Search Our Site

Search form


Helping in the Hurricane: Suggestions for Direct Giving

September 05, 2005 | Take Action

Some of our supporters have asked what is to be done from a distance to help the animals (human and nonhuman) who are desperate and displaced in the wake of the gulf coast hurricane.

The local SPCA in New Orleans has had to shut down and move to temporary digs. They can use your help; give through a simple form here.

Fosters and volunteers are still needed; you can offer your assistance to Best Friends Animal Society which is offering daily news and reports, plus updates on how you can help the rescue effort at their web site.

Update, 19 Oct 2005: Best Friends is currently accepting on-site help, as well as disposable lasagne tins (4-5 gallon) for watering the thousands of animals currently living in the streets of New Orleans.

Contributions to the Humane Society of Louisiana can be made online at Their Federal Tax ID number is 58-1795272.

Helping the homeless people will be a big part of getting the nonhuman animals sorted out, so you may wish to send money to the American Friends Service Committee here, via the secure donation form. This group is recommended as it has a local office, which helps your money go quickly to those in need, without high overhead.

KellyUSA is providing babysitting for displaced people at a Texas church. Please write donations out to "Maranatha Bible Church" (with "The Good Samaritan Ministry" in the Memo section). The address is 7855 E. Loop 1604 N., Converse, TX 78109. Phone 210-821-LOVE (5683), Fax 210-826-1224, e-mail Money will go directly to helping these children.
[Note: Please be patient with e-mails. As the folks at Maranatha have been out and about helping all week, their email may have begun bouncing and you might get a failure notice. The street address is correct.]

A Final Note: The Importance of Giving Locally

A note of thanks to the national animal advocacy groups who are kindly asking that money be sent directly to local groups, and giving instructions to make it simple to do so. Other advocacy groups who are encourging people to donate locally are:

Alley Cat Allies
Allied Effort to Save Other Primates (AESOP Project)
International Primate Protection League
Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc.

We believe that large, national groups should do the same, and not divert funds away from local rescue efforts. There are national groups with extremely large ratios of overhead and fundraising versus actual program percentages (see If this is one of the biggest disasters in memory, then now's the time to put those bank accounts to use. In other words, time for large, national groups not to fundraise for hurricane expenses, but simply to donate rescue teams outright.

Thank you for your interest in helping others during this critical time,

From all of us at Friends of Animals.


THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER update from Best Friends sanctuary: Watch Out for Best Friends Imposters! Free-lance rescuers are hampering animal relief efforts. Best Friends recently discovered that people unaffiliated with our organization and not on our volunteer roster are entering the hurricane disaster area posing as members of our relief effort. Still others are encouraging them to get magnetic signs for their vehicles that explicitly say they are with Best Friends. With this ploy they are taking animals out of the disaster area – essentially stealing dogs and cats that could be someone’s pet. We ask you not to be persuaded by the hype. Entering New Orleans unofficially can only hurt the animal relief effort. If you would like to help, please visit our What You Can Do page. We will also continue to keep you up to date in Special Reports.

Important Update from Friends of Animals: Helping Hurricane-Displaced Means Donating Locally They've reached Tennessee. Last Friday, a homeless New Orleans family arrived at the Humane Society of Tennessee Valley, and left Cody. Cody was the first dog to arrive at the no-kill shelter since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast more than a week ago. But since Cody's arrival, two more dogs and a mother cat with a litter of kittens have also been left. These animals are undoubtedly just the beginning of the influx. "In a few days, as people hunt for jobs and permanent housing, they will need a place for their pets," said Vicky Crosetti, the Society's executive director. In the wake of reports that some evacuees have taken desperate steps, Crosetti is handing out business cards, hoping to save animals who would otherwise be lost. Like other local groups, Tennessee Valley gets no state or federal funding. "I have so many calls from people wanting to donate to the big nationals," says Crosetti. "I am asking every person to please consider donating locally." What's come in so far Pet stores and individuals have donated an abundance of food. The University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine is contributing shots required by law. Two local shelters are pooling their services with that of the Humane Society of Tennessee Valley. Future needs Money is needed to fuel cargo vans, cover personnel costs, purchase identification and microchip gear, and cover the veterinary clinic which will open this week. Of major concern are defending animals from leptospirosis, a disease carried by rat urine, and giardia, a major concern for animals in flood water. Friends of Animals pledged $2,000 to the Humane Society of Tennessee Valley. Please support our efforts. Kindly donate directly to: The Humane Society of Tennessee Valley P.O. Box 9479 Knoxville, TN 37940 Telephone: 865-573-9675 Internet:

From the Coalition for Animal Concerns (OHIO): A truck and trailer will be leaving OH on 18 SEP to deliver to the St. Francis Animal Sanctuary at the Obed Magee Rd. location. I will also be able to take some animals for foster care in OH.

