New Orleanians are truly blessed in many ways. Almost three years after Hurricane Katrina almost killed our city, we can still see evidence every day that people from all over the country have not forgotten us and support our recovery efforts in the most personal of ways by giving their time and opening their hearts. Out-of-town groups frequently come into town to work for Habitat for Humanity, the Make It Right Foundation, or on individual homes. The generous spirit, however, goes beyond bricks, mortar, wood and drywall. Some people still are harboring some of our most vulnerable and helpless expatriates and have given many permanent homes. Im talking about the pets saved after the levees broke in the largest animal rescue effort in this countrys history.
The folks in Asheville, N.C., are holding a Katrina Family Reunion and Ice Cream Social from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 11 for individuals and organizations that assisted in the Hurricane Katrina Survival rescues as well as the former New Orleans canines who have been adopted by people in western North Carolina. Susan Hess, chair of the Campaign to Rebuild the Louisiana SPCA in New Orleans will address the group during the event at Blaze N Skyy Pet Boutique (62 Wall St., Asheville).In the shadow of Hurricane Katrina, the loss and sadness the LA-SPCA suffered has been surpassed only by a singular sense of hope and urgency to provide an improved future for our companion animals, Hess says. She will relate the story of how hundreds of donors, volunteers and organizations across the country sheltered and saved more than 15,000 animals after Katrina. The LA-SPCA returned almost 20 percent of the rescued animals to their original owners and found homes for many others, including this former New Orleans dog (pictured), who now lives in Asheville.For information on the LA-SPCAs proposed Adoption, Education and Veterinary Care Center, visit www.la-spca.org. For information on the Katrina Family Reunion, visit www.tailsofwhimsy.com.