CARA'S House is proving to be Ascension Strong by tackling head-on the difficult task of taking care of hundreds of stray animals displaced by the recent flood.
The animal shelter was forced to evacuate from their Sorrento location on Aug. 14 due the fear of high water and was moved to the main arena at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. Before they relocated, they had 219 animals in their care, all but nine of the animals was either moved to shelters or sent to recuse and foster homes, said CARA's House Shelter Manager Cindy Luquette.
The community has continued to show tremendous support for the shelter, as numerous donations and volunteers have continuously shown up at Lamar-Dixon. Recently, an 18-wheeler stocked full of cat and dog supplies, $81,415.25 worth, from PetSmart Charities was delivered, with everything from food to litter to kennels.
Other donations have continued to pour in also, from local businesses to concerned residents to out-of-state supporters.
"The amount of support we have received from the local community, and across the country, has been overwhelming," said CARA President Virginia Kelly. "Every time we request a specific item they come pouring in, and people have lined up to volunteer every day. We could not have made it through the past two weeks without the members of our community, many of whom suffered devastating losses themselves, but showed up faithfully to help us in our time of need. Their continued support is integral to our ability to continue to care for the companion animals displaced by the flood as we search for their families."
Luquette said that on an average basis, before the flood, the shelter accommodates anywhere from 100 to 150 animals at a time. When CARA's House is able to return to their building, the remaining strays, along with the publicly owned animals that were not picked up, will be brought back with them.
"We are holding all of our strays and rescues on a 10 business day stray hold," Luquette said. "Once their stray holds come up, we have asked for fosters. We have had a huge number of people agreeing to foster."
Luquette also addressed the many rumors circulating saying that CARA'S House will be sending animals to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) facility in Virginia.
"We do not have contact with PETA and will not be sending anything to PETA. We have reputable rescues that we use and we will have some that will go to rescues once we know that they are not owned, they will go to the rescues that we deal with on a weekly basis, but nothing will go to PETA."
The Sorrento shelter received more than six inches of water from the flood, and the initial phase of clean up has already begun. In the meantime, the shelter will continue to operate out of Lamar-Dixon, as an expected return date is not yet known.
Those interested in fostering or adopting an fill out an adoption application at carashouse.com and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. For volunteer opportunities, visit Barn 1 at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. CARA's House is currently seeking monetary donations to assist with needs of the numerous cats and dogs. PayPal donations can be sent to CarasHouseLA@gmail.com.