Junior with EdToday is the Ninth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and I’m sitting here with my three Katrina Survivors – Junior, Tater, and Flower.  I hope to attend next year’s 10th Anniversary down in New Orleans with Tater, who once I’d rescued him, became my rescue partner, refusing to leave my truck, and helping me rescue so many other animals.

Some Katrina pics are enclosed, including one of the pet rescue camps I worked at.  And I just found one of my old ‘Pet Rescue Journals’ that I wrote on my first of four trips down there – thought some of you might like to read it.  At one point we had over 400 dogs and 300 cats here, just in this one pet rescue camp, and there were several of these camps down here on the Gulf:

“It’s 8 a.m. it's already sweltering, and the humidity is already brutal, at our pet rescue camp north of New Orleans. Today’s rescue teams have already left for the city, and the day's work here is already well under way.

Most of the rescued animals seem to be doing remarkably well, after the pure hell they’ve all been through in the last few weeks.

Almost all of the dogs here in our camp are in fenced in compounds now, where they can run and play together on the grass, or take a peaceful snooze in the shade.  We constantly keep their water bowls full – and we all constantly drink plenty of water ourselves in this brutal heat – it’s been over 100 degrees for about a week now. I drove a hundred miles yesterday to a Home Depot that was still open, and I bought every plastic swimming pool that that they had – the dogs here really love them.

The cats here are all indoors, and thankfully, we’ve finally got the air conditioning running again in their temporary home – these rescued felines were really suffering in this heat.

There are lots of dedicated volunteers here, from all over the country, and everyone is really working hard.

New animal arrivals settle in here at what we call ‘Ellis Island,’ a grassy area near the front of this extraordinary pet rescue compound in southern Mississippi.

Last night, 72 new rescued animals arrived, and some of them were truly traumatized, truly starving, and truly distraught.  But they are all quickly treated for their injuries, given IV fluids, fed, and comforted.

Over at the emergency MASH center, we finally have extra fans blowing to keep the dogs and cats in special care cool.

The volunteer veterinarians and vet techs here are preparing for the day's special treatments and emergency surgeries. They're a wonderful team – all volunteers working out of the goodness of their hearts, as are all of the 50 plus volunteers here in this compound – there are no slackers in this group.

New dog compounds are being constantly erected – every day the number of dogs here continues to swell. And new storage areas for the supplies that have been pouring in – everything from dog food to sunscreen – are quickly being built.

They say that the showers will also be done soon – haven’t had a shower in a week – and man, do we stink!

But despite the terrible heat and the immense exhaustion, and the lack of shower capability, the energy level here has remained extremely high. Much of that is due to the fact that there were several pet/human reunions here recently, and every reunion is joyously greeted by a loud peal on the cowbell, and loud exuberant cheers from everywhere and everyone.

These human/pet reunions are what we look forward to – and we hope that there will be more and more every single day.

The Red Cross showed up yesterday with a food truck and fed us – very nice to have a regular meal.

Tonight, the rescue teams will once again come back in – often it's not until 2 or 3 a.m. – and they will unload their precious cargo of new cats and dogs at Ellis Island, and the routine here will start once more.

By the time these new arrivals are cared for and put to bed, the Mississippi delta dawn will be rising once again.”

And I, and several others, will soon be back to see it – once again.  It’s the least we can do – for these forlorn ‘left behind’ creatures.

 

To see more of Ed’s accounts of his time helping rescue cats and dogs after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, check out the following:

A Knight in New Orleans

Katrina Pet Rescue Camp Journal Part 1

Katrina Pet Rescue Camp Journal Part 2

Katrina Pet Rescue Journal, Part 3

 

 

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