The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has been busy rescuing people and their pets from the floods that have devastated southern Louisiana. Those floods have already killed at least six people.
The department began performing search-and-rescue missions at 5 a.m. EDT on Friday. By Monday, its agents had rescued 2982 people and 566 animals. The vast majority of those rescued, 1422 people and 233 animals, came from the East Baton Rouge parish. About 99 percent of the animals rescued were people’s pets.
A spokesman for the department, Adam Einck, commented that the department had learned a lot of lessons from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. He said, “One of the biggest hang-ups in getting people to evacuate their homes was that they didn’t want to leave their pets.” Einck further noted that pet owners had learned some lessons as well, and that many had gotten items like pet carriers to make transporting their animals easier. He then added, “We definitely will try to work with them any way we can – obviously, it makes it a lot easier if that kind of stuff is already taken care of.”
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has also been working with the Humane Society and local animal shelters to ensure the rescued animals can be kept somewhere safe.
The torrential downpours that had begun on Friday had tapered off by Monday. Many rivers and creeks, however, are still at risk of flooding and are being watched. Other first responders have been involved in rescue efforts. On Sunday night, Governor John Bel Edwards reported that 20,000 people had been rescued, and over 10,000 people were staying in shelters.