In the aftermath of the Louisiana floods, household pets have remained overlooked as residents try to pick up the pieces.
Guardians of Rescue, a non-profit organization that works to protect the well-being of animals, has rescued more than 70 since the flood hit, but emphasized that there are still so many more animals out there.
“It’s not going to end soon because all of these animals that were let out or escaped and survived are now roaming the streets,” said Robert Misseri, founder and president of the organization. “They are lost, scared, and hungry. Our people on the ground are constantly trying to find them.”
The organization recently received a call about three dogs whose owner left them tied with wire and electrical tape to trees outside their home.
Fortunately, a friendly neighbor saw the dogs and began feeding them, said Patricia Blackwood, an operations officer with the organization.
A local rescue organization contacted Guardians of Rescue to let them know about the dogs. The three dogs, ranging in age from 2-4 years old, had heartworms, were underweight and suffering from skin infections. But the dogs were still very sweet, Blackwood said.
“They were very excited... very happy dogs,” Blackwood said.
It’s not clear why the owner left them but he eventually agreed to sign over his rights to Guardians of Rescue.
Many animals, however, haven’t been so lucky.
“People are gone and they are not coming back,” said Blackwood. “If it wasn’t for the neighbor who knows what would have happened [to these dogs]. The neighbor said there are dogs down the road that are dead in the front yard."
The organization is still looking for owners to adopt the three dogs or another rescue to take them because each of the local animal shelters is full.
The organization has also been assisting pet owners with housecleaning of black mold to keep their animals healthy.
“The people and animals are not safe but they have no other choice,” Misseri said.
They have also set up 10x10 pens outside for the rescued dogs so they can breathe fresh air, but the work is never done as more animals are rescued.
“We are seeing so many more animals in need. It’s heartbreaking,” said Misseri.