small bites gulf coast animal news 900x700

Small Bites

News named Small Bites as reminder to donate small-bite food (or cat food) for animals.

LA Pet Evac Bill Passes Legislature
Cathy Wells  ~  Louisiana's Pet Evacuation Bill passed out of the House Appropriations Committee and progressed through the rest of the legislative process. Rep. Steve Scalise wrote to Shannon Moore's mother, Jennie Adams: "I appreciate your passion to pass this piece of legislation and agree that it will be very important to have a pet evacuation plan in place. That is why I agreed to co-author this bill." While the bill has now cleared Louisiana's Senate and House, Governor Blanco must sign it before it becomes law. We will let you know when the signing ceremony is announced. We all know that if it was not for the email alerts, letters, and phone calls, the bill would not have had the success it does. I know Shannon is smiling. Cathy Wells, Senator Fontenot's aide who drafted SB-607

St. Mary Humane Needs Volunteers
Susan Meyer  ~  St. Mary Animal Shelter in Franklin County, LA desperately needs volunteers to care for dogs. Contact their president directly or me (Susan Meyer) for more information.

St. Mary Parish Animal Shelter, 337-828-4646
10905 Hwy 182 Building B
Franklin, LA 70538
Liz, St. Mary's Humane Society President:, 337-578-0037
Donations: St. Mary Humane Society  /  P.O. Box 452  /  Franklin, LA 70538

Man's Animals Won't Go To Streets
6/17/06 ARNO, Leanne G.  ~  Many saw the notice about an Algiers man desperate to get rid of his animals. He has 11 cats (6 are Katrina rescues) and a Katrina Akita. The Akita was only a few months old at hurricane time. If he couldn't find a home for them he would release them to the streets, believing they'd have a better chance there than at an Animal Control facility. I spoke with this man yesterday. Akita rescue took the Akita and I think Lynn Cheech (Spaymart) along with ARNO is taking care of the cats.

Catahoula Dogs, Both Rita Survivors, Need Home
6/17/06, Reply To: LeAnne  ~  Since Rita (the forgotten hurricane) slammed Sulphur, the [guardians] of these two little girls, Lucy and Sassy, have been overwhelmed and no longer have time or room for them. The dogs live in a kennel day in and day out. [Guardians] have tried to place them with no luck. Lucy and Sassy are sisters rescued from Calcasieu Parish Animal Control, a high-kill facility, as puppies. They ought to remain together since they've been a pair since birth. Please help me find these babies a new forever home.

Homes For Dying Louisiana Woman's Animals

Pam Leavy and Lilla Whitehead  ~  We are trying to help a terminally ill lady find homes for her beloved pets in Port Allen, Louisiana. Cancer has ravaged the woman's body and she's given months, possibly days, to live. She lives alone and her pets are her world. She is frantic with worry about what will happen to them once she is gone.

I'm afraid her pets will end up at the high-kill, inhumane West Baton Rouge Animal Control. She does not have family willing to take the animals, nor do they even like animals. She is desperate. There are 5 dogs and 6 cats, all up-to-date on vaccinations and spay/neutered, except one male dog, However, he will be neutered prior to placement. All dogs, except the Chihuahua mix, have lived as mostly outside pets, and all but two of the dogs get along with cats.

I'm arranging foster (probably me) for the Chihuahua mix, an older, indoor lap dog, until adoption via Capital Area Animal Welfare Society (CAAWS). CAAWS can take more dogs, and maybe cats, if we get more acceptable foster homes (must foster till adoption because we have no space at our shelter). Must keep bonded cats Miss Goldie and Greyline together.

Locals Willing To Foster For CAAWS, Contact:
Capital Area Animal Welfare Society
6357 Quinn Dr  /  Baton Rouge, LA 70817, 225-752-5801

Individuals, Shelters, Rescues That Can Help, Contact:
Pam Leavy,
or Ethelyn, 225-328-5872

Below are photos of all except Tiffany and Cookie, two camera shy cats. Tiffany is a 5-year-old, gray/white, declawed female. Cookie is a 6-year-old, declawed, short-hair tortie.
A terminally ill Louisiana woman seeks homes for her dogs and cats 600x396

