Last week the SPCA of Dallas conducted a rescue mission, traveling to Baton Rouge to pick up 50 dogs left homeless by flooding in Louisiana.
The dogs were the worse for wear. Some had heartworm, others possible kennel cough.
That was last week. Now, they are ready for adoption — a lucky handful from among the untold number of dogs, cats, horses, pet birds and other animals that have been displaced by the flooding. An early estimate suggested that as many as 600 animals had been rescued.
“More than anything ... the city of Dallas can really step up and help by going in and checking out some of the amazing Louisiana dogs that they are going to have up for adoption,” Katie Jarl, director of the Humane Society of United States Texas, told WBAP in Dallas.
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The animals can be seen on the Dallas group’s website.
Animal welfare advocates are busy trying to find new homes for as many displaced animals as they can. Pets that couldn’t be reunited with their owners are being sent to shelters across the country. Some need homes because their owners can’t take care of them anymore after the storm. Others were found alone in the floodwaters.
PETA also sent rescue teams to Baton Rouge to wade and boat through the water to reunite pets and owners. Then the group packed up ready-to-adopt animals from Baton Rouge area shelters to transfer them east, opening up space for the constant flow of displaced pets, PETA said.
The animals were loaded up in three vans for the road trip to PETA headquarters in Norfolk, Va., where they arrived on Monday.
As of Monday, 35 dogs, 20 cats, six rabbits and one cockatiel are looking for new homes in Virginia and North Carolina.
PETA teamed up with humane societies and shelters in the area to place the “former Louisianans” in new homes. (Email the organization at Adopt@peta.org for information on how to adopt one.)
Louisiana animal shelters have been unable to keep up with the demand. The Times-Picayune in New Orleans checked on conditions at several sites and found many to be flooded, some completely out of service.
Making matters worse, the homes of many animal foster parents have been flooded as well.
Many shelters have set up GoFundMe pages and Amazon Wish Lists, with needs ranging from shop vacuums to pet supplies.
“The dedicated staff and volunteers fought to save as many animals as possible from the floodwaters, eventually having to unlatch the kennel doors and let the dogs swim out and climb onto the roof,” officials at the Denham Springs Animal Shelter told the Times-Picayune.
“The rescue efforts saved many animals, but the shelter is in need of rebuilding and repairs after the floodwaters recede. The cattery is totally demolished, and the kennel area and office space are severely damaged.”
Matt Williams, the senior director of communications for the Washington Humane Society, told the Washington Post that the Louisiana shelters are full and will continue to “be inundated with animals that were homeless.”
That’s why his group and the Washington Animal Rescue League packed up a group of dogs that already at shelters before the floods hit to relocate them to the Washington, D.C., area over the weekend.
But on the way, the vans they were traveling in broke down in South Carolina, the Post reported. The animals wound up in Roanoke, Va., with an animal rescue group called Angels of Assisi.
The Roanoke Times reported that some of the 38 new arrivals from Louisiana already have foster homes, but others need forever homes. After vet checks, they were put up for adoption on Tuesday.
“They’ll all get adopted,” shelter director Lisa O’Neill told the Times.