Hurricane Katrina

Evacuation For Horses And Cows, Need Fosters

Hopeful Haven Equine Rescue Organization
Debra A. Barlow, 318-286-3116
HHERO President & Animal Cruelty Investigator
12193 Providence Rd  /  Shreveport, LA 71129

8/18/07  ~  From my home base, I can set up the same program as before [during Katrina/Rita evacuations] for large animal caregivers to evacuate with their animals to a prearranged foster site where you can care for your own animals on the property until after the danger at your home site has passed and you can return.

Need Volunteer Foster Homes!
For hurricane evacuee families and their grazing animals (horses, cows). If you can foster, email Debra Barlow ( information below, so you are listed as a foster.

  1. Name, Address, Phone Number
  2. How many animals you can board.
  3. How many families can seek refuge with you.
  4. How much land you have.
  5. If you're willing to let animals graze on your land until danger has passed.
  6. If you have room for evacuee trailers/campers on your property.
  7. If you have a spare bedroom for evacuees.

Large Animal Caregivers Only
If you have no animals and are not known to me personally from the last hitch I did on this, you will have to go to a shelter. Those needing to evacuate, give me this weekend to get fosters lined up in case of the emergency evacuation, and I will connect you with your fostering family so you can make the arrangements with them. During Katrina and Rita, we did a great job with our resources and the wonderful elves who worked from home. Lauren, Margo, Connie, Linda, and others: Please stand ready to help with supplies. We were able to fund 52 ranches for 6 months. Foster homes, email me immediately to help our friends in need! I will try to match you with what best fits your situation. Let's make this no large animals left behind.
During Katrina and Rita cows were stranded atop levees, crowded on small dry spots, even found in trees 324x558
Toll On Horses, Cows
During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, swift floodwaters (especially in southeast Louisiana) swept over farms and ranches, stranding cows atop levees and crowded on to small dry spots. Some cows were even found in trees. When water receded, saltwater soaked pastures left grazing animals without food. Damaged hay piled up across fields. Animals needed fresh hay and grain to stay alive. Some were rescued.

PETS 911, Capt. Ron, 1-800-U.S.Stray
Humane Law Enforcement-Florida

[In terms of actual numbers] the best I got from the Association and some farmers:
  • Approx. 5000 cows died in one day.
  • Approx. 1000 horses died [in one day].
  • 4000-6000 cows died from poison fields, starvation, and flood issues.
  • Over 2000 more horses [up to the end of the year] died for the same reasons.

Hurricane Dean Update

8/17/07 Dean Strengthens To 125 MPH Winds, The Hurricane Center  ~  It's now a Category 3, with one death reported. Dean slammed into the Islands of Martinique and St. Lucia with winds over 100mph. We expect serious damage. Dean is to travel Westward into the Gulf of Mexico. Our concern for Florida, plus Louisiana and Mississippi, is Dean's direction after that. In 2005, Hurricane Wilma also entered the Gulf and swerved right into Florida. Wilma's strength, gathered in the Gulf, was the highest ever recorded for a hurricane. Hurricane Dean progression map, at Category 3 stage 434x220 South Florida (Miami-Dade)  ~  There are two pet-friendly shelters in Miami-Dade for people in evacuation zones or unsafe structures (such as mobile homes). Families must stay with their pets in the shelters. People are urged to pre-register their pets. with several hundred already pre-registered. Applications, information and requirements are available at:

Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale)  ~  There is only one pet-friendly shelter in Broward County, administered by the Broward Humane Society. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.

Palm Beach County  ~  Palm Beach County also has a Pet-friendly shelter with about the same requirements as the others.

For Rescue Groups  ~  The Alliance now has 3 trailers of dog food, donated by Pedigree, warehoused in Broward County. There is no charge for registered nonprofits but there is a warehouse and handling fee of approx $100 per pallet. All of the food we had in Biloxi MS is gone but we expect more.

Source  ~  Capt. Ron, Humane Law Enforcement-Florida
Disaster Response Teams and Computerized Lost/Found Records, 1-800-U.S.Stray

Hurricane Dean Prep For Companion Animals

8/16/07 Muttshack Animal Rescue, Amanda St. John  ~  Join MuttShack's team for disaster evacuation. Volunteers, donations and supplies are needed. We lobbied, and with the help of Senator "Clo" Fontenot, won the right to evacuate pets. But the hardest part is now up to us: To respond when a hurricane threatens the State of Louisiana, and evacuate animals alongside their guardians. There is still a lot of work to be done. MuttShack needs pre-storm funding for supplies and equipment to be ready. We need sponsors, but most of all, we need trained qualified and brave volunteers to participate in the evacuation of pets from every Parish in the State of Louisiana to make sure each dog, cat, bird, small animal and critter gets out safely with their family. They need flights, training and supplies.