Hoarding Cases, Shelter Fire

Eric Rice, Erics Dog Blog  ~  I've stepped in to help three urgent situations that overlapped within one week. I've been developing a plan to launch a group geared toward small shelters in hoarding and puppy mill cases. These shelters are overrun when animals are seized in large-scale cases. Imagine 50 dogs one day and 150 the next, all of whom need vaccines, exams…

6/16/06, Two Hoarding Cases + Mason County Shelter With Over 200 Dogs After Shelter Burned Down  ~  Support aid for three critical cases totaling 350 dogs and 100 cats.
    Donate via Pay Pal:
    Or donate by credit card at:
    Donate by check made to: VVSA
    Write: "West Virginia" on your check.
    VVSA, PO Box 100
    Bridgewater, VT 05034

    Email Sue the amount sent so she can plan transports:
    Sue Skaskiw, VT Volunteer Services for Animals Humane Society, 802-672-5302, cell: 802-952-8181

See Erics Dog Blog for photos and full details. We are working on the Roane County hoarding case first. Any size donation appreciated. We are starting with less than $1000. We may never save all 350 dogs but we can try. Anyone who has time to help phone shelters and the press and/or write a press release, please email me:

Rabbits In Crisis, Los Angeles

6/16/06, Bettina R.  ~  Brenda, can you add this to Kinship Circle alerts? Though not mentioned, if these rabbits don't get adopted this could hurt all programs for bunnies at L.A. shelters.

To Help, Contact: Dina Takouris: 818-506-4516  ~  Blame it on Easter impulse purchases or simply the amazing reproductive capabilities of rabbits, but the bunny situation in several city shelters is in dire straits. All six Los Angeles city shelters are severely overcrowded, but the worst crises are at the East Valley and North Central Shelters. East Valley recently took in 60 rabbits confiscated in a cruelty case involving a Toluca Lake business owner. North Central is housing more than 60 rabbits. A lot of love, care, and money has gone into spay/neuter for all rabbits in the six L.A. City Shelters, but now they are at risk for euthanasia. Please help spread the word about this sad situation by sending this message to other animal-friendly folks.

You can also contact or visit any of the shelters about adding a bunny (or two!) to your home:
East Valley Shelter: 818-756-9323
South LA Shelter: 213-485-0117
West Valley Shelter: 818-756-9325
North Central Shelter: 213-847-2440
West LA Shelter: 310-207-3156
Harbor Shelter: 888-452-7381 x 143

Liz Finch, Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Road  /  Kanab, Utah 84741
435-644-2001 ext 322,

Louisiana Disasters: More Restrictions

Best Friends Network, By Claire Davis  ~  When disaster next strikes the animals of Louisiana the state will require all rescuers be certified in advance and out-state veterinarians will be denied access. These decisions were announced at a meeting between a small group of dedicated rescuers and Dr. Renee Poirrier, DVM, head of Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association's State Animal Response Team (SART).

The group gathered in a plush downtown hotel to discuss how to get pets and their people out of danger the next time a hurricane strikes. Poirrier's main focus was to urge local shelters and rescues, as well as national groups, to develop memorandums of understanding with Louisiana parishes.

A pre-approved disaster plan improves response, she said, noting that Noah's Wish had done just that in Slidell last year, and it worked out quite well. But Poirrier said the most important part of disaster preparedness is individual responsibility. First, "tell residents they must have [their own evacuation] plan."

Though state shelter plans, including pet shelters, are underway, she won't publicly announce these plans for fear they'll encourage people to rely on the state rather than pre-plan to stay with relatives, friends, or pet-friendly hotels. State shelters are a last resort for those most in need, Poirrier said. She estimated some 7,000 people will need government aid, among them: evacuees who are disabled or without transport.

Russ Mead, a Best Friends Animal Society attorney, challenged Poirrier on that figure (suggesting it is too low) and also took issue with several other elements of her presentation. Mead asked if out-state veterinarians will be permitted to practice in Louisiana during the next emergency. Poirrier's response was quick and to the point: "Out-of-state vets will never be allowed in again," she said, citing laws that require practicing veterinarians have a Louisiana license. "The board's charge is to see that the people of Louisiana are well-served by their veterinarians."

Mead debated the wisdom of that decision, noting that in the days and weeks after Katrina, Best Friends could have offered $10,000 a week and still wouldn't have found any in-state veterinarians able to help the group. Several audience members seconded Mead's comments: "How many more thousands of animals would have died if (outside groups and vets) hadn't been let in?" one woman asked.

