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How You Can Help

Hurricane Katrina is over, and the city of New Orleans is slowly coming back to life. But for thousands of pets left behind during the disaster, the story isn’t over.

At hundreds of shelters around the country, pet refugees from New Orleans are being cared for and fed. Many need medical help. Some may ultimately be reunited with their owners, but others will need new, loving owners.

Here are a few ways you can help:

Learn more about the ongoing need for volunteers at

Support the care and feeding of pets left homeless by the storm. Contact your local shelter, or one of these organizations:

Humane Society of the United States

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Best Friends Animal Society

Help reunite pets with their owners. More information is available at the sites listed above, and at PetHarbor, and Stealth Volunteers

Volunteer at a local shelter. They need all kinds of skilled, caring hands — not just for the victims of this disaster, but for victims of the next one as well.

Educate yourself about pet care policies. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, lawmakers, aid groups, and government agencies are debating new policies for handling pets during disasters, such as proposals to allow evacuees to take their pets with them to shelters. One lesson from Katrina is that some people won’t leave their homes unless they can take their pets along.