Hurricane, Cat Food & Volunteers for ARNO

p l e a s e  c r o s s p o s t

ARNO Prepares for 2006 Hurricane Season

source:Charlotte Bass-Lilly, ARNO,

ARNO is making evacuation plans for our shelter pets and are working on an agreement with an out-of-state humane organization to house our animals. Meanwhile we have been asked by the LA/SPCA to assist with pet/people evacuations for the City of New Orleans. Orleans Parish has mandated evacuation of people with their pets, even before the passage of SB-607, and has included in the City's evacuation plans an outlet for people with pets who have no other means of transportation. The people/pet evacuation will be headed up by the city's animal control facility - the LA/SPCA. ARNO will be working under the authority of the LA/SPCA.

ARNO will assist the LA/SPCA with the city's pet/people evacuation and then will evacuate our personal pets and shelter pets to safe ground. We will then return to the city to be assigned by the LA/SPCA to where we are needed.

Volunteers are needed by ARNO to help us man the pet/people stations. If you are interested we ask that you please take a few online courses, ICS 100 & 200 and NIMS 700, which will introduce you to the Incident Command Structure in times of emergency. These are free courses online and can be accessed through the FEMA website which is  Next year it is anticipated that more courses will be added to the requirements of anyone who is aiding within the humane community with pet evacuation and/or animal rescue. Completion of these courses will result in a certificate issued by FEMA stating that you have taken these courses successfully. Please consider completing these online courses by the end of June or mid-July if you wish to be involved with any type of pre- or post-disaster animal rescue in Louisiana in 2006.

If you wish to volunteer for ARNO in our evacuation/rescue efforts (pre- and post-disaster) please send a short bio of what you do in your 'real' life, as well as any info on what you have done within the humane community including any disaster rescue effort involvement. Volunteers can be from Louisiana or from any other state. Don't forget to include your contact information. Send info to and put 'DISASTER VOLUNTEER' in the subject line.

Dry Cat Food Remains Big Need
Donations continue to be desperately needed for pet food, particularly dry cat food. ARNO uses about one pallet a day of dry cat food, at a cost of $250 per pallet. Wal-Mart cards are another way to donate funds for pet food, as their prices remain the best among the local retailers.

We continue our food/water stations in over 40 sectioned areas of Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. ARNO has made some huge dents in the animal population on the street. Thanks to our good friends at Alley Cat Allies with their Feline Frenzy spay/neuter program, over 1100 cats were spay/neutered and innoculated over a three-week period. ARNO's TNR (trap/neuter/release) efforts continue, but Feline Frenzy offered opportunities to not only the street animals, but the colony managers as well. There were over 100 traps out each night to make the most of the 'frenzy' and area participating vet clinics, including on the Northshore of the Lake. ARNO was proud to play a large role in the coordination of this event, and we owe a big kudos to our friends at Alley Cat Allies, as well as participating vet clinics.

A shot of a Siamese-mix feral kitty anticipating supper from one of our feeders. 2006 Lisa McComiskey)

ARNO also responds to trapping needs of cats or dogs that are in danger, either from public complaints that we always worry could lead to abuse, or to animals that are sickly. Priority is always given to those who need immediate medical care, including pregnant females.

Recently we responded to a request from a colony feeder who found two kittens dead at a food/water station. We trapped the remaining kittens and cats in this area and requested a necropsy from LSU on the two little kittens who died, assuming they had been poisoned. They had not been poisoned, they had died of intestinal parasites. One more reason to get the babies off the street before they succumb to something as treatable as parasites. ARNO currently has about 50 kittens in our shelter (90% are being treated for intestinal parasites), down from close to 100 two weeks ago. The remaining kittens will be adopted out once healthy, or like the first 50, will go to a cold-climate sanctuary that is looking for kittens needed for adoptions. It is hard to imagine that there are climates that no strays survive the winters, unlike the sub-tropical south where breeding season is year round!

If you wish to volunteer even a few hours a week for food/water please contact and put "FOOD/WATER VOLUNTEER" in subject line.

State of the Animals After Katrina

ARNO has and continues forming relationships with humane organizations all over the country to selectively adopt from one to six dogs that we have on hand in our shelter or in foster care. Our local conduit for our dogs temporarily closed in April due to self-imposed quarantine, and that has made it tough for us to move dogs out of our shelter and refill from the street, as well as the fact that most of the dogs we rescue from the street are heartworm positive and must be treated over a period of 30-60 days...both of these situations has slowed down our dog trapping efforts on the street. There is no Celebration Station to hold animals for us anymore, we have to be the hold agency until the animals are finished all treatments and given a clean bill of health. ARNO still traps dogs based on emergency situations, but until the end of the summer when the local sanctuary opens back up we are in a bind for moving more dogs 'in and out.'

