Friday 3 September 2021

Shelter animals transported out from the path of Hurricane Ida

America has a wonderful system of transporting shelter animals away from disaster zones so that those shelters are freed up for animals caught up in the disaster and the resident animals are moved out of harm's way. This works so successfully because of the wonderful volunteers who carry out the work with passion and commitment and because there are efficient air services which carry out this work. 

Shelter animals transported away from the path of Hurricane Ida
Shelter animals transported away from the path of Hurricane Ida. Photo:

America is a large country and therefore a lot of the time transporting shelter animals out of the path of a hurricane means putting them on an aircraft and flying them hundreds of miles.

In this instance, Hurricane Ida was classified in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Sunday afternoon. Before it hit landfall animal shelters and rescues has made preparations by transporting their animals to areas outside of the storm's path.

One shelter which stepped into the fray and did their bit is Helen Woodward Animal Shelter based in California. They took in 40 cats and 25 dogs from a transport flight planned by the well-known charity Greater Good Charities, in less than 24 hours.

Their website tells me that they have three arms to their charitable work: empowering people, safeguarding animals and preserving nature. As for safeguarding animals they say that they transport at risk pets to safety among other services.

The charity contacted Helen Woodward Animal Center asking for help. The adoption services director of Helen Woodward Animal Center said that it was one of those moments when animal rescue becomes a life-saving mission. She said "without a place to put these dogs and cats, many of these orphan pets would face a tragic end. We couldn't say no."

They are now looking for temporary foster care for the 65 Louisiana cats and dogs in their care. This is the way shelters deal with spillover numbers. When they have too many cats and dogs, they can go to their volunteers who live in the area who willingly provide foster care services to rescue animals. It greatly extends the scope of a shelter. Foster carers provide essential work.

Another shelter which stepped up to the plate is Operation Kindness based in Dallas. They took the ground route and drove a transport vehicle to Louisiana, filled it with young shelter animals and took them out of the path of the storm. They took, in all, 20 dogs and 31 cats in the age range two months to 16 years from Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter.

These lucky 51 companion animals are now looking for homes in Texas. Applicants can apply through their website at

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Many other organisations worked together to help protect Louisiana's shelter animals from this devastating storm. It is a good example once again of how animal rescuers can work together so effectively to save lives.

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