8/16/07 Bloomberg  ~  Dean, the Atlantic season's first hurricane, formed east of the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles, while in the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Erin approached Texas. Dean was 485 miles east of Barbados at 5 a.m. Miami time, and heading west at 24 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The system's sustained winds strengthened to 75 mph, taking it past the 74 mph threshold for a hurricane. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

MINE, The Movie

"SXSW and SF Doc Fest Audience Award winner MINE tells the poignant and powerful story of animals left behind during Katrina, and of the struggles of hurricane victims to reunite with their beloved pets. A meditation on the essential bond between humans and animals, MINE is an equally compelling story about human nature and the power of compassion.

MINE was honored as the 2010 Independent Lens Audience Award winner. The New York Times hails MINE as 'smart and affecting.'"

Update: Katrina Cat With Kidney Failure Needs Special Care

8/9/07, Rescue Cat Needs Special Home For 5 Months, Ryan S Ballard  ~  This is Galaxy's human, Ryan. Please let everyone know that I have found a place for Galaxy to stay while we are away. A wonderful lady in Denver will be looking after him. She has experience with Feline Kidney Disease, giving subcutaneous injections, and will take good care of him. Thanks for all your concern and help in solving this dilemma. Ryan S Ballard, home: 719-634-8287, cell: 504-301-8201

Original Alert 8/5/07, Jeanette Althans  ~  Galaxy was rescued from Lakeview in New Orleans, Feb 2006. His caregiver Ryan Ballard was located, and several weeks later Ryan brought Galaxy back to his new home in Colorado. Galaxy now has kidney failure (possibly due to toxin exposure after Katrina) and needs daily medication. Ryan will be out of the country for 5 months from August 10, and needs someone to care for Galaxy. Ryan will fly Galaxy anywhere in the continental United States. Galaxy is a very sweet, laid back cat.
Galaxy, a Katrina cat survivor from Lakeview, needs a special home 475x275
Two time survivor Sassy needs your help now 527x279

Update: Sassy's Miracle

Twice-Over Katrina Survivor Finally Finds Forever Love
8/11/07, Pamela Leverett  ~  Sassy arrived in Easley, South Carolina after nearly a week on a transport van (the driver had multiple vehicle malfunctions, and a one-day trip lasted six days). After spending a few days at our vet's office, she went to live with one of the founders of our local rescue group. She's doing great!

Original Alert: Sassy's Miracle
7/30/07, Ramona Billot, PCAT (Plaquemines Cat Action Team)  ~  Sassy, a Katrina survivor twice over, goes out on a transport today to South Carolina, to a new home! Thanks SO much to everyone who responded and offered assistance. It is a great feeling to know Sassy will never have to scavenge for food and shelter again and that she will be warm and dry for the rest of her life!
Katrina cat survivors now face desertion 527x252

Update: Katrina Cat Survivors Face Desertion

8/16/07, Plaquemines Cat Action Team, Ramona Billot  ~  The office of administration has been flooded with phone calls about the cat colony facing starvation when feeders were banned from state agency grounds in Belle Chasse. The agency is requesting a meeting with Jeff Dorson and I. They've stated we'll have immediate access to the property. Please hold further calls until we meet with them to determine if we can agree on the welfare of the cats. Thanks again to all who called to protest!

8/16/07 Humane Society Of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson  ~  Phone calls and lobbying to change public policies can work. We expect to meet with officials today. The proposal to continue food/water at cat feeding stations has been approved.

8/16/07 Citizens With Developmental Disabilities, Cheryl Knight  ~  Hello Mr. Dorson… I will inform Security that tonight, Ms. Ramona Billot will be on grounds to feed the cats. Please meet me at 8:00am at the F. Edward Hebert campus. I will leave your name with Security. If you have problems with directions, etc., telephone Araka at 504-361-6322, and she will be able to reach me. Thank you, Cheryl

Original Action Alert
Life Or Death For Belle Chasse Cats. Act Today.
Where: Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish
What: As of yesterday, a colony of 30+ cats fed daily for the last ten years will get no food or water — due to a state agency prohibiting their care.

