(5/1/06) by Charlotte Bass Lilly
Photos by Pete Petitfils, ARNO Volunteer Photographer
I always assume most who visit our website are familiar with ARNO. So many of you have already volunteered or serviced ARNO in some way, and so many of you dropped out of your lives to come and help animal rescue after Katrina. But in case you don’t know, I’ll give you just a little background on how we started and what we do.
Our grassroots animal welfare organization was founded the day after Lamar-Dixon in Gonzales closed. (Over 8,000 animals were rescued and brought to Lamar-Dixon…the initial expectation was that only about 400-800 would be alive to rescue.) ARNO continued rescue immediately, as these first responders for animals knew there was much work still to be done. Then came the daunting task of supplying food/water throughout the devastated areas to keep animals from starving and dehydrating, while the animals waited for trapping/rescue. Intelligence (data) gathered at each food/water station by the feeders proved to be a tremendous aid — and still is aiding — in many a reunion with the original pets’ guardians. All along ARNO supplied, through local veterinarians, any and all medical care needed to the rescued animals, including spay/neuter.
Today all our work continues plus more… ARNO is now setting up the largest foster network ever in the state of Louisiana, fostering for reunites as well as finding new homes for pets that are not claimed. Our foster network is soon to spread out of state, but that’s for a later story. Our rescue work still goes on, and each day is different… not a month ago we rescued three small, precious dogs from a home on the Jefferson Parish side of the 17th Street Canal levee break. The home was to be demolished the next day. Yes, these dogs were in the house since Katrina. That, too, is for another story…with a very happy ending. ARNO is all about the animals, so I thought that I should give you a little insight into just a few of the animals that ARNO currently has in our care, and maybe gain your assistance to continue their care.
This poor guy was injured and became a priority for us to trap to get him medical help as soon as possible. All you can see is what looks like a brushburn on the nose, but if you look closely at the right of the photo you can see the portion of his face under his ear that has been ‘chomped’ out of his face. We did not photograph him with his head turned, as it is not our habit to be too graphic in our presentation of pets. We want you to feel good about seeing what we do, but as you might imagine we see many sights that are not very good, by anyone’s standards. This little guy will take some extra work from our veterinarians, and will require us to keep him in our Kindness Ward for extended medical care. He will have to finish his course of meds and his wounds tended to daily, all to get him healthy and strong before he is released to a sanctuary. We are asking you to help us with his care by contributing toward his expenses, and help us get him back to his once healthy condition. To care for him at our shelter costs us about $10 a day, which includes medicines and transportation costs to and from a clinic for checkups and fresh bandages.
ARNO is searching for feral cat sanctuaries to place some of the area’s feral cats. Normally we would trap, neuter, and return (TNR) all ferals, but some of them are losing their home through no fault of their own. Many of the buildings in our city and the surrounding parishes must be demolished. While these devastated areas have our food/water stations present, the demolition will cause certain areas to become a vast wasteland, with no structures for the ferals to take safe refuge. This will make them easy target for roaming dogs and wildlife that will prey on them as they weaken. If you know of a feral cat sanctuary or feral barn anywhere in North America, please have them contact us for possible partnership.
Does this guy look familiar? Tripod is just one of the pets that we have at our shelter that we cannot adopt out or transport to another area because we know he was someone’s pet. He was rescued from Bancroft Street in New Orleans (Lakefront/Gentilly area) and has been at the LA/SPCA since November. He was never claimed, and they could not keep him any longer taking up valuable space that another dog could occupy. So ARNO took custody of Tripod to continue the search for his original caretaker. He is a wonderful dog, very loving and needs a foster home so he can wait a little longer for his owner. His human parents probably do not think he is even alive, or may not know where to look for him. Tripod was placed on PetHarbor by the LA/SPCA, but no bites resulted from the posting. Perhaps you may know his owner, or would consider fostering him so he can receive individual love and attention in a home setting. He is a great dog and someone must be missing him terribly. Please consider making a donation in his name to help us with his upkeep. If you are interested in fostering or temporarily adopting Tripod, please leave us a message at 504.571.1900.
This beautiful girl is Faith. She was trapped by Charles Lee, who is a resident of our city and a volunteer trapper for ARNO. It was obvious that Faith was not a vicious dog even in the trap. If you look at her picture those are not ‘spots’ in her coloring, but bite wounds that now have healed and scarred her skin and coat. This girl was obviously used as a fighter and suffered much in her past life, only to be lost when Katrina hit our area. She has healed up nicely, but we need assistance with her care and upkeep. ARNO is looking for a home or sanctuary for this marvelous, super intelligent dog. She is so sweet we use Faith to socialize puppies and dogs who are frightened when they first are rescued. She is extremely playful, and loves to hang out on top of her dog house so she won’t miss anything that is going on. With that said, an adopting home must be familiar with bully breeds and have prior experience with them. Since Faith is a rescue and we do not have a history of her behavior, it is not recommended that she go to a home with other small pets or children. Please donate to ARNO to help us with her upkeep, so we can keep her at our warehouse until we find the right sanctuary or home for Faith.
We would cherish you forever if you would volunteer for animal care at our warehouse/shelter in New Orleans (Elmwood section of Jefferson Parish). Many pets have to spend time here to complete their medical care. Volunteers at the shelter walk dogs, learn how to give meds, feed and water the pets, play with them showing them love and affection and clean cages. Not very glamorous as far as a job, but probably the most important volunteer job you could do. If you are interested in volunteering at the warehouse/shelter email us at email@example.com or leave a message on our hotline at 504.571.1900.
Pictured is one of our stellar volunteers, Lynn Jenkinson. Lynn helps us in the warehouse/shelter when she can schedule time around her new job working for the Council on Aging. Congratulations, Lynn, on your new position, though we really like your position in the photo the best!
Please be aware that ARNO needs a constant flow of volunteers to sustain our programs. We encourage you to volunteer for a weekend, a few days, a week or a month. Locals and out-of-towners make up our volunteer base, of which the out-of-town volunteers are needed more than ever. The condition of our area means many less people live here, and the residents that are here are trying very hard to rebuild their lives, their homes and their psyche. Most local resident volunteers can only give us a few hours a week at best. Consider coming to New Orleans and take part in what some volunteers are calling ‘a once-in-a-lifetime experience’…many have come two and three times to help us and say they cannot get the New Orleans area and the animals out of their minds and hearts. If you would like to volunteer for the food/water program, trapping, warehouse and office duties, or animal care, please contact us at 504.571.1900 and leave a message, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need your financial help more than ever… We know Katrina is no longer the first thing people are thinking about, much less worrying about. Basically, we know we are ‘old news.’ But please do not forget us. Our work to help these animals must continue… we are in it for the long haul and intend to make every effort to ensure that any animal that has been left homeless after this catastrophe is safe. Please consider making even a small contribution to ARNO today. Donate, volunteer, foster a pet that had no choice in losing their home, and/or foster a volunteer while they are in the New Orleans area. The animals need us. We cannot sustain our efforts without your support. You can donate online… very easy, really convenient and extremely secure. Please click on the Donate button at the top of our website.
Thank you for even considering helping ARNO, and please keep everyone here in your prayers.