Having just returned from NOLA, I can tell you that there is still a need for volunteers there. The situation has changed significantly since the rescue days of September and early October, but the need still exists.
The major animal organizations (HSUS, ASPCA, etc.) have pulled out, and the smaller 'official' rescue groups are being primarily staffed by grass roots volunteers. In my opinion, the success of pets rescued and reunited thus far has been because ordinary people felt the need to come help, and DID, despite not having training, money, or an invitation to do so. Certainly, this is the case now. Every volunteer I met was there because they felt compelled, not because anybody called them up and told them to go. And by doing so, we were all able to make a difference down there.
The situation is this: Many animals who either escaped from their homes or were set free are still running the streets. The companion dogs have started to run in packs with dogs who were stray before the flood. Cats who were pets are now wild and running scared. Getting them, RESCUING them, is just not as easy as it was. The effort now is focused on feeding and watering animals throughout the city, and now, trapping in certain areas that animals have grown accustomed to.
The problems are: There are still not enough volunteers down there to help feed, water and trap. Some days there are 10 people, some days there are 2. After all this, we're going to let the animals starve because the big rush is over? God, that pains me greatly. And now, the even greater issue is that Governor Blanco has blindly issued a "Stop Rescue" order for Louisiana. By her order, no out-of-state vets are allowed to come in to help this situation, and they have asked all people to STOP FEEDING AND WATERING ANIMALS. (Is this woman smoking crack?)
WE MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!!
We think we live in a civilized country and yet this elected politician makes a unilateral decision TO LET PETS DIE and has spurned offers from licensed animal doctors who would help save pets and help sterilize animals so that they are not producing an even greater animal population in New Orleans. After all we've been through to rescue people and animals, and to help the city get its feet back on the ground, they are ASKING for another problem? Brilliant.
So, if you are reading this....DO SOMETHING. Don't just sit there and feel bad. If you can get to New Orleans to help, GO! Try to get other people to go. Talk about it at work, at soccer games, at the gym. Make it known that there is still a problem. And WRITE TO THE GOVERNOR THAT HAS NO HEART, BLANCO.
If ill-informed, poor decisionmaking lawmakers such as Blanco continue to make bad decisions, it is up to the grass rooters to stand up and make a difference. We could picket her house and tell her what a moron she is for making such ridiculous decisions, but instead, let's just SAVE THE ANIMALS.
After being there TWICE now, I can tell you there is a need. I will blog about my trip soon, I promise....but for right now, I am begging every person reading this to STAND UP and MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Animals are dying now and you can help!
As David Meyer
has said...JUST SHOW UP. How many times in your life do you get to really make a difference?