Louisiana SPCA Tropical Storm Harvey Updates
Animal rescue and local preparations
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana SPCA is continuing to make advance preparations for Tropical Storm Harvey to assist with animal rescue efforts locally, should the need arise, and to already affected areas.
- We are in contact with Houston SPCA and SPCA of Texas. We are encouraging the public to NOT donate tangible items. From our past experience with Hurricane Katrina, the immediate need for animal disaster assistance is monetary donations. This allows affected shelters to purchase the items they need without having to sort through and store thousands of donated items. Once the floodwaters recede and the groups are able to assess damages and needs, they will be able to better tell the public what tangible items they need. Please make monetary donations directly to Houston SPCA or SPCA of Texas.
- For owned animals, consider donating gift cards to places like Petco and PetSmart. This will allow pet parents to purchase the items they are in most need of.
- If you are an animal welfare professional and want to volunteer your skills to assist with the relief efforts, please visit our website and complete the online form. Volunteer information will be shared directly with Houston SPCA and SPCA of Texas so they can contact you if they require your assistance.
The Louisiana SPCA is in constant communication with the City of New Orleans and state representatives to ensure we are prepared to provide assistance should localized flooding occur. “Because we are not safely out of the danger zone yet, we are doing our best to reduce intake and move adoptable animals out of our facility,” says Louisiana SPCA CEO, Ana Zorrilla.
We are creating as much space possible at our facility should the need arise to take-in animals affected by flooding. We transported 30 adoptable cats and dogs to Atlanta Humane Society late Friday night. In addition, we are encouraging members of our community to adopt a shelter pet. The End of Summer Adoption Blowout is being extended through the week to help make space. The Adoption fee is reduced to $10 to cover the cost of the City’s rabies license. Adoptable animals can be viewed at www.la-spca.org/adoptables.
We received a delivery of 100 wire crates from the state to assist with setting up a temporary animal shelter should the need arise.
We will pick-up and house any pets owned by homeless individuals that enter a shelter during flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey. Current open shelters include New Orleans Mission, Salvation Army, Ozanam Inn and Covenant House.
Humane Law Enforcement is currently only responding to emergency calls. All other calls will be responded to once threats from Tropical Storm Harvey are gone. If you need to report an animal emergency call 504.368.5191 x 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet owners that reside in Orleans Parish and need the City’s assistance to evacuate, be sure to register by calling 311. Registering in advance is critical.
We are in contact with several Louisiana animal groups. Below are a few updates that we want to make the public aware of.
- St. Landry Animal Shelter – Despite media reports and social media chatter, the physical shelter has not flooded. There are outside kennels that were flooding from rainfall and those animals have been safely evacuated. The shelter is extremely full however and we are working to transport out as many animals as possible to so they can better assist with rescue efforts. At St. Landry Animal Shelter’s request, the Louisiana SPCA is assisting with coordinating and executing large scale transports. Currently, Greater Birmingham Humane Society has agreed to take in about 25 large dogs and we are working to secure other transports with Capital Area Humane Society in Ohio and Nashville Humane Society. The Louisiana SPCA is sending a team to complete health certifications for each animal so they can be transported out-of-state.
- Lake Charles – We have spoken with the animal shelter in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Animal Services & Adoption Center, and they are currently not in need of assistance. As the weather forecast changes for Tropical Storm Harvey, we will continue reassess their needs and assist.
We are urging pet owners to make sure they have made provisions for their pets in the event of localized flooding. Be sure to have the following items ready to go should you need to evacuate quickly:
- Food and water – Keep food in an airtight, waterproof container. Water should be in addition to the water you need for yourself and family.
- Medicine and medical records – Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container. All boarding facilities and veterinarian offices require proof of immunization before accepting animals.
- Collar with ID tags, harness or leash – Your pet should wear a collar with an up-to-date rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clear plastic bag or waterproof container. Talk to your veterinarian about permanent identification such as microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
- Crate or other pet carrier – Get a portable, secure and covered pet carrier in advance. The carrier should be large enough so your pet can completely turn around and lie down. Mark your name, address, phone number and alternate contact information on the carrier.
- Sanitation – Include pet litter, small litter box, newspaper, towels, plastic trash bags, poop bags and household chlorine bleach. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches or those with added cleaners. Use 16 drops of regular bleach per gallon of water.
For the most up-to-date information from the Louisiana SPCA be sure to visit our Facebook page.
The Louisiana SPCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promote, protect and advance the well-being of Louisiana’s companion animals. As the oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization in the state, the Louisiana SPCA provides care for over 43,000 homeless and companion animals annually. For more than 128 years, the Louisiana SPCA has been committed to serving the needs of the people and animals in the community and across the region as a 4-Star Charity Navigator rated nonprofit ranking in the top 1 percent nationally. For more information, call 504.368.5191 or visit www.la-spca.org.