BARN WHERE DOGS WERE HOUSED
Lauren, Linda, Sue, Samantha, Tammy
On 9/29/05 we received and email stating "you are officially deployed!" from the Humane Society of the United States. That evening we loaded up the trailer with dog and cat food, litter, crates and flea products. On the morning of the 30th Tammy and Lauren Magaha started on their way. It was about a 1300 mile ride to Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales Louisianna. After stopping in Knoxville for the night again it was back in the truck for the remainder of the trip. We arrived in Kenner La. where we met Yogi from Pet Adoption Services. All of the donations we had loaded 2 days prior were unloaded at her place to help a few small rescue groups in that area. We chatted for a bit and she showed us the damage to her home. The entire neighborhood was a mess. Trees down everywhere, houses destroyed, owners had starting gutting their homes out and everything was on the sides of the streets. There was just enought room to get your vehicle through on all of the roads. We had another 45 minute ride to the expo center so we got on our way. Finally arrived there around midnight. What a journey so far. We slept in the truck the first night and reported to the volunteer area first thing in the morning. They needed much help in the shelther so we decided to stay and work where we were needed. Barn 2 is where we were assigned. Rick who was the Barn Leader assigned us with a group of people. Samantha(group leader) and Linda were from New Hampshire, and Doug from Illinois, along with the 2 of us made up our team. We walked, fed, cleaned crates and bathed dogs. All in all the dogs seemed like they faired pretty well. During the ours of 1 - 5 it was so hot this was delcared quite time and no dogs were walked during this time. Our group had a great system and we all worked great together. We also cleaned areas of the barn, stocked carts with food for the next feeding and anything else they needed us to do. By the end of the first day we were pretty tired. Day 2 we started earlier and basically repeated the prior days regimine. That night there was to be a big transport to Tulsa OK. We came back in to help with that, Starting at around 6:30 over 80 dogs and 50+ cats were loaded into 3 air conditioned tractor trailers to start the next leg of their journey. They were scanned and microchips checked, paperwork verified and attached to their crates, then loaded into the crates and onto the trucks. That night we were thoroughly exhausted. Our feet had blisters on top of blisters. Battling the make shift showers was just another fun task we undertook. Again Wed. we worked at barn 2. On Thursday we decided to go out into New Orleans and surrounding areas to place food at designated feeding stations. The sites and smells we thought we were prepared for, but nothing could have prepared us for what we saw and smelled. We saw several dogs running the streets yet they were to afraid to approach us. We left bag after bag of food for them all. At times your emotions would get the better of you, that usually happened during any down time that we found. And adventure this was and we were now on the last leg the journey home. Wouldn't you know it, it rained the whole way thanks to Hurricane Tammy. Dr. Mike at Four Paws animal hospital asked me "would you do it again?" My answer "Yes I would".
One of the thousands of dogs at the Expo Center
Some of the destruction by Katrina