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Animals Left Behind After Katrina Find Refuge At LSU Shelter

Posted September 13, 2005

— Hurricane victim Melissa Breashears is living in a shelter in Baton Rouge; her three cocker spaniels stay at a different shelter at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

"(These animals mean) everything in the world," Breashears said. "(They're) part of my family."

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, many people evacuated New Orleans with animals in tow only to be turned away from shelters that will not accept animals.

The shelter at LSU is just for animals.

As of Monday, 1,287 animals - from dogs and cats to birds and rabbits and turtles -- were being housed at the shelter. They all belong to hurricane victims who have no homes.

The shelter, however, would not be possible without hundreds of volunteers, including some from North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

"We have owners who have lost everything, but they still have their pets, which are so important to them," said Dr. Kelli Ferris, assistant professor of Clinical Sciences at N.C. State's veterinary school. "And (we are) able to see that human-animal bond and the importance and really make a difference in the lives of the pets and the people that own them."

Veterinarians at LSU Say the help from North Carolina is beyond words.

"We call you guys the cavalry," said Dr. Becky Adcock, of LSU. "We kiss your feet when you arrive. We try to feed you the best we can with this great south Louisiana food. We thank you so much because you keep us going."

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