At the request of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston, the American Humane Association (AHA) and numerous other groups dispatched emergency response teams to Louisiana in the days preceding hurricane Gustav’s landfall. The groups are working in tandem in 12-hour shits to conduct intake and escort pet owners to the dog and cat areas at the Louisiana Mega Shelter in Shreveport, La. The facility includes dog kennels, a cat area and an "exotics" section housing parrots, reptiles and homing pigeons and is equipped to handle as many as 3000 pets.
"Many lessons were learned since Hurricane Katrina, and pet owners have continually expressed their appreciation to our Shreveport shelter staff for the organized and efficient way they registered and kept track of hundreds of pets," said Dr. Becky Adcock, LSART’s deputy director. "The kindness and attention they’ve shown to each individual animal has calmed the nerves and lifted evacuees’ spirits during a very difficult and anxious period."
The ASPCA deployed a team of 10 disaster response experts on Friday, August 29, including a veterinarian, veterinary technicians, disaster responders and sheltering professionals. "We’ve seen everything from puppies, kittens, dogs and cats to rabbits, hamsters, birds, snakes and other reptiles," said Sandy Monterose, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Community Outreach who is on site in Shreveport. "Our team is working 24/7 with other agencies to assure the pets belonging to evacuees are cared for."