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Letters from Katrina: A Haven Far From Home

On August 27, 2005 – just one day before Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, Tanja and her boyfriend Evan made the difficult decision to evacuate. Tanja and Evan had just bought a home, which they knew they could not save. However, there was no question that they would find a safe haven for their dogs. Evan has two dogs and Tanja has her boy Lazlo – all adopted from the Louisiana SPCA. The young couple and their three furry friends made their way to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to a wonderful lady who sheltered them all.

With each passing day, as more and more devastation became apparent, Tanja and Evan realized they would not be going back to New Orleans any time soon. Some hard decisions had to be made. They had only the clothes on their backs and, of course, their beloved dogs. They decided that Evan, a construction worker, would stay in Hattiesburg and wait for the jobs that were bound to come. His pets would stay with his parents in northern Mississippi where the dogs would have lots of TLC and where he could visit them on weekends. Tanja and Lazlo, at least for the time being, would relocate to Queens to live with her parents. She is a textile designer, and the likelihood of her getting a job would be better in New York.

But what about Lazlo? It was time for his heartworm medication. His food was running out. Tanja remembered a wonderful shelter in Port Washington, the place where her parents adopted the “best cat in the world” nearly 20 years ago. She just knew North Shore Animal League America would help her and Lazlo.

And help them we did. Lazlo got his heartworm test and medication at our medical center and he was also given a comfortable doggie bed, toys and treats, and a 50-pound bag of dog food. Tanja was told that the League would be here for both of them for as long as they needed our help.

Even as the next Emergency Response Team is on the road to Alabama to help the dogs and cats orphaned by the storm, victims of the storm are coming directly to us for help. That is what we are all about – making the world safer and happier for all animals everywhere.

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Back to 2005 Katrina & Gulf Coast Rescues.