Joyce Hillard from Arkansans for Animals is co-ordinating efforts in New Orleans now. They have been there since last Friday. They are working with the National Guard and the police to rescue animals from the area. Fosters are being set up in Arkansas for the animals. They have rescued 100 dogs and several horses. They are plucking animals from the water and from rooftops.The National Guard and local officers are assisting them. They are in desperate need of another trailer and monetary donations. The group, which adheres to no-kill standards, is going through money at the rate of thousands of dollars a week. Friends of Animals has pledged to cover about a week's expenses. Can you help them even more? Note they are registered as 501(c)3 tax-exempt. Here is the information: Arkansans for Animals 6674 Grant County Rd 9 Sheridan, Arkansas 72150 870-942-3465 Joyce Hillard (contact person) [Sent by Don Elroy; recommendation approved by Friends of Animals]

From Best Local vet racing time to save pets in St. Bernard Parish September 13, 2005 : On the first Friday after Hurricane Katrina hit, Dr. Eric White, DVM, was one of the first people into devastated it. Bernard Parish, taking a small group of people in to rescue elderly friends from the floodwaters. It was then that the veterinarian saw first hand the plight of animals in the region, and decided he had to help them. ... Over the past few days, White has rescued approximately one hundred animals from St. Bernard, including dogs, cats, several birds, a pet turtle, a duck, and a squirrel. White has treated the animals and transported them to temporary housing at the New Iberia Humane Society, where he is a board member. But White realized that he couldn?t save enough animals by making the five-hour round trip to New Iberia every day, so he is setting up temporary housing for animals in St. Bernard, where they can be safe and receive food and water until transports are available to move them. Officials found a large barn in St. Bernard Parish that was dry, where White is setting up dog runs and other temporary shelter for animals rescued from the area. From there, he hopes to transport them out of the parish within a few days, and if he can?t immediately find their owners, place them in foster homes until the owners can be located. ...Since the area is still in lockdown, few animal rescue groups have been allowed into St. Bernard Parish, where pets are in a desperate struggle for survival. (Best Friends is one of the few groups conducting rescues there ? see our reports on the Best Friends Activities page.) Dr. White has only been allowed into the area because of important connections he made that first Friday, when he went into the parish to rescue people. Since then he has been going in with a small group of two or three volunteers, reaching the animals by land and with his fishing boat, and transporting them out of the area using his pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer with sides, on which he secures crate after crate of cats and dogs, tying the crates down with a cargo net. ...White expects to return from St. Bernard with more animals Tuesday, but he hopes that the temporary shelter in the parish will help him to save more animals than he is able to transport each day. The shelter will be available 24 hours a day, so rescuers can leave animals there when they find them. ...White has largely funded his effort out of his own pocket, although he is now receiving some help from the website, which has labeled him "a hero" and is taking donations for him through its PayPal account. In addition to monetary donations, White is looking for dry dog food and water. Down the line, he is going to need volunteers to help care for the animals and provide them with foster homes until their owners are located. He also emphasizes the need for people to adopt the pets who were in shelters before Katrina hit, so those shelters can be used to house pets who are refugees from the hurricane. Donations to White's effort can be made through, or by calling the office of his veterinary practice, the Acadian Pet Spa in New Iberia, at (337) 560-0003, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST Monday-Friday, and until noon on Saturday. White may also be reached through email at

hats off to kit, who is giving her efforts in coordinating the camp in tylertown, miss. i spent a week with her and her group of volunteers. i personally helped steve and his management of ellis island for the refugee animals. what ya'll are doing down there is the work of saints. all of you are saints in my eyes. what i saw in the inner city and jefferson and plaquemines was beyond disasterous. somehow i feel that we're not getting the help from the people with the means to really make a difference. yesterday i saw a news cast where some concerns were being raised about the animals left in the wake of the destruction. it was the first coverage i saw on the stranded animals. when i was in plaquemines, a ltc judkins offered me, representing the concerns and assesment of animals in the parish, a fly over of whatever we needed to see. he basically asked me what it was that the national guard could do for us. i explained to him that in each parish, we had too many animals, and not enough staging areas to hold, evaluate, and eventually reunite these animals with there owners. parish president benny suggested that we speak with the local vet. dr. phidroux, which we did, and to check out his facility. he has a very spacious area behind his building. there are a number of baseball fields behind his place. if the national guard, or home depo, would donate the fencing and tarps, i believe a couple hundred animals could be staged there. i did not ask this of him though. it was not my place to suggest that we bring animals from one parish to another. i myself intend to come back down to assist with the hands on retrieval of animals from the devestated areas. two weeks, maybe longer. i've been in the worst of it, so there will be no surpises. i'm coming with my boat again, and i also understand the importance of picture taking and extensive information on each animal we retrieve. address, attitude, direction heading, animals hanging together, etc... i worked side by side with some of the boat crews, and i intend to regroup with them again upon my arrival. i also understand the need for labor in maintaining tylertown, as well as staging areas for the animals. i'd like to rescue for a week or so, then come in and offer my services 16 hours a day for a week or so. kit, sherry, steve, and rob should be able to verify my efforts. my volunteer number is 43 and i registered on 9/15. i'll come down fully geared. full body waders, latex, leather arm wraps, eye protection, filtered respirator, handling leads, capture netting, flat bottom boat with new motor and new batteries still-in-plastic, food and shelter for 6 people, sat phone, and enough local connections and out of state connections to assist in cattle and horse care for a large herd. hay and relocation transportation have also been offered through t.e.a.r.s. out of alabama (terra), and a local connection in plaquemines, lori wilson with rescue ranch. all contacts that i have named i have had direct contact with, either by personal introduction, or by lengthy conversation. my list is quite extensive. i am only interested in working with no kill facilities. any animals retrieved from the zone by myself or my assistants will be documented extensively, and are guarunteed to be returned to a proper holding area within the parishes, or to a facility suggested by best friends. see you at the check in booth in tylertown my email is overnix45439@people

