NEW ORLEANS, Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) — This is written as those of us in New Orleans are ‘experiencing’ the second anniversary… a visit from our President, appearing both in our area and on the Mississippi gulf coast, and senators, and mayors, and chaplains, and memorial services to the 1,800 who were officially counted as victims of the storm two years ago. Monday, August 29 was the storm but it took through Tuesday, August 30, 2005 to wreak the havoc and destruction that has never before been seen in this country. Over 650 square miles reduced to flooded rubble… three weeks later with the water pumped out it turned to a sludge-filled wasteland. You have all heard the stories, recovery is slow… but is there really a comparable to judge the speed of which we recover/rebuild from a disaster of this magnitude?
With much gratitude…
ARNO has so many people to thank for the aid you have brought, either financially or physically volunteering at our shelter or for food/water stations. You, the volunteers, have kept us all as resilient as we must be to continue our work rescuing animals left homeless on the street. I beg you to continue to support us… we need you more than ever now. Yes, we are all very tired…but we continue. Our strength comes from each and every animal that we reunite or place in a new loving home.
Recognition is also due humane organizations and rescue groups all over the country who continue to work with ARNO to help us place our pets homes throughout our nation. Also note that some local organizations have been there by our side to offer us moral support if nothing else.
There is too little space here to thank the local volunteers, those who are able to give us their time, who have become what we like to call the ARNO “A” Team. I do not risk naming them for fear I would leave someone out. They have given up every bit of their free time to help the animals in our shelter cleaning cages, giving meds, reading fecals, and the list goes on.
Our hats are off to our out-of-town volunteers who continue to come, thank God, and supplement the local volunteer force… we still need them and depend on their ‘fire’ to light the way for us to continue.
Special gratitude goes to Stealth and KART volunteers who continue to help us find the original caretakers who cannot believe their pets are alive… you have never seen a more heartwarming event than a reunion with a pet with his/her previous caretaker. It is our adrenalin for the soul!
The victims continue…
There are so many people who have ‘found’ ARNO and need our help. People left indigent since Katrina who need medical care for their pet, or even just maintenance care like deworming, heartworm and flea preventative. We help all who come to us because our aim is to keep these pets from being surrendered to a shelter. Most of these people only have their pets, they become their one beacon of light in a life surrounded by disappointment, frustration and despair at the state of their lives and our city. Of course there are the animals still on the street… eating at our food/water stations, though stations have been consolidated and eliminated as we engage residents to help feed/trap. There are thousands who still need us, hundreds of dogs on our list that we track in order to trap successfully… as soon as there is an empty kennel our trappers are out getting someone in that we have fed and tracked. ARNO trains locals to humanely trap and in exchange for their trapping labor we spay/neuter, inoculate and treat the animals they bring in at no cost. The ferals are sterilized, treated and released… the kittens are kept, rehabilitated if feral, and new homes are found. The friendly adults of 2yrs.-plus are put on a search list for their owners, younger adults are treated and made ready for a new home. Precious babies, all of them.
Please don’t forget us…
ARNO needs your help more than ever… donations and volunteers are needed badly. In July we broke the 3200 mark of pets (from 3/06 thru 7/07) treated in our shelter… spay/neutered, heartworm treated, treated for parasites, upper respiratory diseases, urinary tract infections… all to get them to a healthy status to find them a new home. Last month we incurred over $50,000 in veterinary bills because of the large number of animals we serviced. ARNO is committed to continue, can you commit to help us? Please click on our PayPal link at the top right. No donation is too small, please help us continue and let us know that you still care about the work we are doing.
A retrospective video…
Laura Bergerol, a Stealth and ARNO volunteer, has prepared a video for Katrina’s second anniversary to show ARNO volunteers, at work immediately after Katrina and now, as well as some wonderful reunion shots. It has been made not only to show the work we are still doing in the gulf coast, but to commemorate ALL the volunteers who gave so much of their lives to help our area’s animals. Photo contributions are from Laura Bergerol, Nancy Cleveland, Pam Leavy and Lise McComiskey.
Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) is a volunteer organization created and dedicated to the rescue and aid of abandoned and homeless animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi, including responding to the immediate needs of those animals in need of medical care, or who have been neglected, abused and deprived of love. ARNO promotes the foster, adoption, and reunion of pets with caretakers, as well as spaying/neutering of all companion animals. ARNO is an all-volunteer grassroots organization, under the sponsorship of the Humane Society of Louisiana’s nonprofit status until we receive our own nonprofit status. All donations are tax deductible to the extent the law allows.