Utahns help animals displaced by Hurricane Ida in New Orleans

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(Courtesy of Salt Lake County Animal Services)

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Utahns are lending a hand in Louisiana to areas hit hardest during Hurricane Ida.

Salt Lake County Animal Services (SLCoAS) has traveled to New Orleans to assist with animal control calls, provide care for shelter animals, and to help reunite lost pets with their owners.

“Salt Lake County is honored to help the people and pets of New Orleans as they work to rebuild and return to normal everyday life,” says Mayor Jenny Wilson, Salt Lake County. “Not only do we want to help others, but this is also an opportunity to help build relationships outside of our state, if we are ever in need after a disaster in our community.”

Salt Lake County has partnered with the Louisiana SPCA for the effort. Louisiana SPCA officials say they’ve been short-staffed due to the pandemic and animal control vehicles being destroyed by Hurricane Ida. In the New Orleans area, officials say there are only two Animal Control Officers to help manage the thousands of calls they receive every day.

“It means the world to us to have other areas across the country recognize that our neighbors are still in need of help in New Orleans,” says Rebecca Melanson, Communications Director, Louisiana SPCA. “The world has moved on, but we haven’t. The people in these parishes are still living in ‘Ground Zero,’ the animal shelter is at capacity, and our staff hasn’t had an opportunity to take time to decompress from the disaster.”

The Salt Lake County team arrived on October 15 and will return home on October 23. Those interested in donating to the Emergency Relief Fund can do so here.

Funds will be used to aid animal rescue efforts in Salt Lake County and other areas.

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