Pop-up animal shelter in Monroe keeps Ida evacuees and pets together

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 8:00 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Many Hurricane Ida evacuees are staying in Monroe and some of them left home with their animals. To accommodate these pets, a pop-up animal shelter was set up outside the Monroe Civic Center where many evacuees are staying.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 1, there were 26 dogs, two cats and one snake being housed at the evacuation shelter.

Ouachita Parish Animal Control was notified about setting up a shelter for Hurricane Ida evacuees’ animals starting on Saturday, Aug. 28. They’ve had help from volunteers like Louisiana State Animal Response who assisted in assembling kennels and providing fans and food.

The pet owners take care of the animals while animal control gives support. Stephane Mullins, Director of Ouachita Parish Animal Control, says having this set-up is a big help for the evacuees here.

“They’re supposed to come out at least twice a day, but normally they come out a lot more than that,” Mullins said. They come and take them for a walk. Some just sit, hold them and talk. The animals are stressed, also. It gives the animals comfort to have their owners spend time with them.”

Mullins says pet owners are able to decompress a little knowing their animals are safe even though they’re in a different place.

Rosemary Wilson evacuated from Houma with her family and her dog, Craig. She says she’s happy to have him with her through this difficult time.

“Oh, it’s wonderful because if I couldn’t bring him I’d start crying. I didn’t know where he was going to go, and I wasn’t gonna leave him at home. They were going to go with me. I couldn’t bring him in here but I kept him right on the bus. My mama would’ve kept me,” Wilson said.

Wilson visits Craig three times throughout the day and says it gives her a sense of comfort.

Ouachita Parish Animal Control says if they need more supplies or donations they will post on the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter Facebook page.

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