Hurricane Katrina

Animal Rescue After Katrina

A.R.K. (Animal Rescue After Katrina) is a liaison between Kinship Circle and independent animal recovery efforts in the Greater New Orleans area. As a 501c3 nonprofit charity, Kinship Circle facilitates donations and news reports for these efforts. New Orleans animals scavenge for food and water. In semi-repopulated spots, residents are so financially strapped (in FEMA trailers outside destroyed homes) they can no longer care for animals. Some animals have been on the streets since Katrina. Key NOLA rescuers, evacuees themselves, have saved animals for nearly two years. They fund trap-neuter-release (TNR), medical, adopt/transport, rescue, food…
Never Walk Alone
Sep-Oct 2005
I Want To Live
Oct-Nov 2005
Somebody's Praying
Dec 2005
Troubled Waters  ~  Oct-Dec 2006
Still Forgotten  ~  Jul-Sep 2006

ARNO & Independents
Traci Kestler, 504-975-5971
P.O. Box 55284  /&nbsnbsp; Metairie, LA 70055-5284

Lakeview Cats Roaming
Kathy Sweeney
Jeanette Althans, 504-734-7771
333 Vinet Ave  /  Jefferson, LA 70121

Plaquemines Cat Action Team
Ramona Billot, 504-606-3116
102 A Omega  /  Belle Chase, LA 70037

Donate Via Kinship Circle
Kinship Circle, a 501c3 nonprofit charity, has arranged to accept donations on behalf of NOLA rescuers listed above.

Donate Online or Donate By Mail
Kinship Circle Disaster Aid Fund
7380 Kingsbury Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63130
State in enclosed note or check memo which NOLA rescuer your donation should go to.
A rescued kitten at ARNO peers out from behind Mardi Gras beads 239x585 dog pickup grafitti on home, syringe fed kitten 239by900

Animals Suffer Post-Katrina Blues

Dr. Chris Duke, Bienville Animal Medical Center
Ocean Springs, MS  /
4/2007,  ~  You won't find scientific data on this subject. It's simply a result of conversations with clients in my exam rooms. The topic is stress in the pets who endured Hurricane Katrina and the recovery period of their guardians since then. There is no doubt many have scars that parallel emotions of their human caregivers.

Dog Aggression Post-Katrina
Cases have surfaced in which dogs who never showed aggression toward people or other dogs began to display aggression post-hurricane. Frustration from enduring abnormal containment (or lack of) in the days following the storm resulted in behavioral changes for some dogs. Relocation to FEMA trailers, other residences, or even other states before returning home left permanent changes in these dogs. We have yet to see if time will soften these behavioral patterns once things normalize awhile.

Cats Post-Katrina
Cats are creatures of habit. They do not like change. I see that at my home, which remained mostly intact post-Katrina. However, home rebuilding or substantial remodeling can shake up the delicate psyche of a feline. Just imagine how radical complete relocation, or relocation followed by a homecoming, feels to a cat. Many showed behavioral changes post-Katrina. Depression due to loss of fellow companion animals (who perished in Katrina) has been a common thread. I have prescribed antidepressants for some of these pets, but more often I've allowed for a tincture of time.

The most surprising behavioral change linked to post-Katrina stress syndrome? Increased neuroses such as tail-chewing and acral lick dermatitis (lick granuloma complex, habitual licking of paws). Some of my clients attribute paw-licking to seawater-related infections after the storm, but I have not treated any nasty lingering infections. Thus, I conclude that the problem is emotional, not physical. We'll see if time literally heals these wounds. If you've seen post-Katrina changes in your animals, share them with me:

Noah's Wish No More?

3/26/07, Noah's Wish is in the midst of an ongoing civil investigation concerning funds received for Hurricane Katrina. The California Attorney General has stated that certain funds donated during this period, and its immediate aftermath, are restricted and may only be used for animal victims of Hurricane Katrina, rather than animal victims of other disasters or for general disaster preparedness. Noah's Wish has agreed not to use disputed funds pending final resolution of the investigation. With no access to disputed funds, Noah's Wish is unable to provide disaster preparedness services and volunteer training.

3/28/07  ~  Terri Crisp is no longer associated with Noah's Wish in any capacity. We wish her well in her future endeavors. Noah's Wish Board of Directors

ARNO: Registration Required For NOLA Feeders

All ARNO Feeders Must Register Before May 1  ~  To provide dry food on a regular basis ARNO is requiring registration of all feeders, trappers, and caregivers. ARNO has dry food scheduled to come in over the next few months, but in the past three months dry food stores that should have lasted months have disappeared in only weeks. Dry food costs money, either for food itself, transport to our area or both. Food hoarding by individual feeders cannot be allowed. It only deprives the next feeder of food critical to animals.

