By now, we’ve all seen the news coverage of the devastating flood in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Some of you may have friends and family affected. Others may be asking how you can help.
I’m a volunteer and two-time adopter with GDRNT who recently moved from DFW to Baton Rouge. My family is one of the lucky few whose home never took on water. However, my neighborhood flooded and was evacuated by the fire department Saturday. Imagine coaxing a stubborn Great Dane into a boat as water laps at your front door! Most of my neighbors took on at least a few inches of water, and this is nowhere close to what some are dealing with.
This flood is unprecedented for the area. Neighborhoods that have never flooded are currently submerged. In some areas, the water rose so rapidly that people barely got out and had to leave animals behind. For example, one of my neighbors could not find all his cats and refused to leave his home during the mandatory evacuation order. (He and his cats are safe now, thankfully.) As easy as it may be to think that you would never leave your pets, some had no choice.
LSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine is working with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (http://www.lsart.org) to run an emergency response center at the school.
• Need Help?
If you have a friend or family member whose animals are in need of rescue, they can email [email protected].
• Want to Help?
If you are able to assist with rescue, you can also email [email protected].
Please read the LSART webpage (http://www.lsart.org) to get details on how to qualify as a rescuer and learn the different ways to help.
Many of the rescued animals require veterinary care, and the school is taking donations to help flood victims offset veterinary costs.
Although we are an animal rescue, of course we are concerned for the human victims.
o Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief
o Donate blood
Even if you live across the country, blood donors are always needed.
o Look for specific requests in the coming weeks. Those who can give clothing and other donations in this area have been taking things to the shelters. At this time, some items are not needed, but those needs will change as those affected return home and assess damage.
In my short time in Louisiana, I am already overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers. Even as we are dealing with our own messes, many are looking for ways to help those who are in a worse position. The resilience and generosity of this community is amazing.