Katrina’s Animal Rescue

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New Orleans PenguinsNew Orleans PenguinsForced to evacuate, staffers at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, including Tom Dyer, had no choice but to leave the aquarium and its main attraction, penguins. A week after the hurricane hit, Dyer returned and to his relief, discovered all the birds were alive. Don Kinney, a police officer patrolling the aquarium, had fed them. The penguins survived but needed care. They were airlifted to Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, where Dyer reports, "They're getting along just fine." Dyer is happy to note that he is able to check on them online at the aquarium's live "Penguin Cam" (see Resources). The New Orleans aquarium hopes to reopen in the spring.
Humanity StreetHumanity StreetA day after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, several flood walls broke, allowing water to pour into parts of the city. The water rose to more than 10 feet in places, trapping people and their pets.
SurvivorsSurvivorsStorm waves washed a family of dolphins out of their pool at Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi. The mammals -- which were raised in captivity and not used to living in the wild -- managed to survive for several weeks in nearby seas, until staffers were able to rescue them. Here, the dolphins are in a temporary location at a pool in a local hotel.
Swimming to SafetySwimming to SafetyResidents were forced to leave many pets behind, so the animals had to fend for themselves. This dog is swimming through floodwater contaminated with high levels of potentially dangerous bacteria.
ForagingForagingA dog searches for food and water amid the wreckage. Experts estimate that 250,000 pets were left behind.
To the RescueTo the RescueAnimal rescuer Tanya Bird of the Louisiana SPCA prepares to rescue a dog trapped on the roof of an abandoned home. Workers rescued more than 15,000 pets from areas hit by the hurricane.
Rescue CenterRescue CenterRescued animals were taken to centers or makeshift veterinary hospitals where they got food, water and some tender loving care. Pet rescue centers became beehives of activity, with volunteers pouring in from around the nation.
BlakeBlakeRescuer Drew Moore carries Blake, a dog left behind by his evacuated owner. Luckily, Blake's owner also left a note, and Blake was ultimately reunited with his family.
ThunderThunderGreta Joseph found her dog, Thunder, starving and seriously ill after the storm. She rushed him to a rescue center, where veterinarians including Debra Campbell (center) struggled to save his life.
A Happy Ending A Happy Ending Rescuers Jane Garrison and Drew Moore share a last, happy moment with Blake, a dog they rescued from New Orleans. Blake's owner was coming to get him.