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Important Update for People With Animals in Hurricane Gustav’s Path

Written by PETA | August 31, 2008

PETA was at work as soon as Gustav raised its first serious head above the clouds, trying to prevent another monumental tragedy for animals. More than a week before Hurricane Gustav’s anticipated landfall, PETA sent Gulf Coast media markets our preparedness tips, reaching local residents with the lifesaving message that the calm before the storm is when they must safeguard their animals and offering instructions for evacuation. PETA’s emergency team of volunteers is primed, and we await further developments. On Saturday, Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain announced that more than 160 trucks have been outfitted with pet crates to handle the evacuation and that companion animal shelters for animal guardians with “critical transportation needs” are ready for service during the Hurricane Gustav evacuation, saying, “We are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of Louisiana’s pets.

Read the Full Update for People With Animals in Hurricane Gustav’s Path Below

Residents who don’t have transportation must immediately call their local parish office of emergency preparedness to arrange transportation to the animal-friendly shelters. Animals can come, too, but they must be in a carrier, with at least a three-day supply of food and other supplies packed and ready to go. If an animal weighs less than 15 lbs., he or she will be allowed to ride on the human transport bus. If he or she weighs more than 15 lbs., separate animal transport trucks will take him or her to the animal shelter. Residents: You are still responsible for your animals’ care during their stay at these shelters, so please be prepared with supplies, animal identification, and sturdy carriers or leashes. (Please read PETA’s disaster preparedness checklist, and be sure to visit animals as often as possible to provide food, water, and comfort.) Shelter locations may change because of weather, so please have your local parish office of emergency preparedness telephone number with you at all times! Parish pick-up points for transportation to the CTN pet shelters are expected to close as storm conditions become unsafe. People who have transportation are encouraged to evacuate to pet-friendly hotels for the duration of the evacuation. Lists of these hotels can be found at and Many hotels will relax their usual animal policy in an emergency, so call ahead and ask if your animals can come along.Citizens who are evacuating on their own and who may need sheltering assistance are urged to stop at shelter-information points along the evacuation route to receive a reservation for the nearest shelter with openings. Those shelters will open as mass-scale evacuations begin. Shelter-information points are located at:

  • Tourist Welcome Center, U.S. 65 & 84, 1401 Carter St., Vidalia
  • Tourist Welcome Center, 836 I-20 W., Tallulah
  • Sammy’s Truck Stop, I-49, Exit 53, 3601 La. 115 W., Bunkie
  • Med Express Office, 7525 U.S. 71, Alexandria
  • LSU-Shreveport, P.E. Gym, 1 University Pl., Shreveport
  • Pickering High School, 180 Lebleu Rd., Leesville
  • Tourist Information Center, 8904 U.S. 165, Oberlin

The Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales and Parker Coliseum on LSU’s Baton Rouge campus—which were used during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—will not be used as shelters during the Gustav evacuation.

Evacuees with large animals should contact their local LSU AgCenter county agent for information on what accommodations can be made for horses and livestock. The Agriculture Department office is open 24 hours a day to advise residents on pet and livestock issues. The phone number is 225-922-1234 or 1-800-558-9741. Evacuation guides for residents can be downloaded here.

Mississippi residents: The Humane Society of Southern Mississippi is operating a pet shelter on the grounds of the Harrison Central High School (the school building itself will be a shelter for humans). Evacuees should follow signs leading to the pet shelter when they arrive at the school. The shelter will open at 6 p.m. on August 31.For Mississippi residents without transportation, Gulf Transit will provide rides on school buses that will take people to the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, where they will be fed and cared for by MEMA until it is safe to return to the coast. Each person will be allowed to take only two bags. Small pets will be allowed but must be in a pet carrier and will count as one of the two bags. Pets will be taken to the Pet Shelter in Jackson. Owners must accompany their pets and be responsible for them at all times. Eligible pets include dogs, cats, birds, and pocket pets, with the exception of lizards and snakes. There will be no exceptions to these rules. The buses will be picking up people at the following locations:


