Animal Shelters Nationwide Flew and Drove Rescue Pets Out of Louisiana Ahead of Hurricane Ida
Helen Woodward Animal Center
Louisiana is still assessing the damage left behind by Hurricane Ida after the natural disaster made landfall in the state as a Category 4 storm on Sunday afternoon, but many of the state's shelter pets missed the hurricane thanks to animal lovers across the country.
After Hurricane Ida rapidly gained strength ahead of Sunday's landfall, animal shelters and rescues across the country sprang into action to protect Louisiana's adoptable pets, transporting the animals in the state's shelters to facilities outside the storm's path. These efforts served rescue animals in two ways: transporting shelter pets out of Louisana ensured those animals were safe during the storm and still able to find homes, and it made room in the shelters for animals injured or separated from their owners during Hurricane Ida.
For more on Hurricane Ida and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.
Among the shelters that stepped up to assist Louisiana shelter pets is Helen Woodward Animal Center. The California-based animal rescue took in 40 orphan cats and 25 orphan dogs from a Saturday emergency transport flight planned by Greater Good Charities in less than 24 hours.
Helen Woodward Animal Center
"Greater Good Charities reached out to us yesterday, hoping we could help," Helen Woodward Animal Center's adoption services director, Hella Tyler, said in a statement on Saturday. "This is one of those moments when animal rescue really becomes a life-saving mission. Without a place to put these dogs and cats, many of these orphan pets would face a tragic end. We couldn't say no."
Helen Woodward is now looking for temporary foster families for the 65 Louisiana pets under their care. Once the pets are settled, vetted, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated, they will be adopted out. To learn more about fostering one of these rescue pets, log on to www.animalcenter.org/get-involved/volunteer/foster or call 858-756-4117 x375.
RELATED: Clear The Shelters Saves 167 Shelter Pets With Rescue Flight to Kick Off 2021 Adoption Campaign
Operation Kindness in Dallas is another rescue that raced to help shelter pets in Louisiana. The group drove a transport van to Louisana and safely filled it with young shelter pets waiting for families. In total, Operation Kindness took in 20 dogs and 31 cats, ranging in age from two months to 16 years, from their Louisana shelter partner, Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter.
All 51 of the adoptable pets reached Dallas safely and are now looking for homes in Texas. Those interested in adopting one of the recent transfers can apply through Operation Kindness at OperationKindness.org/adopt. Those not able to adopt a pet can still help by donating items off of Operation Kindness's wish list to the rescue.
Operation Kindness and Helen Woodward Animal Center are just two of the dozens of U.S. shelters that helped protect Louisiana's shelter pets from Hurricane Ida.