Louisiana Rejects Help from Out-of-State Veterinarians
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Louisiana Rejects Help from Out-of-State Veterinarians

10 November 2005
by Anai Rhoads Ford

AnaiRhoads.org - Despite the many still displaced, traumatised, and ill animals in Louisiana, the state has declared that the Hurricane Katrina animal rescue phase is officially over.

"Many of these animals are people's companions who escaped their homes when doors and windows blew open. It would be completely unethical to allow them to die on the streets," says Jane Garrison, director of Animal Rescue New Orleans.

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has rejected out-of-state animal rescues to help with the crisis, stating that the situation is currently under control. This is not the case, since activists still spot many unaltered felines and canines roaming the streets. This is a significant problem since just one unspayed female and her offspring can produce nearly 59,000 cats over the span of five years alone.

"If the state government doesn't allow us to feed, treat, and find homes for the thousands of animals struggling to survive now, it is in for rude awakening the beginning of next year," says Becky Robinson, national director of Alley Cat Allies (ACA). "The number of free-roaming cats and dogs will be devastating."

One example would be St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, animal shelters and animal control are no longer available. Its local SPCA does have the capabilities to handle a situation such as this.

"This nation's animal rescue community can help Louisiana meet this crisis if the state will simply acknowledge the problem still exists and allow us to work," Robinson says. "This is not only humane and ethical; it is in everyone's best interest."

An order to permit rescues and veterinarians in from other states expired on the 25th of October. Gov. Blanco refused to extend the order which would have helped rescues, activists, and vets avoid thousands of dollars in fines and possible jail time.

2005 Anai Rhoads Ford. Reproduction must be authorised in writing by author only. Altering, redistributing, or selling this material is strictly prohibited.

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