Members of the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force’s (ACT) Disaster Response Team returned to their headquarters Monday evening with 37 dogs and puppies transported from Hurricane Ida-affected Southern Louisiana.
The Taskforce had been in southern Louisiana at the request of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to assist with animal rescue and recovery following the storm. Support was needed in the form of both supplies and manpower to ensure that as many animals as possible who may have been left behind during the owner’s evacuation, or who had been separated from their owner due to flooding or other hazards, were recovered.
“We were able to send 4 members of our team and bring several hundred pounds of Purina dog and cat food with us and deliver it to the Louisiana SPCA in New Orleans within 24 hours of their request,” says Ella Frank, ACT Assistant Director. “As soon as we saw what was coming with Hurricane Ida, we began preparations here in St. Louis to go to the affected area and help them with whatever they needed.”
During their 7-day deployment, the team operated out of the SPCA headquarters in New Orleans, but sent help and supplies to other parishes throughout the region, including some of hardest hit areas that could only be reached by boat. They also were able to answer calls for animal help and rescue from concerned citizens throughout New Orleans. They returned to HSMO’s St. Louis headquarters on Macklind with 37 dogs that will be looking for new homes soon. At least 7 of the recovered dogs are heartworm positive and will need expensive, extended care before they are adoptable, although some may be available to foster during their course of treatment.
“While its always heartbreaking to find a stray away from its home and with no identifying information, knowing that we can recover that animal and ensure that it will get the nutrition and medical attention it needs is very satisfying,” notes Frank. “Then closing that circle by seeing that animal go home with a new family who will give it the love it deserves is why we do this work.”
For more information on HSMO and ACT please visit hsmo.org/animalcrueltytaskforce.