My latest trip to New Orleans was truly the saddest one yet for me.  Nearly five months after Hurricane Katrina wreaked her havoc, entire sections of the city still lie in complete ruin.  Entire neighbourhoods still do not have running water or electricity, and enormous heaps of garbage and trashed vehicles still block and litter many city streets. 

The Cruelty Has Begun

 

And, despite what some local officials proclaim, thousands of dogs and cats are still attempting to exist on their own in these devastated abandoned neighbourhoods.  And very sadly, most of these animals no longer trust mankind at all. 

But who can blame them?  First they were left behind in the storm to fend for themselves, and now, they are starving and being hunted down and shot and poisoned by vicious human beings who have decided that they are just another nuisance to be disposed of, like the tons of trash still heaped on these city streets.

MaxA sweet black and white cat named Max was recently found with an arrow protruding through his chest, and despite emergency veterinary surgery, little Max died a few days ago.  Numerous dogs have been shot by guns, and truly sick individuals are now placing bowls of antifreeze on the deserted streets to poison these starving and extremely de-hydrated animals.

As I cruised these dark eerie neighbourhoods at night, I saw hundreds of terrified dog and cat eyes forlornly staring back at me from abandoned buildings and homes.  As I cruised these areas in the daylight, I saw packs of starving dogs frantically running through backyards and abandoned homes desperately searching for food and sanctuary.  I also saw numerous emaciated, injured, sick, and pregnant cats forlornly huddled under cars and in blackened doorways and windows.

The only way that these animals can be rescued now is to live-trap them.  Once they are trapped, they are taken to a staging area in downtown New Orleans where they are immediately given medical care and shelter.  And hopefully, many of these untrusting animals can still be re-acclimated as pets and can soon find loving new homes.

Nearly five months after the storm, numerous kind-hearted compassionate animal rescue volunteers are still in New Orleans, still attempting to help these abandoned pets.  Many of them are now trapping these dogs and cats, and many of them are also making daily food and water drops to these devastated city neighbourhoods in our attempts to assist these truly desperate starving ‘left behind’ creatures.

We will never be able to rescue them all, but we continue to try, one animal at a time.  And although their plight truly sickens us, each and every successful rescue makes each and every rescuer feel just a tad better.

We have rescued thousands of truly sweet docile ‘left behind’ dogs and cats over the course of the last five months who will now get a second chance at life – a chance that each and every one of them truly deserves – from each and every one of us.

And the largest animal rescue effort ever launched in the United States sadly continues – one ‘left behind’ pet at a time.

Thousands of them are now being cared for at animal shelters and humane societies all across America.  Perhaps you could find it in your heart to adopt just one of them – to make room – for just one more.

©2006, Ed Kostro

 


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