Why Register? Mandatory registration will let us calculate food allotments for each feeder, as well as monitor usage and schedule TNR efforts in area(s) you service. Some have already submitted information based on the notice posted at the feeder's logout clipboard. Make sure we have all your information, based on requirements below.

Substitute Feeders  ~  Each feeder, including substitute feeders, must have an ARNO ID to obtain available food. If stations are serviced by more than one person, each needs to register. Please state that you are a part-time substitute feeder and for whom. You are required to provide all information listed under requirements to be granted an ARNO ID that enables you to get food from ARNO's warehouse. If you supply food for cats or dogs of indigents (not public feeding), provide their names (if you know), addresses, and list them as a "citizen" rather than a "station" or "colony."

  1. Digital scan of your driver's license, email to If you cannot scan, go to a Kinkos type printer.

  2. Contact information: email address, cell phone, current address. If you don't have an email, send email address of someone who can receive and forward emailed information to you.

  3. Physical street addresses of stations or colonies where you feed. Sightings and comments are extremely helpful.

Deadline: Information/scans must be received by May 1. After April no ARNO IDs will be issued, except to substitute feeders or trappers selectively.

Email Your Information: In subject line: Feeder. Send all info in one email to Feeding stations may be listed or attached (Word or Excel).

Monitor Food Usage
ARNO supervisors have found that food/water stations are often over-filled. If more than a smidgen is left, you are over-filling. Each aluminum tin should contain 1.5 to 2 lbs. of dry food. A 20-lb. bag will minimally service 10 stations. (Dense foods like Nutro dry need half that amount.)
Wet food should only be used for humane trapping because of spoilage. We advise feeders to get a 16-oz container to measure food. Initially we will not be able to calculate all food allotments, but shortly all will have an allotment based on number of stations and animals sighted per each feeder. Supervisors will routinely spot-check food usage and resident return in order to consolidate stations and facilitate TNR.

Questions? Address all comments to only. Your questions will be answered in the order they are received as schedule allows.

FAQ Answers
  • If you emailed all required information, your name and initial allotment will be given to shelter staff so you receive food while awaiting your ARNO ID card. If we are missing any information you will not receive food.

  • An ARNO ID does not guarantee food. We purchase food based on funds available. Food is not our only expense. A roof over the food and the animals, as well as utilities, are among many operational costs. Donations do not always cover a constant supply of food. Careful management of food and feeding, along with TNR efforts, will better position ARNO to keep food on hand.

  • Your information is for ARNO's use only. In addition to stated reasons, collected data lets us address public health concerns, as well as aid ARNO trappers in TNR efforts.

State Police Raid Cockfight Arenas

Humane Society of Louisiana
Jeff Dorson

4/1/07  ~  The Associated Press reports that Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division agents raided two cockfighting arenas, arrested the owners and some participants, and charged them with money laundering, racketeering, illegal gambling, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

"It was a cockfighting casino," state police spokesperson Doug Pierrelee said about the recently raided Sunrise Game Club, located just south of Logansport. State police also raided Milk Dairy Game Club, in Tickfaw village in Tangipahoa Parish.

Humane Society of Louisiana urges LA residents and other concerned citizens to thank Colonel Henry L. Whitehorn for authorizing these raids and supervising Gaming Enforcement Division investigations. You may also wish to praise Lt. Colonel Dane Morgan, Major Genny May, Captain Joe Lentini, and Lt. Rhett Trahan for their roles in planning, organizing, and/or participating in investigations over the past year.

Colonel Henry L. Whitehorn
Louisiana State Police
P.O . Box 66614
Baton Rouge, LA 70896-6614

St. Bernard Shelter Fails Inspection

4/11/07 Update, Jeff Dorson, Humane Society Of Louisiana, 901-268-4432  ~  After conditions at St. Bernard shelter were covered extensively by local media, parish officials admitted they were aware of problems and were considering options to address them. In the meantime, Kathryn Destreza, lead investigator for the LA-SPCA, graciously provided personnel, guidance, and supplies to assist with shelter operations.

4/2/07 Animals, Workers Exposed To Unsanitary And Unsafe Conditions  ~  Acting on tips from visitors to St. Bernard Animal Shelter in Chalmette, Humane Society of Louisiana representatives inspected the facility and found numerous violations. "It appears that virtually nothing has been done to improve this shelter after it was damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," says Jeff Dorson, executive director for the group and its primary shelter inspector.

"Apparently the parish accepted a substantial amount of funds donated by national humane organizations immediately after the 2005 hurricane season, but has not used those funds for their intended purposes," adds Dorson.

