NEW ORLEANS -- Animal Rescue New Orleans is packed, sheltering 65 dogs and 85 cats Tuesday night. The shelter is still receiving animals from families affected by the oil spill, like Coco, who was brought here yesterday.
'Coco bounced around,' said ARNO Executive Director Charlotte Bass Lilly. 'His owners couldn't keep him, and couldn't care for him, so he went from friend to friend, and finally to us, because nobody wanted to keep him.'
But when the wind began to whistle and the rain arrived, announcing the approach of a strong cold front, they got concerned at the ARNO shelter, because the facility is located in a warehouse.
But they have to use a series of portable propane fueled heaters, and it is a challenge.
'It gets pretty chilly,' said Charlote Lilly. 'It gets pretty chilly. It is only about 6 degrees above outside temperature.'
'Inside here it stays at around, I would say 50 (degrees),' added ARNO Volunteer Kendra Myers. 'At night when it is cold, we put heaters on. Propane heaters are everywhere, you can see that.'
But this is an all-volunteer organization that depends on donations and grants, and paying for propane is not in the budget.
'Last month was $1000 in three weeks,' said Lilly. 'But those were some cold days that we had to keep them on during the day and in the night.'
Five heaters are stacked in the corner. These are the ones that are broken, and they are trying to find somebody who can repair them. But the big need right now is for propane to fuel the working heaters, because it is going to be very cold over the next couple of days, and they have just got to keep these guys warm.
'It is extremely important. Put it like this, it is kind of like paying your utility bill. If you don't you have no heat, that's what it is to us.'
Cold weather also means a bigger laundry bill. Washing the blankets used to help keep the pets warm until they can join the 1500 each year who find new homes.
'You a good little baby, you a good little baby, huh Coco? He's going to be okay, we'll find him a new home, and somebody who loves him for the rest of his life.'
For m ore about Animal Rescue New Orleans, call them at 522-0222. You can also click here