  • Biloxi Jr. High School, Irish Hill Parking Lot
  • Biloxi High School, Football Stadium on Richard Drive
  • Yankie Stadium on Lee Street


  • D’Iberville High School on Warrior Drive


  • Milner Stadium on 38th Avenue
  • Good Deeds Center on Madison Avenue

Long Beach

  • West Harrison County Community Center on Espy Avenue

Harrison County

  • Lizana Elementary School on Lizana School Road
  • Saucier Elementary School on First Street
  • Harrison Central Elementary on Dedeaux Road
Commenting is closed.
  • PETA says:

    Thank you for contacting PETA about crating dogs. PETA opposes crating because it deprives dogs of all that is natural to them. Some caring dog guardians have mistakenly adopted crating into their dogs lives as a matter of convenience but we believe that if they gave it some thought they would reconsider. Truly responsible guardians would not leave their dogs in crates when they must leave the house any more than they would leave human babies unattended in their cribs. Dogs are highly social pack animals who crave and deserve regular companionship praise and exercise. Forcing dogs to spend extended periods of time confined and isolated in order to accommodate their guardians’ schedule is unacceptable. There are numerous humane alternatives available to people whose schedules force them to leave their dogs at home for the duration of the work day. Committed caretakers who successfully complete and continuously practice obedience with their dogs have no reason to imprison their wellbehaved companions while they are away. We also recommend hiring a pet service or soliciting a neighbor’s relative’s or friend’s help to take dogs out for a midday walk. Having another animal friend also alleviates boredom and loneliness. PETA strongly urges people with the time finances love and patience to adopt companion animals from animal shelters where countless dogs and cats await adoption. Crate training does not speed up the housebreaking process and may even prolong it. Regardless of the training method puppies do not develop full bladder control before six months of age. It is counterproductive to crate young puppies in hopes that they will “hold it” as they are physically incapable of doing so and will be forced to eliminate in their crate not before experiencing great discomfort while trying not to soil. Puppies who repeatedly soil their crates often lose the urge to keep their den clean which in turn prolongs and complicates the housebreaking process. Studies have shown that longterm confinement is detrimental to the physical and psychological wellbeing of animals. Animals who are caged for extended periods of time often develop eating disorders antisocial andor aggressive behaviors or become withdrawn hyperactive or severely depressed. When there are so many other alternatives why subject our canine companions to a training method which is obviously not in their best interest? For more thoughts on this subject please visit the following Web sites httpwww.PETA.orgcampaignsarcratingdogs.asp httpblog.HelpingAnimals.com200711whyihatecrates.php httpblog.HelpingAnimals.com200803butheloveshiscrate.php To learn more about caring for companion animals please visit Thank you again for contacting us and for your concern for animals. Sincerely The PETA Staff

  • Jenny Stevenson says:

    I am absolutely amazed at the comments from people critical of PETAs issues. Sadly the voice of animals is not heard above the hubbub of economical disaster natural disaster and the credit crunch. All animals are wonderful and deserve so much more than they sadly get. Things may not be perfect but without PETA and other animal voices there is nothing. People should throw their voice behind Animal Organisations petition the Government to change laws get a better deal for animals dont give up just because you dont succeed first time keep up the pressure. The animals are our Karma it is our responsibility to look out for them whether they be ours or somebody elses. If it is bought to your attention there is a good reason why please dont look the other way!

  • Alejandra Maldonado says:

    Please let me know how can I help? donation ? Please let me know Thanks

  • linda says:

    i am a katrina evacuee and now live in hot springs ar. i can house 5 or 6 people with their pets.

