Location, location, location. If you’re a dog living in the Gulf Coast area, you may once again be fighting for your life after Hurricane Katrina and now the BP oil spill. Although we’re not seeing dogs covered in oil like the sea life and birds, they are nonetheless suffering a real threat to their lives and well-being due to the economic effects of the spill.
Five years ago Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf and left an estimated 600,000 pets dead or homeless as 80% of New Orleans flooded. Thousands of animals were rescued and shipped out to shelters across the country like our local Tri County Humane Society, which accepted 150 dogs and cats. The Boca Raton shelter was bulging at the seams but Director Jeannette Christos says, “We just could not turn away the animals and all eventually found new homes here in south Florida.”
Now, the St. Bernard Parish animal shelter that had barely recovered from Katrina is taking in pets in record numbers due to the ‘trickle down’ theory of disaster economics. What has become America’s worst environmental disaster ever is shutting down tens of thousands of jobs in the region.
The animals’ families can no longer afford to care for them and relinquishment numbers are quadrupled at some shelters. Many of the pets are large dogs that were brought in to protect their owners after Katrina as they put their lives back together, and larger dogs statistically face tougher odds of adoption in shelters.
The Humane Society of the United States has donated over 12 tons of food to be distributed to the parish to help families feed their pets in hopes they will be able to keep them.
Donations to the St. Bernard Parish shelter are greatly needed, and although animal shelters everywhere (and certainly those here in south Florida) need your support, if you find yourself yearning to help the animals of the Gulf, you can donate online to save their lives.
Other ways to help are to donate hair (click here to learn more), foster (learn more about fostering), volunteer, and share this information as well as adopting animals from the Gulf area. Many of them can be found on this page of petfinder.com.
Thousands of dogs from the area of the spill are expected to become homeless through no fault of their own. Open your heart and your home if you can, and adopt. See the slideshow and video below and remember to support and adopt from the many shelters and rescue groups in our own area:
Tri County Humane Society
Humane Society of Broward County
West Palm Beach Animal Care and Control
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League
Big Dog Ranch Rescue
Dachshund Rescue South Florida
Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue
Friends of Greyhounds Rescue
ADOPT, SPAY / NEUTER, TAG / MICROCHIP, AND LOVE YOUR DOGS FOR LIFE!
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Don’t forget to check out cakechow.com’s Spring Fling adoption drive!