Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, travelled to Louisiana over the Labor Day holiday weekend to meet with organizations helping animals impacted by Hurricane Ida and to bring a second plane of supplies and equipment to facilitate animal rescue and care.
Becky brought the first delivery of lifesaving supplies just 48 hours after the hurricane hit. The second delivery occurred just four days later. With so many animals left stranded in dangerous conditions by Ida’s destruction, the clock is ticking to save their lives. There is no time to lose.
“Cats can easily become separated and lost during a hurricane, so the situation after Ida is absolutely dire,” says Becky. “Many are still trapped in houses, starving, and in need of urgent medical attention, and if we don’t act fast, they may die. Every hour could mean the difference in saving their lives. These supplies I’ve delivered are desperately needed to locate animals, provide emergency veterinary care, and reunite them with their families.”
The supply plane touched down in Hammond, Louisiana, on Saturday, September 4th. We provided generators, which are crucial with electricity still disrupted across Louisiana. Also on board were cat and dog food, veterinary supplies including wound care, triage supplies, and care kits for neonatal (under 4 weeks old) kittens, as well as other needed items for rescue work.
Washington D.C.’s NBC 4 and Louisiana’s Hammond Daily Star were among the news outlets to cover the supply delivery.
While the first supply was distributed to storm-impacted areas by the Humane Society of Louisiana, the second load was brought to Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP Foundation, which runs the Becky Robinson Alley Cat Allies Veterinary Hospital based in St. Tammany Parish.
The Hospital, funded in part by Alley Cat Allies, is the only low-cost clinic in the region and focuses on spay and neuter, critical surgeries, and cutting-edge treatments for cats and other animals. It is a vital resource for animals impacted by Ida in multiple Louisiana parishes that are historically impoverished and underserved.
“Hurricane Ida tore through the area, leaving the Becky Robinson Alley Cat Allies Veterinary Hospital flooded and without power for days,” says Becky. “At the same time, the needs of an already in-need community skyrocketed. Kittens need immediate aid. So do baby squirrels, and so many other animals. Our goal in this second round of supplies is to help the Hospital recover and serve as a lifesaving resource for animals through the aftermath of this disaster.”
Upon touching down in Hammond, Becky took to the road to personally deliver the supplies to the Becky Robinson Alley Cat Allies Veterinary Hospital. Even a week after Hurricane Ida made landfall, its damage as one of the strongest storms to ever hit the mainland U.S. was still palpable. Fallen trees litter the area, with some roads still blocked by debris. Gas supply lines remain disrupted, and most gas stations were still closed. A stop for lunch was not an option with food shortages abounding.
When she arrived at the Hospital, Becky met with Dr. Catherine Wilbert, veterinarian, CEO, and co-founder of Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP Foundation, to discuss the immediate needs of affected communities. Dr. Wilbert was particularly inundated with calls for help with young kittens and orphaned baby squirrels displaced by the hurricane. Our delivery of Kitten Care Kits—which include bottles, formula, and other necessities—were sent home with locals to facilitate these animals’ care.
Our delivery of dog and cat food was immediately handed out in a food drive for the community the next morning.
“With help from Alley Cat Allies, we are providing veterinary support, much-needed food, and other resources for animals through the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Wilbert. “Our work is the difference between life and death for so many animals in St. Tammany Parish and surrounding parishes, who would not otherwise receive the care they urgently need.”
The Becky Robinson Alley Cat Allies Veterinary Hospital is still dealing with power limitations and staff shortages, and they had only just removed the last of the water from the flooded facility when Becky arrived. Alley Cat Allies will continue to support the Hospital as it reopens and ensure lifesaving services can be provided to the animals of the community at this most critical time.
We remain committed to rescuing animals in immediate danger from the destruction of Hurricane Ida. Stay tuned for more information and support our work at alleycat.org/HurricaneIda.
To learn how to protect your family, including the cats you care for, in the event of a disaster, visit alleycat.org/DisasterTips.