Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Vermillion Animal Aid

Vermillion Parish after Hurricane Rita

The truck loaded up with supplies.
Annie leaves in the morning for a weekend trip of mercy to the Vermillion Animal Aid group in Abbeville, Louisiana. These folks have been providing rescue services for horses, cattle, dogs, cats, and many other animals in the continuing devastation of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. They are currently providing aid and/or shelter to 400 horses, 2300 head of cattle, 200 dogs, and countless cats left homeless by flooding and the collapse of their previous owners' entire financial lives.

Although Hurricane Katrina got most of the national attention due to the loss of New Orleans, one of America's ten largest cities, in many ways Hurrican Rita was far more devastating to Louisiana. It was a direct hit over more of the state, and mile after mile was left under water.

The flooding and winds blew away the homes and barns of hundreds of ranchers along the La. Gulf Coast. With no fences to hold the livestock, no barns to shelter them, and no houses to live in, all too many ranchers have simply had to abandon their herds and homes. But the animals have to go somewhere, and that's where Vermillion Animal Aid has stepped in. They're struggling heroically to provide help for these homeless creatures.

Annie heard about the group, and the trouble they were having getting basic supplies now that the national attention has wandered on to other things. She called her horse and dog friends in central Texas, and is headed out to Cajun Country tomorrow with a truck full of fencing supplies, dog and cat food, carriers and dog houses, and much more. She'll probably be making more trips in the months ahead, because with Annie, animals matter.

When the hurricanes hit Louisiana, we were frantic, wanting to help and not knowing how. My family lives in Baton Rouge, and they all told me to just wait. Eventually the flood of aid from around the country would slow, and that's when the state would really need help. And they were right.

There's a lot still to do in Louisiana, but Cajuns are tough people. They'll bounce back. But every little bit helps, so if you're reading this, please check out Vermillion Animal Aid or some other group helping Louisianians, and see what you can do.


The Cow Whisperer said...

It is a sad state of affairs when the entire friggin' state goes without rain for a year (with the exception being my birthday party at the lake), and then east Texas/Louisiana getting all that rain (that should have fallen over the span of a year) in about 4 hours.

michelle hebert-smith said...

Jeff, we live just 5 minutes from Abbeville and Oren's office is there. If she needs anything, have her call. Diane has our numbers. Thanks for keeping us laughing....we need it.

Denise said...

Annie -- call me when you come through here. I'm headed up to Navasota after lunch (in class all Friday morning), but let me know if and when you're coming through.