Log 07 - 08 September 2005

The total numbers of animals at the shelter in Gonzales are going up slightly as more people are evacuating the area and leaving their animals with us. We had a young man bring in a dog late yesterday after spending three days in the flood waters, the Red Cross took the human and we took the dog. The shelter is gearing up for the possibility of similar situations.

The two water rescue teams had another successful day rescuing animals in the New Orleans area. When you are doing water rescue operations that require breaking and entering, the amount of time to complete the mission increases significantly. In situations where animals are just plucked from roofs, etc. a good team can average 4-6 animals an hour but a difficult access may take an hour just to get in. You need to remember that in floods, your platform is your boat and that is not the most stable area to put a ladder. Couple that with never really knowing what you are going to find on the other side and you have all the ingredients for a scary rescue. I remember well a situation a number of years ago when we were trying to get into the front room of a home. We broke out the front window and as we were shining our light in, out jumped a 100-lb German Shepherd taking the remainder of the window and frame with him. He had had about enough of the water rising in the home and decided to take his chances outside. These are the types of rescues Mike, Connor, Brian, and Mark were dealing with yesterday as they responded to homes that had been called into the hotline. For the most part, the animals are still looking pretty good.
 
Today, we once again have four rescuers in the water and two who are transporting animals from Metairie. With some clever positioning, we were able to fit 27 dogs and four cats into our truck and trailer. We literally ran while we loaded as it was nearly 100 degrees and we had to get moving to cool off the animals. They arrived at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales a bit weary and stressed but in good condition.

Abandoned animals are being taken to Lamar Dixon Expo Center. It’s a wonderful setting and is organized well and operations are going very smoothly. The scene is a bit like a RV show with every imaginable rescue group in camp. I won’t begin to mention them all but it was fun driving in and seeing some of the lesser known groups. It’s awesome that so many folks are willing to drive from Connecticut, Maine, Boston, San Diego, and Spokane to name a few to help the animals during this tragedy.

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