Reunions and Adoptions
Question: What will happen to the animals that don’t get reunited with their families?
Search and Rescue Professional and Founder of Animal Rescue New Orleans
Sadly, there are thousands of animals who have not been reunited with their families. Many people do not know to look on Petfinder.com or Petharbor.com to look for their animals. It is important that people don’t give up looking for their pets.
All animals that were rescued are currently in foster care or in shelters. However, in four weeks, all animals will be available for adoption.
Regional Director for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
During the Red River floods in Minnesota in 1997, we reunited more than 90 percent of the animals with their families, and the rest were adopted. We knew in the first hours of this disaster that the makeup of New Orleans animals included many strays, many neighborhood dogs, and many animals cared for by people who had lost everything and would not be able to come back and get their pets. I have heard many different numbers of animals being reclaimed, but I have not seen any hard statistics.
Fortunately, the demand for Katrina animal victims is very strong, and participating shelters have reported lots of interest in adoptions. There have been some complications due to the level of heartworm in rescued dogs — but that is being addressed on a state-by-state basis. Other complications include the higher than average number of pit bulls and the large number of feral cats. But these situations can be creatively addressed in the animals’ best interest.