Ten years after Hurricane Katrina forced the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) to relocate from New Orleans to Mississippi, the shelter is facing another devastating challenge. In the early morning hours of October 26th, a massive fire spread through the HSL, burning the building to the ground, and injuring or killing many of animals that called it home.
Along with sheltering many animals in need, HSL was also home to a few of the staff members, who are now also displaced. The volunteers and shelter workers risked their lives to save the animals by kicking in windows when the doors would not open due to the pressure from the fire. Tragically, the fire claimed the lives of five cats and a ferret — but without the workers’ valiant efforts, the number of casualties would have been much, much higher. Their brave actions saved the lives of 14 cats, who are currently being cared for by veterinarians, and countless others who fled the area after being freed.
Despite the lives that were saved, there is still much that needs to be done to help HSL recover from this tragedy. The building is a total loss, and shelter staff are without a location and supplies to care for the animals who desperately need them. Many of the animals that were saved are suffering from smoke inhalation, or recovering from burns and need medical attention. HSL staff are working hard to get their operations up and running as quickly as possible.
We’re proud to have been able to help in the aftermath of this great tragedy. HSL has insurance and is planning to rebuild; in the meantime, the kind donations that have come in are providing treatment for all the affected animals, transportation of animals in need of relocation, and replacements for the animal care and veterinary supplies that literally went up in smoke. GreaterGood.org and Rescue Bank have also provided food for animals under HSL’s care. Thank you for going beyond reading, and becoming an important part of this shelter’s story. With your help, lives have been and will continue to be saved by the brave staff at HSL.
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