CONNECTICUT HUMANE SOCIETY
NEWINGTON – Even on holidays, the Connecticut Humane Society team is on-site caring for pets. And on this past Labor Day weekend, staff members were preparing to go care for other animals, too – shelter pets in New Orleans, where Hurricane Ida has turned life upside down.
A team of five people from CHS has traveled to the Louisiana SPCA, where more than 200 animals need food, water, clean bedding, walks, medical treatment and affection each day. The CHS crew has brought much-needed relief to LA SPCA staff members who are facing personal crises caused by the storm and who’ve been out scooping up loose animals and bringing pet food to the community.
Knowing Connecticut was on the brink of experiencing a devastating hurricane just a few weeks ago, CHS felt compelled to lend a hand when the LA SPCA put out the call for help, CHS Executive Director James Bias said.
“It could have easily been us facing widespread flooding, lengthy power outages, displaced animals and damage to our homes and CHS buildings. And we know if we needed assistance, other shelters would have been right here providing support,” Bias said. “We’re all independent organizations spread across the country, but we’re all partners in animal welfare. So it’s important to step up and be there for each other’s pets when we can.”
And so early Sunday morning of Labor Day weekend, the CHS team made the 22-hour drive all the way to Louisiana. The group is prepared to be there pitching in anywhere and everywhere for 12 days. So far, they’ve given treatment to a roomful of cats with ringworm, walked dogs, cleaned the shelter, moved animals to a part of the building that regained power, posted found strays on the website, assessed and trained pets with behavior needs and much more.
“One of the most important things is that we are helping animals but also the staff. They were all personally affected in some capacity and need time to deal with their own crises, whether it’s with their family or their own pets or their home, and some staff had to evacuate. This involves people and pets,” CHS Operations Director Theresa Geary said.
CHS has previously traveled to aid other shelters for disaster relief. In 2018, a team traveled to a Massachusetts animal shelter to assist with more than 90 pets waiting to reunite with their families after a gas explosion forced people out of their homes. In 2017, CHS staff members traveled to Texas after Hurricane Harvey overwhelmed animal shelters there, and in 2005, they worked in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Staff members’ disaster relief experience, coupled with extensive animal care and veterinary skills, allow them to deploy on short notice and provide expert care in difficult situations.
CHS is only able to deploy to this New Orleans recovery mission because of donors and community support. Donations can be made at cthumane.org/recoverymissions to support this trip and CHS’ lifesaving efforts as a whole.