An Austin animal shelter is working find homes for dogs displaced by massive flooding in Louisiana.
Eight people died and at least 40,000 homes were destroyed when two feet of rain fell on Southern Louisiana in just 48 hours.
“It’s just a nightmare to lose your home, lose God knows what and then be without your pet, too. I mean, it just kills you,” said Mike Kaviani, director of life-saving operations at Austin Pets Alive.
For thousands in Louisiana that nightmare became a reality when storms hovered over the southern part of the state in August.
“Whenever you have these kinds of horrible natural disasters, people get displaced which means their pets get displaced,” Kaviani said.
Shelters in the Bayou State are overrun with dogs and cats left homeless after the storm.
“We were contacted by the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, to see if we'd be able to offer any relief for the shelters out there in Louisiana that have taken in so many displaced pets from the floods,” said Kaviani.
Austin Pets Alive would like to help out, but because the Austin community is their first priority, they can't do it alone.
“So we need transport volunteers, we need funding and we need adopters and fosters to help us make room for these guys,” Kaviani said.
APA will need to adopt out or find long-term fosters for 25 dogs so they can welcome 25 more from the Baton Rouge area.
“We’d go tomorrow if we had everything we needed. So the dogs are there. They're desperate to get to somewhere a lot more safe and comfortable,” said Kaviani.
The shelter needs to raise $500 per pup to cover care and medical costs. They also need volunteers to apply to transport the dogs across state lines.
“If the tables were turned and we were forced to look outside of our community for help, the last thing we would want is for shelters to say, ‘No. We're too busy, we're too full, we can't help you,’” Kaviani said.
While APA staff said they wish they could do even more for the people and animals in Louisiana, they hope this small step will be the beginning of the end of the nightmare thousands are facing.
“At least if we can provide comfort in knowing that someone's dog is okay and they're going to be okay, that's a huge piece in being able to move on and put the pieces back together in your life,” said Kaviani.
To donate, volunteer or become a foster visit austinpetsalive.org.