Log 16 - 21 September 2005

Wednesday was frustrating for our search and rescue teams. Hurricane Rita now elevated to a Category 5 and headed toward Texas and the eastern side of Louisiana put a major kink in our operations in New Orleans. We were forced to pack up our staging area and head back to Lamar-Dixon, visiting only the addresses we could hit on our way out of town.

In Gonzales, I spent the day making plans to protect the animals (and the hundreds of people who are here to protect the animals) at Lamar- Dixon should the hurricane veer this way. Even a few inches of rain could threaten the abandoned animals of New Orleans, but the threat Rita poses to Galveston and other Texas cities in her projected path is even more concerning. The animal groups that are collaborating here in Louisiana are putting their heads together to determine our response to Rita, and planning for Texas operations also demanded a lot of my time.

Our volunteers kept their spirits up and their minds off the animals in New Orleans and the others at risk in Texas by making up a silly song. Their laughter proved to me yet again how incredible this group of people is: taking time off of their lives to do grueling, highly emotional work for free and still maintaining their sense of humor. For the thousandth time since this operation began, I was reminded how fortunate American Humane is to have these kind, dedicated, skilled and funny people pitching in to support our work down here.

Then, something better happened: We got word that we’ll be able to conduct at least one more day of search and rescue ops. So, as soon as their song was over, activity kicked into high gear so the teams could be ready for their early start tomorrow.

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