Best Friends Blog

Best Friends commits $100,000 to Louisiana flood relief

Terrier dog in flood watersFor the last week, the nation has watched in disbelief as torrential rains have devastated 20 parishes in southern Louisiana.

Without the forewarning of an approaching hurricane or the howling winds that locals recognize as impending trouble, the residents of the area in and around Baton Rouge awoke last Saturday to devastating flooding that has resulted in 13 human deaths, damage to 40,000 homes, the evacuation of more than 20,000 people and the death and dislocation of an as yet unknown number of pets and livestock.

This heartbreaking situation is compounded by the fact that much of the inundated area is traditional high ground that has never previously flooded. This is an area where people and animals are normally sheltered from storms and flooding; however, by last Sunday, the waters of the Amite River had risen to a historic high of 46.2 feet in Denham Springs, one of the worst hit areas. According to the Huffington Post, the Denham Springs Animal Shelter was “completely engulfed in rising floodwaters. Staff and volunteers fought to save as many animals as possible but eventually unlatched the kennel’s doors so that the dogs could swim out and climb onto the facility’s roof to safety.”

Throughout the week, Best Friends has been coordinating with our network partner organizations in the area and alerted our volunteers within a 100-mile radius of the disaster as to their needs. We have also begun distributing grants to local groups involved with the rescue, sheltering and transport of pets impacted by the flood.

Today, Best Friends is activating a dedicated relief fund to which we are inviting our members and friends to contribute. Contributions will be greatly appreciated by all of Best Friends’ No More Homeless Pets Network partner groups that are in Louisiana rescuing pets under dangerous conditions. Please join us in supporting the lifesaving work that local groups are engaged in. Contribute now, or please consider donating directly to a local lifesaving organization that you know and trust.

In the days and weeks to come, as the full scope of the damage to local rescue and shelter organizations becomes known, we will accept recovery grant applications from any qualified organization that has been damaged by the flood or has incurred exceptional costs to care for, feed, house or transport flood zone animals.

I particularly want to acknowledge the exemplary work of our partners: Acadiana Animal Aid, ARNO, Spaymart, Animal Aid for Vermilion Area, St. Tammany Humane Society and Companion Animal Alliance — all of which are in need of assistance. These groups are aligned with Best Friends’ no-kill mission and some have achieved no-kill status.

Please help us ensure that this disaster does not set them back and that the loss of animal life is kept to an absolute minimum. This is a very difficult time for everyone in this region. Here is a full list of our Louisiana partners. Your thoughtfulness and generosity is greatly appreciated.

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Francis Battista
Best Friends Animal Society

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  • K E S Mason

    Thank y’all so much for your love and care. Please continue to spread the word. The water has receded, BUT our animals in Louisiana STILL desperately need foster, adoption, food, supplies. Don’t forget about them, please. Share and re-post whenever you can.

    If anyone would like to donate via the Kippers Express Flood Rescue Drive, jump on his page to send gift cards, money, etc. The Kippers Express, from Shreveport, LA, is on Facebook under “Classic Kippers”, and has delivered more than 26,000 pounds of food and supplies to South Louisiana shelters to help them get up and running again. Local businesses have donated the big trucks, people across the country are generously donating, and our infamous Mr. Kippers (can see him on, too), and his crew are continuing their runs back and forth, from north to south, as supplies are limited in the areas just plain wiped out by the floods.

    Thank you again. Woofs, meows, and licks from here!

  • Darlaj Dolphin

    If you have any volunteers traveling from NOLA east towards Tallahassee…need to get a rescued cat from ARNO to Tallahassee, FL. She was left alone for weeks after long time owner passed away and is not doing well at the shelter. ARNO is helping with animals from the flooding. Can anyone help?

    • patty hegwood

      Hi Darlaj, I am going to ARNO tomorrow and will ask about this kitty. We are in the process of arranging several transports, not sure any are going to Tallahassee but will see what they have planned for getting little one out. Do you or any of your friends have an opportunity to help? Can you drive some of the way, are you in Tallahassee?

      • Darla

        Patty – I just missed you at ARNO. I am in Tallahassee. For future trips (or other BF volunteers), I could make it to Pensacola on a weekend day. (Recovering from ankle surgery…too hard to make the whole trip right now.) I will have Kathy send you my number for any future possibilities. Thanks for helping all the babies!

  • Bubbles Poodle

    Some of your Florida Partners are trying to help the Louisana Partners. Alaqua needs funds to get 80 round bales of hay moved to the Large Animals. Please contact Laurie Hood.

    • patty hegwood

      I am friends with Adele, is she involved in this rescue? Just wondering as she is a personal friend. Do you guys have hay and just need it moved, am I understanding this correctly?