Log 14 - 18 September 2005
Today our strike teams continued their rapid, in-and-out searches for the thousands of animals that had been reported to us.
One stop was an apartment complex, and our team looked at it with a sense of dread, as we only had a street address not an apartment number. Every apartment above the first story was virtually inaccessible, with no windows to climb in through. But our anxiety was quickly put to rest when we met a young man who had stayed through the hurricane and flooding and had been caring for all the pets in the building. He had even bought medicine and was administering it to a cat with a thyroid condition at the request of the cat’s owner. We evaluated the animals and found them to be well-fed and cared for, and very lucky that this young man was there for them. Back at base, I learned that in one house, our responders retrieved a cat and were just packing up to leave, when a neighbor came by and told them there were actually two cats living there. Team leader Kerri Burns had her crew on a tight schedule in order to hit every house on their list. Spending too long at any one location can put the other animals on the list in even more jeopardy. The team had only a few minutes left when one of the volunteers found the timid cat under a bed, and both cats were brought back.
Later, as I was writing this log, a New Orleans resident came rushing up to our Rescue Rig, desperate for help for her cat. She’d just returned home to find her animal companion at a critical level of dehydration. Thanks to Dr. Lorna Lamden and two of the other vets who joined our team, we were able to treat the cat in American Humane’s mobile vet clinic with IV fluids. We got her temperature lowered (see pic). She left with her immensely relieved owner a short while later. It’s just one more example of how important our work is down here: even at the end of a day we thought was hopeless, we got to save a life and see a pet reunited with her family.