Contact Today
  • Dr. Cheryl Knight, Citizens With Developmental Disabilities: 504-361-6314,

    Sample Message: "I am calling to protest the inhumane treatment of cats on your property. As a taxpayer and defender of animals, I oppose actions taken that will cause death by starvation to cats fed on this property for the last decade. I will call and write until this decision is reversed."

  • Dept of Health and Human Services, oversees CDD: 225-342-9500,

    Sample Message: Ask for Dr. Fredrick Cerise, DHH Secretary. State that you "protest the actions of the Belle Chasse office for failure to properly care for feral cats on their property."

8/16/07 Colony Of Cats Face Starvation, Ramona Billot  ~  These cats are located at a state-owned facility in Belle Chasse, Plaquemines Parish, where I was contacted by the caregiver, an employee. This employee has fed the cats for the last decade.

I've been helping her trap, spay/neuter cats, and remove adoptable kittens. Employees at this facility are moving to new offices, about 20 minutes away from this property. Upon entering the property to feed cats before going to the new office, the caregiver was threatened with disciplinary action if "caught feeding non-humans."

I've been able to get on the grounds each evening for the last week, until I was escorted off the property yesterday, and told I no longer had permission to be there. So cats fed daily for the last ten years will get no food or water. Time is of the essence. Cats are don't understand why we are not there.
A 13 year old St Bernard Parish tabby survived for two years by eating from a food water station 303x320
ARNO Tail Of Hope
A 13-year old St. Bernard Parish tabby survived for two years by eating from a food/water station. The cat's guardians were located out of town and couldn't believe their cat was alive. The man had waited on his roof with his cat and dog, refusing rescue until someone took them all. But the cat escaped on dry land while the man awaited his next evacuation transport. The cat was found in the same place, still waiting. They've been reunited!

Chloe's Unbelievably Amazing Reunion

8/10/07 Forwarded by Liz Dubuis  ~  Here is a reunion story worth sharing in light of the two-year Katrina anniversary. This one involves both the old (feeding program success) and new ARNO. Chloe was still wearing a collar and 13 years old! Incredible. If only cats could talk and tell her journey for the past two years. Enjoy! Liz

The Nola Board  ~  The cat was fed by an ARNO f/w volunteer in a mostly abandoned area of Chalmette. She was just trapped [June] in a TNR effort and found to be wearing a collar and tag thus the search was on for her guardian. SBPAC was closed when she was trapped, although we spoke to Tina that night and Chloe was brought to ARNO so Kristy and I could search for her guardians. She has only been at ARNO since she was trapped in June. Until that time she was on the street.

This morning [Wed, Aug 8] Chloe the cat was reunited with her people Jean and Sam at ARNO's shelter. Chloe, aka Pinky, was found in Chalmette wearing a pink collar and 2005 SBPAC license. We had no luck following usual channels to find her guardians. Our thoughts were that she either was not from the area or her caregivers were very elderly and not in a position to look for her.

Thanks to Kristy, ARNO f/w, TNR and re-uniter superwoman, Chloe is now home. Kristy refused to give up and and put one last all out effort by purchasing an ad in the St. Bernard News. It worked. A friend of Jean's, who is still in SBP saw the ad and recognized Chloe right away. Jean called and provided the missing identifiers that we purposely left out. Their story fits very well with how Chloe ended up where she did.

Sam stayed for Katrina, with Chloe and their dog. When floods began he opened the door and Chloe fled. Sam and their dog wound up on the roof and Chloe was in a nearby tree. Chloe swam from the tree to join Sam and their dog on the roof!

Sam refused official rescue when they wouldn't take the animals. A neighbor rescued him and the animals by boat. But they did not have a carrier for Chloe. When they got to Chalmette High School (across the street from where Chloe was eventually found) Chloe could not be found in the boat.

The man with the boat went back out to rescue more people and Chloe was never located. We now believe that Chloe hid in the boat somewhere until the man stopped for the night at Chalmette High and then she left the boat. Jean and Sam went to SBPAC and they even had Chloe's tag number (it was in sequence with their dogs) but they were told all that information had been lost. It is amazing that Chloe made it back home to Jean and Sam who have loved her all these years. Chloe is 13 this year!

It is because of Kristy's dedication, knowing Chloe had a family somewhere. Without the ad in SB News, Jean and Sam never would have found us and thus Chloe. Everyone, persevere when you find an animal whom you know was loved. Miracles happen.
*Kinship Circle does not use the language of slavery to depict nonhuman animals. Owner, owned, it… are replaced with guardian, him/her, caregiven… or other words that don't define animals as things and property.