Saving New Orleans' pets

Rescue efforts for pets of evacuated New Orleanians are underway.

Published September 5, 2005 10:41PM (EDT)

Salon editorial fellow Aaron Kinney looks at the plight of the city's stranded animals.

One of the saddest sights in New Orleans is dogs left behind by their owners. Although dogs aren't the only abandoned animals, theyre the most visible: stuck in trees, swimming through polluted water and marooned on dry porches.

But efforts to rescue animals are finally in motion. Best Friends Animal Society began rescuing dogs and cats from the streets of New Orleans on Friday, and the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals planned a door-to-door effort beginning Saturday, according to USA Today. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States are just two of many organizations that are accepting donations to fund their relief plans in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The fate of New Orleans zoo and aquarium animals has been mixed. The aquarium lost 4,000 fish due to the loss of power, preventing oxygen from being pumped through the tanks. Zoo animals are in better shape, as the zoo updated its emergency plans after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, according to The Kansas City Star. Currently, the zoo's undermanned staff is striving to care for 1,400 animals with a limited amount of food and water. Still, some of the zoos birds have died and, in an ominous development, one of its alligators is missing.

By Aaron Kinney

Aaron Kinney is a writer in San Francisco. He has a blog.

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