Animal rescue efforts ramping up in Louisiana

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August 31, 2008–UPDATE FROM IFAW: The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been asked by the Louisiana State Veterinarian to send a team to help the State Animal Rescue Team (SART) in setting up temporary shelters in New Orleans, pre-storm. The agreement specifies that animal rescue groups send a team (minimum 10 people) to take over a section of a ‘mega-shelter’ which will be set up in New Orleans, at a suitable location such as a fairground.

The storm is expected to hit the Gulf coast on Tuesday morning, and New Orleans is the forecast location–although, as of now, there is considerable uncertainty about where landfall will eventually be.The whole situation on the ground, pre-Gustav is complicated by the presence of a second tropical storm (Hannah) out to the East.

Should there be a need for animal search and rescue operations post landfall, those of our IFAW team suitably qualified will leave sheltering operations and head to the disaster scene–wherever that is–to help with animal search and rescue.

The rescue truck and trailer (above) are being readied this weekend and will probably head down to Louisiana on Tuesday. We think the storm will probably wreak its havoc on Tuesday and Wednesday, so search and rescue could start as early as Thursday (during the storm itself, it is not possible to be active within the area affected).