ARNO encourages any interested groups that can assist with transports to reach out to us. We are in communication with several groups, but we welcome any untapped friendships to assist in moving the animals that await rescue. The support we have received from the national and Canadian community has been incredible and we look forward to further development of these relations.  The line for rescue for the animals of the storm is long.  It will take years for the greater New Orleans region to resume pre-storm animal control conditions. Transports remain a vital element to recovery, and only transports of animals in full health are transported out of state.

Our foster network has helped tremendously with fostering and adopting out animals that are ready for a permanent home, once the search for their owners has been exhausted by those infamous pet detectives all over the country, i.e. Stealth and No Animal Left Behind. ARNO has also helped with medical care of Katrina surrenders from outlying shelters, where the surrender rate is up 35-50% because of displaced New Orleans area residents who cannot find housing that will allow pets.

ARNO has also taken many a pet from area residents who do not have housing, some actually living in their vehicles because there is no where else to live. These pets are put in permanent foster care (when available) to allow the original caretakers to retrieve their pets when they are back on their feet. The human situation in this area has not seen much improvement since the hurricane.

Anita from No Animal Left Behind is promoting putting together the families that are still searching for their pets with the pets who are still searching for their families. A great idea...both the pets and the people certainly need each other for comfort and love. Yet there are still reunions between people and their pets happening all the time... read PeeWee's story on our website's homepage for a glimpse into a recent reunion.

Even with our 'slowdown' on dog trapping ARNO has managed to trap or rescue and medically treat more than 950 animals in the last three months. That's an average of more than 10 animals a day. These are animals that probably would not have survived without our help, your donations and volunteer efforts.

Volunteers Are Much-Needed and Our Lifeblood
ARNO can only do as much as our volunteers allow us to do. It does take donations and funding to buy food, pay our vets' bills, pay rent and utilities, etc.... but it is the volunteers who are out there filling the food/water stations, taking care of the animals in the shelter, playing with the dogs to socialize them for their final home, hand-feeding kittens too young to eat on their own, cleaning cages, unloading deliveries, washing towels, walking dogs, cleaning the office and bathrooms, working on computer records, answering emails, picking up phone messages... the list is endless. The list is also impossible for us to accomplish without volunteers.

High-school students and those who are required to do community service hours please come and volunteer! Out of towners, you have been the saving grace of animal rescue since Katrina...your numbers made it possible to rescue the ten thousand plus animals that were rescued in the four months following Katrina. ARNO still needs you...please consider coming back for a long weekend, a week, two weeks, a month...whatever you can manage. We have a great core of people who eagerly await to warmly welcome you to ARNO and our city. Local volunteers are always welcome and we are specifically looking for locals that can give us four to twelve hours a week on a regular schedule. Our three main needs for humans are: food/water volunteers (vehicle needed), animal care/kennel workers (experience a plus), and those who are computer-friendly, good typists, and spreadsheet familiar (Xcel).

ARNO also has need to transport animals to and from vet clinics, as well as out of town transports. We are looking for private pilots who could fly three to four dogs inside their plane to San Francisco. While American Airlines is still helping us with flying animals, the summer months bring problems of heat after 9am in the morning. So no cargo holds used during the summer months for living creatures.

Pictured is "Scout" (now Henry Harcourt Larson) with his new family and Pug siblings. "Scout" was pre-adopted by a family in California with arrangements made through a San Francisco-based humane organization.

A good friend to ARNO, the Omni Royal Orleans, is offering four-star luxury hotel rooms in the French Quarter for $79 a night (single or double occupancy). Bring your family and they can luxuriate in the hotel and explore the Quarter while you come and fulfill your soul with giving to the animals. Actually whole families do come and voluneer at ARNO and leave feeling like they experienced a life-changing event together as a family.  A side bonus for sun worshipers: Great tans are readily available doing food and water during the summer in New Orleans! Sun-smart folks bring your SPF50 and a cool, wide-brimmed hat for shade. For the Omni Royal Orleans offer, here is the link with the instructions on how to get the great rate  If you want to volunteer in any capacity, please send an email with your contact information and when you would like to volunteer, put VOLUNTEER in the subject line and send to

Register Now for Alley Cat Allies Feline Forum June 22-24
Workshops for Mississippi and Louisiana animal control officers, humane organizations, caregivers, and residents who just care about cats. Come hear and learn from national experts on creating a bright future for feral cats. Alley Cat Allies has been in Louisiana and Mississippi since Katrina and they have done a remarkable job of helping all of us with feral cats. If you would like more information on the workshops, experts and their topics, please go to

The contact information, including a phone number, is listed at this link. Advance registration is required.

source Charlotte Bass-Lilly, ARNO,
for more information on any of the above items please contact

"Working together to rescue one-by-one until there are none"

Posted June 20, 2006


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