louisiana spca laspca spca hurricane katrina disaster katrina animalrescue stories

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Follow Our Lead louisiana spca laspca spca hurricane katrina disaster

Request an interview

In addition to requesting an interview with the Louisiana SPCA, the individuals below have agreed to be contacted by members of local and national media regarding their animal rescue experiences during Hurricane Katrina. Please review the brief summaries provided below and contact Alicia Haefele at alicia@la-spca.org or 504.762.3322 with whom you'd like to connect with. 

Follow Our Lead

 

Viewpoint:

  

Reunion

Pets:

 

Tazz, Troubles and Creech

Owner:

 

David Webster

Location:

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Summary:

 

Webster was a volunteer for the Louisiana SPCA pre- Hurricane Katrina. He was rescued from his home in the Ninth Ward after Katrina and was forced to leave his dogs, Tazz and Troubles, and his cat, Creech, behind. After returning to New Orleans, David was reunited with all three of his pets at the Louisiana SPCA’s temporary facility at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana. 

Note:

 

Creech died in January 2014 at the age of 16.

 

 

 

Viewpoint:

 

Abandoned before Katrina

Dog:

 

Chaz

Owner:

 

Helen Hester

Location:

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Summary:

 

Helen became a volunteer post-Katrina and assisted with the animal rescue efforts after the storm, particularly the rehabilitation tent where animals that were traumatized by the storm were housed. Chaz was rescued in November 2005 after surviving for two months on the streets. When Chaz was found, he was emaciated, in a panicked state, scared of humans and heartworm positive. Helen worked with Chaz while he was in the rehabilitation tent and eventually adopted him six months later. Today, Chaz participates in Louisiana SPCA Show & Tail presentations at local schools and visits nursing homes as a member of the Visiting Pets Program. 

     

Viewpoint:

 

Abandoned before Katrina

Dog:

 

Little Bit

Owner:

 

Debbie Frederickson

Location:

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Summary:

 

Debbie had attended volunteer orientation but didn’t have a chance to volunteer before Katrina struck. She and her husband evacuated in advance of the storm and returned shortly after. Once home, they checked on the golf course that her husband used to run, Brechtel Golf Course. The National Guard had moved into the Clubhouse and started to care for a stray dog they found. The soldiers fed the dog MRE’s and camped out in the Clubhouse. When the soldiers finally departed, they built the dog a dog house on the side of the Clubhouse which provided much needed shelter during Hurricane Rita. Weeks later when Debbie and her family returned to the golf course they saw the dog again and brought him home. Now Little Bit has two furry siblings, is spoiled beyond belief but sadly still afraid of loud noises. 

Note:

 

Frederickson is only available for print stories.

     

Viewpoint:

 

Transport

Dog:

 

Beanie Weeny

Owner:

 

Meg Barclay and John Scholz

Location:

 

Camden, Maine

Summary:

 

Beanie Weeny was rescued by the Louisiana SPCA in November 2005. He was emaciated, heartworm positive and forced to survive on his own for more than two months after the storm until being rescued. He won the staff’s heart with his amazing personality, and was used to help socialize other dogs. He was transported to Maine by a volunteer named Callie Black in July 2006 and quickly adopted as Ripple. Ripple changed the way Meg Barclay and John Scholz viewed Pit Bulls and has since gone on to adopt another Pit Bull mix. 

     

Viewpoint:

 

Volunteer and Evacuation

Dog:

 

Trap Jack

Owner:

 

Dr. Emily Roberson

Location:

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

Summary:

 

Emily was a volunteer and foster parent for the Louisiana SPCA starting in 2001. She volunteered with evacuating the Louisiana SPCA shelter animals in advance of the storm and then evacuated herself, her dog Trap Jack and then foster dog Billy Bud to Victoria, Texas; the closest pet-friendly hotel she could find. Once Emily realized she couldn’t return to New Orleans for quite some time, she located a Pit Bull rescue in Austin, Texas and they took in Billy Bud. Over the next three weeks, Emily and Trap Jack traveled to Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia and finally to Boston. Twenty-two years old at the time, Emily was on the road alone for three weeks with Trap Jack, a large Pit Bull with scars. Emily and Trap Jack were forced to spend the night in questionable places including a chop shop with street races in Virginia. Emily is extremely thankful for Trap Jack because she feels he protected her throughout her cross-country travels. 

Note:

 

Trap Jack died in July 2013 and his ashes spread in New Orleans in November 2014.

     

Viewpoint:

 

First Responder

Name:

 

Officer Eric Durcinka

Organization:

 

Louisiana SPCA (previously Humane Society of Saint Joseph County in Indiana)

Location:

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Summary:

 

Officer Durcinka worked for the Humane Society of Saint Joseph County in Indiana, when he was called to help with the rescue efforts after Katrina. Officer Durcinka was part of a group of volunteers who went into the city to search building by building for animals, alive or deceased. He was heartened witnessing seeing the large diversity of selfless volunteers, but was also deeply saddened by the condition of the bodies of the dead animals they found, including one he found hanging from a tree by its collar. Officer Durcinka returned to Saint Joseph County for seven years before deciding to make New Orleans his home and eventually becoming an employee of the Louisiana SPCA.

     

Viewpoint:

 

First Responder

Name:

 

Jennifer Shirley

Organization:

 

Oregon Humane Society

Location:

 

Portland, Oregon

Summary:

 

Jennifer works for the Oregon Humane Society and was sent on one of two different teams to help with the animal rescue efforts after Katrina. Jennifer was involved with keeping the animals at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana safe during Hurricane Rita and fell in love with a puppy named Daisy who was diagnosed with a fatal disease after being rescued. Although Jennifer only spent one week in New Orleans, her efforts left a lifelong impact. Jennifer will also be able to connect you with other members of the Oregon Humane Society who volunteered during this time. 

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