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Louisiana Rescue Mission Highlights a September to Remember at Animal League America

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UPDATE November 16, 2016: Sammy, Shavae, and Bon Temp, the bonded trio we rescued from Louisiana in the wake of the severe floods that tore through the area, were recently adopted! The three pug mixes stole the hearts of a local couple, who came to our Adoption Center in search of a four-legged friend to add to their family, but wound up leaving with many more legs than expected.

Animal League America Rescue Team Leader Karla Agostinello was part of the team that made the 2,600-mile round-trip drive to rescue several homeless animals in the area. She said she immediately felt a kinship with these dogs and could only hope our shelter staff would be able to find them the perfect home someday. Well, that day came a lot sooner than anyone could have expected.

“I got to know these three little guys very well and I was worried we wouldn’t be able to find a qualified adopter who would be able to take all three of them. I knew how much they relied on each other and I knew we had to act quickly in order to find them the perfect home,” said Karla. “Once I saw them in their new home and witnessed how happy and comfortable they were, I cried. The couple who adopted them never thought they’d be taking three dogs when they first came in, so I give them so much credit for what they did. They are truly amazing people. Now they’re the proud parents to three amazing dogs.”

Picture this; you’re a happy, healthy dog living with your beloved family. You enjoy going out for walks with your pet parents, lounging around the house with your canine siblings, and the sound of your food bowl being filled at dinner time makes your tail wag like the propeller on a Boeing 757 airliner.

Life is good – until one day, in the blink of an eye, it’s not.



For 7-year-old Sammy, 2-year-old Shavae, and 3-year-old Bon Temp, all Pug mixes, their lives in Louisiana as a bonded trio was picture perfect. They had a pet parent who loved them dearly, a comfortable home to call their own, and the best buds any dogs could ever ask for. It wasn’t until recently when catastrophic floods once again tore through a large portion of the state that their tiny worlds were turned upside down. Their home was washed away and their loving owner forced to relinquish her beloved pets to the local animal shelter.

“It’s such a sad story, it just breaks my heart. When we arrived at one of the local shelters down there, one of the employees was telling us the story of how these dogs have lived together in same home for their entire lives, but when the flood hit, their owner, an elderly woman, was forced to abandon her home,” said Karla Agostinello, Animal League America Rescue Team Leader.

She and Rescue Associate/Driver Ted Moriates, made the three-day trip down to Louisiana to rescue 20 dogs who were separated from their families and left unclaimed at local municipal shelters due to damage caused by the worst U.S. disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.


“Ted and I could immediately see how bonded these dogs were from the moment we met them. When one went to the bathroom, the others had to follow. When they would take walks together, they always looked around to check where the other ones were at all times. These dogs have been through so much together and we’re hoping we can find them an adopter who would welcome the three of them in with open arms.”

Sammy, Shavae, Bon Temp and the other displaced dogs taken in by Animal League America’s Rescue Team during this unique mission were swiftly transported back to our Port Washington, NY campus inside one of our climate-controlled Mobile Rescue Units. Once arriving, each animal was carefully unloaded by members of the rescue team, examined by our veterinarians, and then given the full “doggy spa” treatment by our grooming team to give them a fresh look to go along with their fresh lease on life. Although they may never forget the traumatic events they survived, all of these dogs will soon enough feel the comforting embrace of a brand new pet parent who loves them dearly. They will have a warm bed, plenty of treats, and a family who cherishes every day they get to spend with their new buddy from the bayou.


“A rescue like this one is different from most. When you look into the eyes of these dogs you see the loss, you see the pain. These were peoples’ pets,” Ted said just moments after helping to unload the dogs from the Mobile Rescue Unit after arriving back in New York. “These dogs were peoples’ families, their best friends, so we really felt we had to step up and go the extra mile for them. Karla and I went out and got each dog a bed because we realized they are all trained dogs, used to being in their own homes. Needless to say, instead of doing a lot of cleaning like we’d usually do on these long trips, we did a lot walking, so it was great!”

For 72 years, Animal League America has been dedicated to improving and saving the lives of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens in desperate need. Whether it be homeless animals in our own backyard, across the country, or around the globe, our no-kill mission to make a difference never ceases, especially during times of dire need. Thanks to you, our loyal supporters, our Rescue Team is afforded the ability to assist in other areas of the world when animals’ lives are at stake.

Your support of our Rescue Fund makes it possible for us to continually take animals out of harms way whenever called upon. As we prepare to provide assistance to our shelter partners affected by Hurricane Matthew in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, we know we can't do any of it without you. Thank you for always answering the call and helping our organization continue to fulfill its life-saving mission.

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