"The number of displaced Katrina pets being brought in to our rescue center has dropped from up to 40 a day in late December to as few as five a day now, so we will be able to end trapping efforts within a week," said Michael Mountain, president of Best Friends Animal Society. "And even though large areas are still devastated, the people of New Orleans are reclaiming their city more and more each day."
This weekend, February 11th and 12th, Best Friends is holding a Pet Adoption Festival at Celebration Station in adjacent Metairie, one of the Best Friends rescue centers. And the following weekend, on Feb. 19, Best Friends will showcase several Katrina dogs in the famous New Orleans "Barkus" parade, a Mardi Gras parade dedicated to dogs.
After on-the-ground operations have ended, Best Friends will continue to support local animal welfare groups in their own rescue, spay/neuter, and adoption programs. When Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast on August 29th, it launched humane groups into the most massive animal rescue effort ever. Best Friends rescued about 4,000 of the estimated 16,000 animals rescued by the combined efforts of humane groups across the country.
All animals rescued in New Orleans are first taken to the Louisiana SPCA for triage where photos are taken and uploaded and vaccinations given before heading to the Best Friends rescue center at Celebration Station, where animals are held for 5 days before going up for adoption.