FOLSOM, La -- It was just eight months ago when rains and massive flood waters hit southeast Louisiana. That's when an animal rescue group on the north shore sprang into action as first responders, saving the lives of hundreds of animals.
Since then, the animal sanctuary in Folsom is making a difference.
Catherine Wilbert founder and CEO of CATNIP said the flood was a disaster, but it was layered on top of a disaster that was already there.
"The pet overpopulation disaster existed to such a magnitude in Louisiana, that we put another disaster on top of that," Wilbert said. "There's nothing to do with all these animals."
One homeless cat was found behind a dumpster and recently delivered a litter of five, Wilbert said. She ended up in Folsom at CATNIP Foundation at Big Sky Ranch, where she joins hundreds of rescued animals, such as rabbits, chickens, dogs, but mostly cats. Many are victims of last summer's flooding.
CATNIP, which stands for Care, Advocacy and Treatment of Neglected and Indigent Pets, has fixed 400 cats.
"Let's say there were 30 abandoned there, three months later, there were 90, so we kept collecting cats month over months. Often times we bring as many as 60 cats to LSU (Veterinary School) on a Sunday to be fixed," Wilbert said.
They also help with free spay and neutering for people who can't afford a veterinarian.
"St. Tammany Animal Services is thrilled. Their cages aren't full, so it's just proof that you know, this is the way to make the change," said Wilbert.
The foundation is getting national recognition from American Humane, the country's first humane organization. They are giving CATNIP a grant for a trailer to transport homeless animals to be spayed and neutered.
"We want fewer animals to end up in shelters, and fewer animals to die because there's no one to care for them," Wilbert said.
Ellen DeGeneres, who lived in the New Orleans area growing up, and Wal-Mart donated to American Humane to help make the local grant possible. So far, 90 animals have been adopted.
For more on donating, rescuing or volunteering, visit their website, http://www.bigskyranch.org/ or call (985) 276-0270.
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