American SPCA, based out of New York City, and Humane Society of the United States, which is not affiliated with Humane Society of Louisiana, donated $70,000 directly to the parish and another $100,000 to a nonprofit group that worked closely with the shelter prior to Katrina. "We made several attempts to review our findings with Mr. Chris Merkel, supervisor of the St. Bernard shelter, but he refused to talk to us.

We also wanted to know what happened to funds given to this administration and why they were not used. These same national groups pledged to donate an additional $500,000 to build a new shelter for the parish. However, in light of these developments, these funds may be in jeopardy," says Dorson.

The Humane Society's report was sent to admin officials, with copies forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General. The report listed grave structural and operational problems, among them:

  • Shelter has no working electrical outlets. Extension cords are used to operate fans that cool building.
  • Dozens of ceiling panels are missing and wires are hanging down throughout the facility.
  • Drainage system is inadequate and backs up daily.
  • Two broken windows that allow rain to enter the building.
  • Shelter's three doors don't close or lock properly, posing safety issues for employees, visitors and animals.
  • Nursing cats and kittens are housed in a stainless steel container that has no electricity or running water and exposes animals to life-threatening temperatures.
  • No training or guidelines for new employees.

"The eyes of the nation continue to shine on St. Bernard Parish and its treatment of animals. Recently, a grand jury indicted two sheriff's deputies charged with shooting peoples' pets during Katrina. A civil lawsuit has also been filed in federal court, alleging the same actions," concludes Dorson.

Lone Louisiana: End Chicken Fighting

Kinship Circle  ~  With cockfighting outlawed in New Mexico, followed by passage of a federal bill that makes the bloodsport a felony, Louisiana is the last state to allow fatal fights between two drugged birds with razor-sharp gaffs strapped to their feet.

4/13/07,  ~  Chicken Fighting (I won't refer to this garbage as "cockfighting," a term that glorifies it) is still legal in backward Louisiana where I live. Despite an overwhelming majority of Louisiana residents who want it outlawed, powerful rural legislators want to continue fighting chickens.

1) Support Sen. Lentini's Proposed Cockfighting Ban
Senator Arthur J. "Art" Lentini
P.O. Box 94183  /  Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Senator Arthur J. "Art" Lentini, District 10, leads the effort to ban chicken fighting in Louisiana. He has consistently sponsored bills to outlaw animal abuse and chicken fighting. He is an ardent supporter of humane treatment for animals. Support Senator Lentini's efforts by thanking him and urging him to continue on behalf of Louisianans and the nationwide majority.

2) Ask LA House Speaker Joe Salter To Hear The Bill
Rep. Joe Salter online contact
State Capitol Building, P.O. Box 94062
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9062
225-342-7263, 800-259-4135, fax: 225-342-8336

Urge Louisiana House Speaker Joe Salter to move Sen. Lentini's bill into the House Judiciary Committee so it does not die in Agriculture Committee. Gov. Blanco supports a chicken fighting ban. One proposed bill has a "phase out" period of 3 years, which is a transparent attempt by the chicken-fighting lobby to diffuse the spotlight and let them repeal this bill over the next 3 years. It's LA politics at its worst. We must back Sen. Lentini's bill, which makes it illegal to engage in chicken fighting or be a spectator at matches. These bills typically wallow in the the Agriculture Committee, and when killed, committee members celebrate with order-in fried chicken as a statement of contempt for "them animal freaks." In fact, this bill should be heard before the House Judiciary Committee, which handles matters of crime and punishment.

3) Tell The Bad Guys How You Feel
House Agricultural Committee
Rep. Troy Hebert
PO Box 32  /  Jeanerette, LA 70544
337-276-6564, fax: 337-276-5497,

Sen. Donald Cravins Jr.
707 N. Main Street  /  Opelousas, LA 70570

Bad Guys Behind Chicken Fighting  ~  For two years, all House Agricultural Committee members voted to retain chicken fighting. Rep. Troy Hebert and Sen. Donald Cravins Jr. are long time public advocates who say their children attend the bloodsport with them. Send them letters, faxes and emails with your opinion of the violence, torture, and death behind all chicken fighting.

California Spay/Neuter Law

California Healthy Pets  /  Judie Mancuso or Rich McLellan

4/12/07,  ~  You do not need to be a California resident to support this proposed law. Dog and cat overpopulation comes from lack of spay/neuter. Unless we stop reproduction, our efforts are no different from scooping water out of a sinking ship. Some rescuers oppose this bill because it is not "perfect." While breeders are exempt at the state level, local jurisdictions can include them in ordinances. For this very reason, breeders are pouring energy and power into blocking this effort.

