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Local woman helps animals in the wake of Hurricane Ida

The Director of the Ingham County Animal Shelter poses with a lizard she found in New Orleans.
The Director of the Ingham County Animal Shelter poses with a lizard she found in New Orleans.(Heidi Williams)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:02 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As thousands of people evacuated New Orleans for Hurricane Ida, many left behind their pets.

The Director of the Ingham County Animal Control, Heidi Williams, is helping bring those animals to safety.

“Today we brought in a handful of dogs. It looks like maybe they were left behind,” said Williams.

The National Animal Control Association pleading with departments nationwide to help with a majorly understaffed organization in New Orleans who need assistance rescuing pets and day-to-day operations. Williams answered the call.

“They had their funding cut and lost a whole lot of positions. Which already put them in a precarious position and then Ida hit. They had one officer to respond to the entire City of New Orleans which I can’t even fathom,” said Williams.

Williams says the pets are scared, and rightfully so.

“Imagine people going through a hurricane. Then, imagine an animal going through a hurricane,” Williams said. “They don’t understand what’s going on. The couple dogs we trapped today were really scared. Neighbors thought they were aggressive, they were not aggressive. They were just very afraid. Once we lured them in with food and ear scratches they were fine.”

As the number of dogs increase at the shelter, the more resources they need. Williams says as of now, they’re running out of food.

“Dog food is really hard to find in the State of Louisiana right now apparently. I don’t really know why that is. Monetary donations are definitely appreciated if anybody is so inclined I know they would appreciate it greatly,” said Williams.

The owners have three days to claim their animals. If they go unaccounted for, the animals will be sent to various shelters to be adopted.

Williams will make the drive back home Saturday night after working another full shift.

Donate the SPCA Hurricane Ida fund here.

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