  • ddh says:

    While pet rescue and pet care efforts are of course important the horrific facts of the number of dogs and cats per year in the US that are lostkilledeuthanizedseverelyabused 10+ million provides a basis to support the position that the pet selling and pet owning enterprise in the US should not be permitted. The numbers are staggering and clearly show that there has been a horrific failure and this failure has been occurring for decades and the numbers are increasing substantially each year. I think this should be a part of all pet organizations principles. For example “We are here to rescue and educate as much as we can but given the staggering numbers of pets that are killed each year we must also state that the pet enterprise in the US is an abject failure and strongly recommend and plead with you that you not take part in the pet enterprise. Yes there are good pet owners but the negative facts are horrific and overriding of all other considerations.” I think the rescue and care efforts are proportionally insignificant to the numbers killedlostabused etc. Yes each pet that is saved is important but if you look at the situation with petbypet basis approach while you can be happy for the individual pets saved you miss the overall immensity of the problem. Yes you may know of the overall problem but you I believe should make a statement about this as a part of your fundamental principles and the statement is that the pet enterprise should be stopped for the purpose of ending 10+ million pets suffering death etc each year. Lastly I find the absence of such a position by you to be negligent. Also it appears to me that you are providing the pet owners who are negligent careless abusive etc a resource for them to abandon their pets. That is prospective pet owners buy pets with the thought in mind that “there are always shelters rescue organizations etc that are there in case I don’t like the pet or don’t want the pet any longer or have to move to a place that doesn’t take pets etc etc.” In this sense you’re facilitating the cycle of abject suffering and killing. I think your rescue and care organizations and principles while helpful in the immediate present to a proportionally minuscule number of pets are at the core facilitating of killing abuse and suffering. The above principle should be a part of your core principles. One could argue that you are not making such a statement because you rely on the ever accumulating presence of abandoned and abused pets for your businesses and organizations.

  • Amy Heil says:

    Hello My husband and I will be in New Orleans in October to help with some schools. I am a big animal lover and want to help in any way I can. Could you tell me what animal organization I could contact to find out how I can help when I am down there?

  • roxanne says:

    thank you Peta for helping the animals and the people who love their pets. People don’t want to lose pets to this disaster but authorities don’t take this factor into consideration. Thanks Peta for filling this gap in assistance Peta rules

  • Doreen Hoffman says:

    I am so glad that provisions are being made for the animals and I lobbied the President and Congress heavily about this when Katrina hit. I was so upset to see these poor people die because many stayed to be with their pets and upset to see the pets were so abandoned! This is great that the laws have been changed and the animals will be protected now! I also feel that lizards should be included as some people love them too. All of you animal agencies are the GREATEST and I know you will keep up the wonderful work you do to care and protect animals!!!

  • tina says:

    with the hurrican coming I think if anyone leaving any animals to die should be ponished severly. they care more materal pasetion more then the animal that they say that they love.I would die for my animal rather then leave them!!!!

  • Irene Rybinska says:

    Thank goodness that something is being done for the welfare of animals. Well Done all at PETA and keep up your good work.

  • Gia Savocchi says:

    I am a little bit confused with Peta’s stance on something. On the one hand you have anticrate training literature on the site and that is handed out. However all the hotels you recommended require animals to be crated if left alone in the rooms. In addition the safest place for an animal to ride in a car is in a crate similar to how we restrain children and ourselves in a car. If the animal is being evacuated via airplane a crate will be needed. If the animal has not been crate trained slowly and well in advance to voluntarily go into the crate they may bark and scream and WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE PLANE. Furthermore if people are going to shelters themselves or taking the animals to sanctuaries and shelters or vet clinics they will be kenneled there. I’m just curious as to why PETA puts out anticrate training literature when it is vital that animals be crate training for travel and disaster preparadness purposes. It takes only a few hours to teach a dog the crate is a fun cookie and toy machine but if you don’t and try to get a dog in a crate without teaching them the results can be tragic. Dogs have been known to brake teeth and even jaws desperately trying to escape a crate or kennel simply because they haven’t been taught to remain calm in one. Crate training doesn’t mean locking a dog in confinement for hours. It means teaching a dog to enjoy confinement when necessary for example at the vets your vet mobile uses them in an emergency in a hotel or when traveling. Just like we learn as children to be confined to cribs and carseats dogs taught. I SHUDDER to think what happens to dogs who don’t think a crate is a safe place. OFTEN euthanazia of the animal happens or 247 heavy sedation. Not to mention the dog feels extreme terror.