

Columbus, OH

Franko   September 3rd, 2008 4:57 am ET

Running for high ground, Dogs, Cats, even pet Rats are smarter than political deciders, Politicians need to live their promoted visions, if wrong, go down with the ship. Too harsh ? Have a Doggie practice fire hydrant watering on the politician's leg.

Aaron   September 9th, 2008 7:19 pm ET

I cant believe people have been planning this experiment for so long. Why didn't we know about this sooner, more publicly. Well God created the Earth/Universe/everything & thats all you need to know. Why do we have to know about some partical that was left after the big bang theory, don’t make sense at all. Why aren't these people/government/world leaders spending these moneys on our Earth the people of the Earth, we don’t live in space we live on Earth, isn’t that more important. Spending $8,000,000, The poor people of the world need our help more. I just don’t understand, why we have to know these things. I want more done from our world leaders to help people who need help, not cause's that we don’t really have to know or will ever help us in the long run. More needs to be done to help the Earth & the people of the Earth, that is a greater truth...Don’t you agree??????. Aaron.

Franko   September 12th, 2008 11:17 pm ET

"Don’t you agree??????"
Christ disagreed, so did Vlad.
The need is to learn how to zap the Alien Bible thumpers first, how, sending the Bible on a microdot, near light speed, one giant flash, fried, cooked to perfection, Aliens or US ?

That is the question to ask !

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