Poirrier said the only solution was for veterinarians to get a Louisiana license in advance, a proposal Mead deemed impractical for organizations like Best Friends that operate in many states. Audience members voiced similar dissatisfaction when Poirrier said a new process requires all animal rescuers be certified with the state before allowed entry into a disaster zone. Volunteers who are not state-certified will be asked to leave (stand down).

Required training includes completion of FEMA courses/exams: ICS-100 and 200 courses, plus NIMS-700 and 800 courses. Amanda St. John, of MuttShack Animal Rescue, told the audience that courses are readily available online. "You need to just go ahead and do it," Poirrier said. "It's not going to kill you."

Mead questioned Poirrier on whether someone who'd taken only two FEMA courses, but had 20 years field experience, would be allowed to rescue. "They will throw you out," was her response. At one point, the crowd gave Best Friends a small ovation, with several in the audience describing the group's aid as invaluable. That outburst followed Mead's assertion that "I can build a temporary shelter in 48 hours." Poirrier then said the state would gladly pair with Best Friends on shelters beyond the I-10 safety ring in Lafayette and Shreveport.

In the end, Poirrier urged groups to quickly develop memos of understanding with local parishes. It's the most logical step in better preparedness, she said. "I wish I had all the answers, but I don't."
Phoenix, one of the Avondale pit bulls rescued from a cruel life in chains, is sick 300x455

Phoenix, An Avondale Pit, Is Very Sick

6/2006, Mary Thompson  ~  Phoenix, one of the dogs mentioned in Fighting for their Lives: Unchaining the Avondale Pits is very sick. Please help us cover medical treatment for Phoenix.

Donate To Phoenix Medical Aid
Southern Animal Foundation
Atn: Anne Bell, Phoenix Fund
1823 Magazine Street  /  New Orleans, LA 70130

Get Avondale Pits Tee! Proceeds For Medical Aid, Transport
View/Buy: Tees, tanks and more.
Front: Phoenix chained. Fighting For Their Lives, Unchaining Avondale Pits
Back: Brenda Shoss of Kinship Circle donated use of her poem With My Eyes.

Story Behind The Pits
Two rescuers happened upon two dogs in Avondale, LA in late Feb while working with Villalobos staff on a reunion. The dogs were on short, heavy, padlocked chains without food, water or shelter. Phoenix, a golden pit, was severely emaciated and his skin rubbed raw. Spice, a white/gray/black dog, had so little range he could not reach the shabby doghouse beside him. After months of trying, three dogs (the third, Mama, later gave birth to five pups) were removed on 5/18/06. The [guardian] signed a release for two and a euthanasia request for the other. On 5/20, he requested animals back. Elena at JPAS got this case on a docket with Judge Messina. Animals were placed on hold until after the hearing. No animal has been euthanized. The case dragged through September, at which time criminal proceedings began. In the end, sick Phoenix recovered at Southern Animal Foundation, along with Mama and her pups. Villalobos Rescue Center took in dogs in California. All were eventually re-homed, forever free from chains.
Calico cat Samantha, a beloved family member from a flood damaged New Orleans home, is lost in the system 300x224

Lost In System: Samantha

  • Breed: Medium-Hair Calico
  • Gender: Female  /  Age: Adult
  • Lost ID: No info provided

Description: My name is Samantha and I am a beloved family member. My home, formerly on Timoleon Street in New Orleans, was damaged by high flood waters. My elderly [guardian] had to be evacuated without me. I was taken from my water-damaged home and sheltered temporarily at Best Friends Animal Society's site in Tylertown, MS. I was then shipped to Wild Animal Orphanage in San Antonio, TX. I have since vanished. My [guardian] has tirelessly tried to find me, but to no avail. Sadly, a Wild Animal Orphanage domestic cat caretaker told my [guardian] in Jan 2006 that I was feral and taken to a wild cat center. My [guardian] and a Best Friends reunification volunteer tried very hard to find me, but with no luck. I want to go home.

