Volunteers with PAWS Chicago bringing animals to the city after Hurricane Ida leaves many displaced, homeless

·2 min read

PAWS Chicago is hoping to help newly displaced and homeless animals from areas affected by Hurricane Ida by bringing them to Chicago this week, and the organization is also asking for donations that will be given to animal shelters in Louisiana.

On Wednesday morning volunteers will leave in PAWS Chicago’s rescue van for Springfield,where they will pick up about 50 animals, split almost evenly between cats and dogs, CEO Susanna Homan said. The volunteers and rescued animals are expected to be back in Chicago by Wednesday afternoon.

The cats and dogs, ranging in age from puppies and kittens to senior animals, are from six shelters in Louisiana that were in the shelters prior to the storm.

“What happens when homes are flooded and people lose power, often a lot of animals become homeless,” Homan said. “The goal is to reduce the shelter animal population in the area so there is room for newly displaced and homeless animals to then stay in the area and be reunited with their families.”

The organization is also collecting supplies from the Chicago community to give to partner shelters affected by the hurricane. Donations can be dropped off to the PAWS Chicago Medical Center, 3516 W. 26th St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. Supplies needed included bottled water, dry and canned pet food, cleaning supplies, kitten and puppy milk replacer, leashes, collars and flea and tick medication.

PAWS Chicago will keep working with the shelters affected by Hurricane Ida to provide more relief as needed, Homan said.

People can help the animals by signing up to be a foster family, which provides an animal not quite ready for adoption a temporary home, she said.

Each animal rescued from Louisiana will be given medical care as needed, such as vaccinations and spaying or neutering. Once medically cleared, the animals will be available for adoption through PAWS Chicago.

sahmad@chicagotribune.com

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