Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ARNO puts the rescue in Animal Rescue

Casa and her pups at ARNO

Most pleas for help that I send out have to do with a specific animal, but today, it’s just a plea for help, help for Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), a plea for you to consider helping, in anyway that you can. ARNO needs volunteers, ARNO needs money, ARNO needs blankets, dog beds, cat food, kitten food, ARNO needs help to be able to continue what it does best: RESPOND.

Last night as I sat with Liberty and contemplated an evening of feral canine rehab since we had a good nighttime dog crew, I was suddenly called away by Jen H. to head out and see if we couldn’t help a feral cat caretaker catch a cat who had suddenly gone “neurologic” Well, after grabbing my keys, a flashlight and the net, we determined on the drive over that it was a cat who this caretaker had been feeding for years, before and after Hurricane Katrina and now tonight, out of the blew, he was stumbling, fell over and was now running across a shopping mall parking lot near his home, dodging all the Christmas shoppers and their cars. Surely, we would arrive too late for this cat but we sped ahead anyway. When we arrived, there he was, running in the back of the mall lot, the caretaker and her friend in tears trying to catch him. What happened next was just another ARNO night as I watched Jen creep up upon this frightened animal and on her first attempt, successfully net the cat. And so it goes, another night of ARNO work, at the shelter, away from the shelter, responding to an emergency call that noone else will, but our night was hardly over as we raced to the emergency veterinarian clinic for a diagnosis and more importantly to the caretaker, a prognosis. It was to be this cat’s night as we were told that his bloodwork looked good and his lack of wounds pointed to a disease that could be causing the blood behind his eyes, the same blood that was now making him nearly blind, Toxoplasmosis.
So Raphael awaits the rest of life now at ARNO, for ten days at least, as we are under orders to go through the motions of a rabies quarantine, just in case, he is being treated with medication to put the Toxo in remission and then his caretaker will find a place in her home for a feral that is already letting us pet him. The caretaker was able to save her beloved cat, one she has known for six or seven years, a remarkably long time in feral cat years, and ARNO, out $255.00 for the exam and bloodwork, was able to give that caretaker something she needed for Christmas, peace of mind in finding someone, anyone, ARNO, to just respond.

Casa, she was one where ARNO, just responded. There was a skinny dog, or so we were told, one who was nursing what they believed was 3 puppies, newborns or no older than 10 days. Well, what makes this one an emergency ARNO asked? The building, the one she lived under, gave birth under, and came home every night to after hunting for scraps so that she could nurse, that building was to be torn down in about 3 days. No, animal control won’t help us they said, “we don’t go under buildings” is what they were told, the workers near that building who tried to look out for the mama dog. So, ARNO was contacted and ARNO responded. After an initial survey of the building, underneath, and its canine residents, an ARNO volunteer set a plan in motion to trap the mother and then waited and waited and waited. Turns out she was a good mother and although she was now sealed into her home, she wouldn’t leave the puppies and enter the trap. So ARNO responded, and we crawled, on our bellies, underneath that building and while one of us shown the light and watched to be certain that the mother wouldn’t attack, the other volunteer stole two of those puppies and that response, it worked. Within minutes, we had the mother dog, her two stolen puppies and one more belly crawl assured us that third beautiful baby. So now Casa, named for the juvenile court system’s building she was living under, and of course meaning “home” sits at ARNO, receiving much love and attention, and hot dogs too, and watches her babies grow and play and be loved as much and now she hopes for others to respond as well. Casa waits for a home, a home for her puppies, for more volunteers to arrive at ARNO so that others can continue to respond to those calls, for money to be donated to buy the food, the bedding, the heartworm treatment it turns out she needs.

Please, respond to our plea for help, respond to ARNO so that ARNO can continue responding when, wherever, and for whomever it is needed...it’s what ARNO does better than anyone else.
ARNO’s no-kill shelter is located at 271 Plauche Street in Harahan, LA 70123. You can donate on line at www.animalrescueneworleans.org Thank you for caring.

Happy Holidays!