Contact: Kinship Circle received this alert with no contact information. If you have tips on Samantha contact Best Friends, the group that sheltered Samantha and has tried to find her.
Brenda Shoss cuddles a happily rescued dog at ARNO 300x300

Recent Heartworm Treatment Modifications

Kim Johnson  ~  Whether you currently treat one of your dogs for heartworm, or know others who do, please read and crosspost this promising information about recent improvements in heartworm treatment protocols for dogs. Recent research has led to the discovery of a parasite called Wolbachia that lives symbiotically inside heartworms. Studies indicate that this parasite contributes to the adverse effects of both heartworm infection and heartworm treatment, including inflammation, embolism and allergic reaction. Treatment with doxycycline for 30 days to kill the Wolbachia parasite weakens the heartworms and makes them unable to reproduce, and greatly reduces the chance of adverse reaction during heartworm treatment.

Any dog who has heartworms should be treated with doxycycline for 30 days. If the dog will be treated with Immiticide (fast-kill method), it(s best to treat with doxycycline prior to Immiticide use, as this should greatly reduce potential for embolism and allergic reaction to the death of the worms. If anyone has dogs currently in treatment with Immiticide, I would still give doxycycline, as even concurrent treatment may have some benefit. Dogs treated with monthly Heartguard (slow kill method) or any alternative remedy, should also get doxycycline as it weakens heartworms, prevents reproduction, and reduces adverse effects from infection itself and worms dying…

ARNO Prepares For 2006 Hurricane Season

Charlotte Bass-Lilly, Animal Rescue New Orleans  ~  Evacuation plans and an agreement with an out-state humane organization to house our shelter animals are underway at ARNO. LA-SPCA, designated to head people/pet evacuations, asked us to assist for the City of New Orleans. We'll move personal and shelter animals to safe ground and then help out, wherever needed citywide.

Evac Volunteers Needed For Pet/People Stations. Required Online Courses:
  • ICS 100 & 200 and NIMS 700, To introduce you to Incident Command Structure
  • Free online FEMA courses
  • It is anticipated that more required courses will be added in the next year.
  • Course completion results in a FEMA certificate. Please do online courses by end of June or mid-July, if possible, to participate in any 2006 pre- or post-disaster rescue in Louisiana.

Volunteer For Evacuation/Rescue
  • Send a short bio of what you do in "real" life + experience in animal care, disaster rescue.
  • Volunteers can be from Louisiana or any state.
  • Include your complete contact information.
  • Send your information to:
  • Type Disaster Volunteer as email subject.

Volunteer For Food/Water Program

Volunteer In Any Capacity
  • Send an email to
  • Tell us your contact information
  • When you can volunteer
  • Type Volunteer as email subject line.

More ARNO News/Needs
Donations are still critical for pet food. ARNO uses about one dry cat food pallet daily, at $250 per pallet. Wal-Mart cards are a way to donate pet food, with the best cost savings of local retailers.

We service food/water stations in over 40 sections of Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. Thanks to Alley Cat Allies' Feline Frenzy spay/neuter program, over 1100 cats were spay/neutered and inoculated in three weeks. Feline Frenzy covered street animals and colonies, with 100+ traps out nightly. ARNO also traps cats or dogs in danger from public complaints that can lead to abuse or sick/injured animals. Priority goes to those who need immediate medical care, including pregnant females. Recently we responded to a colony feeder who found two kittens dead at a food/water station. We trapped remaining kittens and cats in this area and requested a necropsy from LSU, assuming the dead kittens had been poisoned. But they had died of intestinal parasites. One more reason to get babies off the street before they succumb to something as treatable as parasites. ARNO currently has about 50 kittens (90% are treated for intestinal parasites), down from close to 100 two weeks ago. Kittens are adopted out once healthy.

State Of Animals After Katrina
ARNO forms relationships with humane organizations nationwide to selectively adopt from one to six dogs in our shelter or in foster care. A local conduit for our dogs temporarily closed in April due to self-imposed quarantine. That's made it tough to move dogs out of our shelter and refill from the street. Plus, most dogs rescued are heartworm positive and must be treated 30-60 days. These situations slow down dog trapping efforts. There is no Celebration Station to hold animals for us anymore. We've become the hold agency, until each animal has a clean bill of health. ARNO still traps emergency-situation dogs, but until the local sanctuary reopens at summer's end, it's difficult to move many dogs "in and out."

Groups that can assist with transports, please contact ARNO. It will take years for the greater New Orleans region to resume pre-storm animal control conditions. Transports are vital to recovery.

