Lamar-Dixon Chronicles #15 – More Saves and Working to Reunite

I hope you got here from Lamar-Dixon Chronicles #14: More Changes so you have some context. If not, I suggest you go back to the beginning (Lamar-Dixon Chronicles: Introduction). Each episode links to the next for continuity.

10/4/05: Lamar-Dixon Chronicles #15

Another big day in Louisiana. I just got off the phone with Lorrayne – she and Eric had a save today! They found a dog who was locked in a bathroom. It had clearly been there for several weeks, but was still healthy enough that they bypassed the triage station and took it directly to the new intake facility at Raceland. And yes, the decision has been made, they are moving to Raceland tomorrow. Lamar-Dixon is in the throes of shutting down, and we and they have been researching the best place for them to go. Raceland was already on the list on its own merits, but as it turns out, they are now the main facility accepting transfers from Lamar-Dixon. And they are still running rescue operations out of that facility – the national organizations have all pulled out and shut down. Lorrayne reports that she was very pleased with what she saw today – the facility is nice, and it appears to be quite well-organized.

So tomorrow morning, our intrepid travelers will go out on another rescue run from Lamar-Dixon, deposit their saves (hopefully) at triage stations or at Raceland, then drive back to Lamar-Dixon to pick up the RV and move everything down to Raceland. It is 72 miles from Lamar-Dixon to Raceland, so this is not a trivial bunch of driving. The only downside is that Raceland has no facilities for RVs or even tent camping, and the only nearby RV park is full to the gunnels. So they will be spending at least one night at the local Wal-Mart until we see if we can get them more suitable parking arrangements.

Raceland is being operated by Pasado’s Safe Haven, a sanctuary out of the state of Washington (I assume it’s similar to Best Friends in Utah). If Raceland doesn’t work out, there are two other shelters within range that they can transfer to – Slidell operated by Noah’s Wish, and Algiers, a new facility being operated by the Louisiana SPCA.

Wendy V.’s work continues, even with her arrival home. She is working out of her home and is now taking personal responsibility for trying to track down the owners of some of the animals she rescued and cared for. And she is helping our logistical efforts for the volunteers by researching the shelters and possible RV camping/parking facilities. Plus, she is fostering a very special dog that she brought home from Lamar-Dixon, one she has named Lefty (because it was left behind). Even though she and Sandy and Sarah had pledged not to bring any dogs home and spread them even farther from their owners, this one was special. They found it in a completely sealed up home. When they called the homeowner (from cell phone bills they found), they learned that when the owners had returned home to save their own two dogs, they found this dog inside as well but had no idea whose it was. They couldn’t take it with them, so they left it in the house with food and water and reported it to the SPCA so that it would be rescued. Along came Wendy and Sandy to do just that. I’ll post Wendy’s full story about Lefty on the blog site.  Wendy has made it her mission to find Lefty’s owner, and the homeowner where he was found is helping out by talking to his neighbors. In the meantime, Wendy is looking for a safe foster home for the dog.

Which leads me to my next topic. I was thrilled to find that the Marin Humane Society, which was a key player in taking in some of the dogs that got relocated to the Bay Area, is participating with several other area shelters in a program called “Operation Orphans of the Storm”. They are committed to the goal of reuniting the displaced animals with their owners, and have thus instituted a special policy for the dogs they are fostering out – NO adoptions of displaced animals will become final until December 31, 2005, after all attempts have been made to reunite animals with their owners.  I also found the same to be true for LSU and some of the national organizations. Hopefully, many other shelters are following suit. Wendy will be confirming this policy before she fosters out Lefty in SoCal. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be hundreds or even thousands of unhappy endings, with displaced animals being adopted out before their owners have a chance to find them. But this sort of extended fostering policy (instead of the 30 day policy we were originally hearing about) will certainly help.

Outbound volunteer update: Two people leaving from Mesquite at the end of the week. One from Berkeley. At least one, maybe two from Minnesota on the 19th (family and friends of Carolyn Allen’s). It just keeps going and going. Some are asking for assistance with travel expenses, and so far we have been able to give it. Others just want information, like where they are most needed. I think we’re giving that too.

Remember, if you’re going to be at the Haute-Dawgs trial in Dixon this weekend, I’m bringing a whole bunch of wine and some plastic cups for a cocktail party at Sarah’s motorhome on Saturday night. BYOC (chairs), BYOS (snacks) and BYOBOTW (beverage other than wine).  We will raise a glass to the volunteers (coming and going), praise the contributors who continue to make this all possible, and share some stories and tears with Sarah and Sandy. It’ll be easy to find – look for a Class A Allegro, license plate “FIT DOGS”, with all the people hanging around.  Perhaps Wendy Gurney will bring her contribution jug as well. Too bad we don’t have a Wi-Fi internet connection there, I’d bring one of my doggy-webcams so Wendy V. could participate down south – she’s envious.

Next up: Lamar-Dixon Chronicles #16, #17: Situation Continues to Change 

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