Hurricane Ida: 60 Stray Cats, Dogs Flown From Louisiana to California to Remove Them From Harms Way

by Josh Lanier

A nonprofit group airlifted more than 50 pets out of the South to save them from Hurricane Ida. The category 4 hurricane is lashing the Gulf Coast with high-speed winds after making landfall on Sunday.

Shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi were struggling to handle the influx of animals ahead of the storm’s arrival. Many were far over capacity, putting the animal’s lives at risk. So, to help, a Seattle-based nonprofit worked with animal rescue groups in California to help take in some of those in need. Greater Good Charities coordinated the airlifting of 60 stray dogs and cats on Saturday, the Daily Mail said.

And they’re not the only ones. Rescue agencies across the country have stepped up to help save some of the pets at Gulf Coast shelters. A Delaware group took in 110 animals. A Virginia-based group took in dozens of dogs from the Humane Society of South Mississippi. They expect to take on more in the coming days.

A spokesperson for the Helen Woodward Animal Center said the group was instantly one board when it got the call from Greater Good Charities.

“In Louisiana and Mississippi, they were maxed out to capacity. Kennels were full and kennels were lining hallways,” Jessica Gercke told KFMB.

Though, seeing the support for these animals has helped provide a silver lining to this grey cloud.

“To see them fly in is really touching to all of us,” she said. “It always makes me feel like crying.”

A spokesperson for Greater Good Charities said many shelter operators on the Gulf Coast have struggled to cope with the stress of finding help.

“It’s not only the pets it’s the people,” Erin Robbins told the station. “Yesterday, I had three different shelter directors at different times just breakdown.”

At Least One Death Reported From Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida pummelled the Gulf Coast with winds topping out at more than 150 mph when it made landfall Sunday. This makes it one of the worst storms to hit the South in more than 100 years. Though, Ida’s death toll is far lower than other previous storms.

Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm but it killed more than 1,800 people. So far, Louisiana has only recorded only one death from Hurricane Ida. Though, experts expect that number to rise along with floodwaters.

Videos taken around New Orleans show the awesome destructive force of Hurricane Ida. In one recording, the rain came in sideways and winds screamed as it cut through buildings.

Another shows winds ripping the roof off of the Lady of the Sea Hospital. And at least one building fell in the French Quarter of the famed city.

Almost all of New Orleans is without power from the storm. More than 1 million homes are dark as Ida churns its way through the South. And it’s unclear electric companies will be able to repair downed lines and restore power.