This story was submitted by Ladyhawk Catherine from Disaster Animal Victims of Peru Earthquake .. and part of the 9.27.2007 Blogging Against Animal Abuse Campaign – PetLvr Stories. If you have a similar “pet rescue” story .. please email it to .. hart (at) PetLvr (dot) com .. with subject 9.27.2007 .. I will post your story in here!
I’ve been debating on which animal to write about since almost all of my animals are rescues and each has a story. With that said, or rather typed, I’ve decided to tell the story of Paulie – HSUS #15.
Paulie was rescued in New Orleans 9/11/05 in the Ninth Ward area by HSUS. He was taken to the LSU veterinary teaching hospital. He was admitted with heart failure, complete renal failure, breathing difficulties (lungs full of fluid). Vets at LSU performed emergency surgery on him and removed a large mass of heart worms from his heart and fluid from his lungs. The worms had been eating away his heart muscles and had caused permanent lung damage. During the surgery he was accidentally poked in his right eye with a needle which resulted in loss of vision in that eye.
Please keep in mind that the vets and techs were working nonstop in the aftermath of Katrina, in facilities run by generator power to save injured animals. After the surgery his condition was still critical and he was in intensive care. To add to the trauma, within a few days of his surgery, there was a Cholera scare and LSU has to evacuate their clinic and get all of the animals out of it and into other vet clinics and hospitals further away from New Orleans.
HSUS evacuated several animals from there to the Noah’s Wish shelter in Slidell, LA. The animals arrived in the middle of the night and went through the intake, trauma and decontamination process on tables with generator powered lights near the entrance of the shelter building. Those people who worked that night just knew a load of animals were coming in from LSU and there was talk of a Cholera outbreak. They were woken up and called back to the shelter to set up for the animals coming in.
After Paulie completed the intake process, he was transferred to a local vet clinic where he stayed and was taken care of for almost two months. Paulie was released from the vet on November 12 and was moved to the Slidell shelter. I was volunteering with Noah’s Wish and had been working in what we called “Big Dog City”, the area behind the main building where all of the big dogs – pit bulls, shepherds… were staying.
I kept hearing “Have you seen the Border Collie that arrived from the vet, yet?”. When I had a break, I went into the main building to visit the Special Needs Border Collie. I spent some time with him on and off during the day and found out his story from one of the coordinators.
The shelter was due to close in a few days and a lot of the animals had been reunited with their owners, placed in foster care or adopted. I was proud of the fact that all the animals I became extremely attached to had been adopted or gotten in to rescues across the country and I was not adding another big dog to the family. Well…….Paulie was scheduled to go into a Border Collie Rescue in Virginia and not a forever home. I made the decision to adopt him and bring him home to California with me.
I named him St. Paul, booked him on my flight and broke the news to my son and parents, who has been grandchild and grandpet sitting.
We flew back to California, November 15, 2005 and he’s been living with me ever since. He received a series of heartworm injections once he was strong enough, that killed most of the remaining heartworms. He is on a monthly heartworm preventative which keeps the remaining one or two from reproducing and occasionally has to take steroids for a few days when he starts coughing really bad but considering his history he should have died in the streets of New Orleans. He’s also gained fifteen pounds and is now at normal weight.
He likes small enclosed spaces so I think he probably was in a small area or behind something during the hurricane. He’s created a cave under my bed and is happy to hang out in there at night. He does not like storms, especially loud ones.
HSUS rescue and LSU vets gave him his life back, Noah’s Wish provided him with shelter to recover and he now has a home where he is very spoiled and loved.
Here is a Picture of Paulie