Our foster network has helped tremendously with animals ready for new, permanent homes – once a search for their [guardians] has been exhausted by "pet detectives" like Stealth and No Animal Left Behind. ARNO has also assisted medical care of Katrina surrenders from outlying shelters, where surrender rates are up 35-50% because displaced residents can't find housing that allows pets. ARNO has taken in many pets from residents without housing, some who actually live in vehicles. These pets go to permanent foster care (when available) to give original caregivers a chance to retrieve them when back on their feet. Human Katrina victims have not seen much improvement here since the hurricane. Anita from No Animal Left Behind promotes placing families still searching for animals with animals still separated from families. A great idea since both need comfort and love. Still, there are real reunions underway all the time.

ARNO has trapped/rescued and medically treated over 950 animals in the last three months. That's an average 10+ animals a day – all of whom could have died without ARNO and your support.

Volunteers Are ARNO's Lifeblood
While donations and funding buy food, pay vet bills, rent and utilities…it's the volunteers who fill food/water stations, care for shelter animals, socialize dogs, hand-feed kittens, clean cages, unload deliveries, wash towels, walk dogs, clean office and bathrooms, work on computer records, answer emails, retrieve phone messages… The list is endless and also undoable without volunteers.

High-school students and anyone with required community service hours: Come volunteer! Out-of-towners, your saving grace since Katrina made it possible to rescue 10,000+ over four months after Katrina. Come back for a long weekend, a week, or whatever you can manage. We also need residents who can assist regularly, 4-12 hours for: Food/water, animal care/kennel, computer/spreadsheet (Xcel). We need transporters to take animals to and from vet clinics, along with out-state transports.

Protect Whistleblowers In Louisiana, Take Action

Release Chimps, Project R&R, A NEAVS Campaign, Theo Capaldo  ~  The Louisiana State Legislature recently passed H.B. 311, a bill that will prevent the Louisiana Board of Ethics from prosecuting complaints from whistleblowers who speak out against animal welfare and employee safety violations if there is a pending civil lawsuit or complaint before a federal body. The bill provides a cushion for institutions like New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), which currently holds some 400 chimpanzees (the largest chimpanzee research facility in the country) and 6,000 monkeys. University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL)'s NIRC is the subject of a formal ethics charge for retaliating against a whistleblower who spoke out against ULL-NIRC alleging cruelty toward chimpanzees and monkeys.

~  See Who's There at New Iberia
~  Visit Release Chimps

What You Can Do
Contact Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and urge her to veto H.B. 311.

Office of the Governor
Attn: Constituent Services
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
866-366-1121, 225-342-0991, 225-342-7015
fax: 225-342-7099
email webform: Contact Governor Blanco

Sample Letter
Dear Honorable Kathleen Babineaux Blanco:

Please veto H.B. 311, a bill that will prevent the Louisiana Board of Ethics from prosecuting complaints from whistleblowers who speak out against animal welfare and employee safety violations if there is a pending civil lawsuit or complaint before a federal body. The bill would provide a cushion for institutions like the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), which currently holds some 400 chimpanzees (the largest chimpanzee research facility in the country) and 6,000 monkeys.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL)'s NIRC is presently the subject of a formal ethics charge for retaliating against a whistleblower who spoke out against ULL-NIRC alleging cruelty toward chimpanzees and monkeys. Please hold Louisiana's public institutions accountable to ethical standards established by the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics. Please veto H.B. 311.

Your full name
Your full address
Your county

The Animals Voice Magazine Is Back

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Veda Stram  ~  In case you hadn't heard let us be the first to tell you: We're baaacckk! The Animals Voice Magazine will be ready for distribution in early August. We are very excited and hope you are too. Published quarterly and in full-color, our new incarnation promises to be just as hard-hitting and effective in bringing about changes for animals as our original. We're back in print because we believe there is a place for a publication that speaks for all animals. We're back because we believe there is a need for a publication that speaks for all people acting on behalf of all animals. The Animals Voice is not merely a name for the publication. It is a declaration of our intent. Because we are independent of any specific organization, we have the privilege of being able to present images, essays, tactics, methodologies, investigative reports, etc. that reflect all actions taken on behalf of animals.

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For the good fight,
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