4/13/07, Fax Sacramento Committee Members  ~  State that you "support AB 1634 California Healthy Pets Act." Sign the letter and include your mailing address with zip code and phone number. This bill makes it mandatory to spay/neuter pets, which will impact outrageous overpopulation in Los Angeles. So far, 80-90% of comments are against passage! Bill Supporters: Fax every committee member right now, to convince legislators to pass the bill. For some reason only faxes count, not emails and phone calls.

Send Faxes To:
Chairman Mike Eng: 916-319-2149
Shirley Horton: 916-319-2178
Karen Bass: 916-319-2147
Wilmer Amina Carter: 916-319-2162
Vice-Chair Bill Emmerson: 916-319-2163
Mary Hayashi: 916-319-2118
Edward Hernandez: 916-319-2157
Shirley Horton: 916-319-2178
Bill Maze: 916-319-2134
Curren Price Jr: 916-319-2151
Alberto Torrico: 916-319-2120
Lloyd Levine: 818-902-0764

Seriously Happy Endings!

Kinship Circle Katrina animal transport 661x614
All NOLA Cats Adopted!
In 2007, Kinship Circle loaded 15 cats into the back of an SUV for a long haul from New Orleans to St. Louis. Baby Noah, a Katrina castoff from Plaquemines Parish, came home with director Brenda Shoss (and is happily sprawled across Brenda's keyboard.)

Other kitties went to foster with Felines Forever, run by Nancy Lupia. All have since been adopted. One pregnant kitty, Rita, gave birth on 3/16/07, so Nancy had even more cats to place. But she found good homes for all.

On a funny note, the cats left NOLA securely crated. Under a canopy of blankets, they hunkered down for car naps. All but the kittens. During the drive we heard: Crash, bang, boom from the only crate that moved. At trip's end, all cats were in clean crates.

Then we got to the kiddens: Upside down bowls, confetti newspaper, blankets gnawed… With huge eyes, they looked up as if to say, "What? You got a problem with this?" They slept exactly once during the drive. We whispered: "Shhh. The kids are finally asleep. Don't wake them." Photos (c) Kinship Circle, New Orleans. Cat transport, Katrina 2005-2008
60 Kitties To Arizona
3/24/07, Robin at ARNO  ~  This transport was made possible by Jeanette Althans, Kathy Sweeney, Linda Graf and Karen O'Toole in AZ. Thank you ladies! And thanks to all volunteers who responded: Aleta, who made carriers as comfortable as possible. Dion and Tom, our drivers. Jackie, Melinda, Lisa Dimarco, Leigh Schmitt and Anastasia, the good mommy! Lise Mc, who lost about 5 pounds walking ARNO dogs, plus all who sent good thoughts and help. Hugs, Robin
Sammie Resettles In St. Louis Too
Sammie is among the cats Kinship Circle transported from New Orleans for out-state adoption.

3/31/07, Sammie's new mom Jill Carles  ~  Sammie is great, such a sweetie. He greets me daily at the door when I come in. He is quite social. At night, if not in bed with me already, I just call him and he comes in. He is a real joy and great company when my son is not here. The other day I gave him some wet food he didn't like so much. I left it in the bowl thinking he would eventually eat it. Instead, I found that he had torn open a hole in his big food bag in the basement and was feeding himself. Ha! He showed me, huh? He loves playing with plastic soda caps too.

Sammie, a tri tabby white among cats Kinship Circle transported from NOLA for adoption, resettles with his St Louis mom 293x518

Joyful Reunion In Lakeview
3/21/07, Kathy Sweeney  ~  This reunion results from efforts of three Lakeview feeders: Kathy Sweeney, Lisa DiMarco and Jeanette Althans. Shorty, a pretty gray/white tuxedo, escaped from his Lakeview home in Feb 2006. Kathy saw a posted flyer about Shorty and contacted Shorty's guardians, Dave and Eileen. She recorded them in the Lakeview Missing Cats spreadsheet, compiled by the Lakeview feeders.

This past week, Lisa trapped a gray/white tuxedo about 8-10 blocks from Shorty's home and brought him to ARNO for TNR. On Tuesday night, Kathy and Jeanette took photos of the trapped cats to forward to Remote Reunion volunteers. After looking at the gray/white tuxedo, Kathy remembered that Shorty was missing from the area where this cat was trapped. Wednesday morning Jeanette phoned Eileen about a cat who matched Shorty's description. Eileen thought his might be a sign from God. Shorty had been her husband's baby and her husband had passed away on Sunday. When Eileen met with Robin at ARNO, she saw that the trapped gray/white tuxedo was indeed Shorty! Eileen believes this is truly a miracle.