I was wondering if you caught Lou Dobbs' news piece about the animals left behind that were shot to death...allegedly by police officers. It was a good wake up call to how crooked the so called Mississippi's finest are. We will never ever leave our pets behind just for that reason...I don't care who gives the order to evacuate, my wife and I will not desert our pets.


Update, 19 Oct 2005: Best Friends is currently accepting on-site help, as well as disposable lasagna tins (4-5 gallon) for watering the thousands of animals currently living in the streets of New Orleans. Do visit their site (see comments above) for more information. I also would like to know what food and supplies are needed at this time. I have spoken to alot of people who will donate food for the animals but not money.If you could send me info on who and where it will go to I would be honored to help. And maybe donate a week or two of mine to help with what work is still needed to help. Thank you Laura Hoover [ Hello, Laura and Sharde: If your friends are concerned that the money will be diverted from the most directly affected animals, let them know that Best Friends and Humane Society of Louisiana still need help at St. Francis Sanctuary in Tylertown, MS -- with animals moved directly from New Orleans. (More information on these are in the original post and the first follow-up comment.) These and other small shelters which need to rebuild do need money -- which, of course, should go directly to them. Supplies are largely in place already. The offer of your time is most generous and we'd be thankful to hear about your experiences helping any of the groups listed in the above updates. ]

[Best Friends update follows.] Work continues at full pace at the Best Friends relief center outside of New Orleans, bringing in the daily rescues, placing animals in foster homes, and bringing families together with their lost pets. AT THE RESCUE CENTER: We're expecting to keep the rescue center at Tylertown open through the end of this year, since other major rescue organizations are now less active in the region. So, with fall arriving in the South, sun shades are coming off the dog compounds, and people and animal accommodations are being prepared for cooler weather. ... VOLUNTEERS: We've sent a separate e-mail to all of you who have offered to volunteer at the rescue center and have not yet had an opportunity. Now's the time! The animals will be needing additional help there, and we're also working with other rescue groups who also need all the help they can get. So let us know if you're able to come on down. (You can e-mail We need up to 50 volunteers there on any given day. It's best if you can plan to be there at least a week. We also have (and need) three volunteer veterinarians plus vet techs at any given time. Some of Best Friends' volunteer vets are being coordinated to provide assistance to the nearby Humane Society of Louisiana and also to Jefferson Parish animal control in town, with whom we work closely. Two recent volunteers whose story is on the website this week are Mike and Nick Candelori, veterans of the Trenton, N.J., Fire Department. "To me, it's been a life-changing experience," said Mike. "So many people here from all over the country." ... STATS: We've had more than 2,000 animals through the rescue center. Currently have about 450 on any given day. Reunions at the center so far: 112, plus more from our foster homes and groups around the country. SUPPLIES: Our warehouse in Jackson, Mississippi, has become something of a "shopping center" for the grassroots animal welfare groups. They call in and are invited to go get what they need. Donations of supplies are still coming in, and are much appreciated. OTHER RESCUE GROUPS: We continue to pick up animals every day from the rescue teams working with David Meyer and Jane Garrison. ... There are also many reports of animals surviving outdoors and hiding under houses. Many of these houses are due to be demolished, and so the work continues urgently to rescue these dogs and cats. There may be 1,200 of these pets. It takes some experience to catch them, and volunteers for this work need extra training, which Jane is offering, in use of traps. We're working with Jane to take these animals and transport them out to foster care. Other rescue groups still active include MuttShack and the Winn-Dixie team. (Winn-Dixie was damaged by high winds a few nights ago, but is back up and running.) Best Friends is providing pet food to the rescue groups who are still dropping off food and water in the New Orleans neighborhoods for abandoned pets or door-to-door rescues.


Add new comment