On August 23, 2005, Hurricane Katrina whipped through the southern states – it became one of the five deadliest hurricanes in United States History, with winds up to 174mph and 1,833 fatalities. What this number does not include, are the thousands of pets that were lost during the storm.
Over 600,000 animals were killed or stranded due to the hurricane. For those that were stranded, help was needed. Volunteers came from all over the country to help save and hopefully reunite pets with their owners.
These rescuers drove around for hours, looking for pets that were left behind.
Sometimes signs were put up, to let rescuers know where dogs were hiding.
But most of the time they just had to look and hope to find the dogs alive. Usually they were living under the houses, which made rescuing difficult.
The below is just one video from an archive containing more than 40 hours of rescues and reunions that will be released over the next several weeks commemorating the 10th anniversary of this event here.
10 years later, the city is still dealing with an animal problem in the form of feral dogs. In a 2007 interview with The Atlantic, Anna Zorilla, executive director of New Orleans SPCA, told them “The further we have gotten from Katrina, some of those stray problems have continued to grow, and at this point, six, seven years later we are talking about significant numbers of strays. You have entire blocks of the cities where there is no one living.” Except stray dogs. The World Animal Awareness Society (WA2S) helps by documenting these places to bring the plight of homeless dogs to light. To donate to their causes, visit their website.