AMITE, La. -- The deadline for families to be reunited with their lost pets is coming.
Animals rescued by the Louisiana Humane Society have been held from adoption in hopes that their families will come and claim them, but on Sept. 26 they’ll be searching for new homes.
The Louisiana Humane Society Agreed to hold displaced pets for 45 days to give people a chance to reunite with their lost animals according to Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the La. Humane Society.
When historic flooding hit several parishes in Louisiana, the Humane society rescued around 500 animals, but less than 100 of them have returned home.
“We got boats out there on the water pretty quickly and we found about 500 animals who would’ve perished probably without our intervention,” Dorson said. “We only have about 30-to-35 in Amite, but we’re in touch with all the other groups holding them in place for us ... We’ve done everything we can to make this easy for people, but now they need to help us in the final stage to get reunited with their pet.”
That help will need to come soon if flood-affected families want to be reunited with their pets. Dorson says anyone still missing an animal should visit their shelter, go to their website or call the hotline they set up specifically to reunite people with their animals.
“It’s hard when you’re displaced,” Dorson said. “If you’re homeless, if you’ve lost your home, how do you pick up the pieces and try and find your animals?”
Even if the Humane Society doesn’t have your pet, they can help connect you with the organizations that rescued animals in your area.
“We don’t have all the answers,” Dorson said. “But whatever parish they’re in, we’ll find what agencies responded and try to get them connected ... What we want to do is facilitate reunions as best we can.”
Sometimes those reunions are coming through Facebook. The Humane Society of Louisiana created a Facebook page collecting information from 92 other outlets, hoping to speed up the reunion process. Photos of the pets they’re housing are included and people looking for their lost pets can post photos and have volunteers and community members help them.
“People have a small window, but we’re letting them know, reminding them to please make every effort,” Dorson said. “Have medical records ready, pictures of you and your pet, anything to help identify that you are the original owner.”
There is still need for donations and volunteers in the Humane Society as well.
“We’re still rolling,” Dorson said. “We’ve become a hub because there’s so much need and the state and federal agencies really weren’t active in that regard after incident, so we’re filling the void.”
The Humane Society is still distributing food and supplies to pet owners as part of their retention program to encourage people not to give up their animals and is in need of foster homes for several animals as well as volunteers in their shelters.
To volunteer, visit their website www.humanela.org or call them at 1-888-6-HUMANE.
(© 2016 WWL)