Oil spill hardships forcing owners to give away pets
by Bigad Shaban / Eyewitness News
Posted on June 9, 2010 at 10:24 PM
Updated today at 12:07 PM
BELLE CHASSE, La. -- The trickle-down effect of the oil spill can now be felt inside animal shelters along coastal parishes. Unemployed fisherman are struggling to support both their families and their pets, leaving many with no choice but to try and give away their animals.
Inside the back room of the Plaquemines Parish Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) shelter, you can hear a whimpering from Dexter. The puppy is one of more than 40 dogs caged inside the facility. While none have a drop of oil on them, they are still very much suffering because of it.
Their rescue shelter is packed, every cage filled. And the waiting list for people trying to drop off their pets here is now 20 percent longer than normal
The reason, according to shelter director Jacob Stroman, has everything to with the growing mess in the Gulf.
Out-of-work fisherman, Stroman said, are finding it harder to care for their families and their pets and are now reluctantly choosing to give up their animals to safe havens like his.
"We want to help as much as we can," said Stroman. "And brace our self for the future because it's probably only going to get worse."
Just a few miles to the south rests Myrtle Grove Marina. The once busy fishing hub is now a staging area for BP. Fencing lines the compound, and boom waits to be deployed. The fisherman paid to do it say BP won't them talk to reporters.
But Charles Ballay said he knows their fear and frustration. He's the co-owner of the marina and the parish's district attorney.
"They are worried about when their next paycheck is going to come," said Ballay. "I'm sure animals might be something I guess they feel they might have to depart with, because they have to make choices, some tough choices."
Such choices are now putting more pressure on out-of-work fisherman and already packed animal shelters.
"As soon as one animal is adopted out, you take in another," said Stroman.
The need for new pet owners is real and growing as struggling fisherman reluctantly sit on a waiting list to give up what is theirs. Once man's best friend, is now seen as a financial burden.
If you would like adopt an animal from the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society or to find out how to donate food or supplies to the shelter, please contact:
Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.)
9596 Hwy 23
Belle Chasse, Louisiana Hours: 1 P.M.to 5 P.M. (504) 392-1601
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My muse... Remy
April 28, 1995 - January 27, 2008
New Orleans Pet Care - Lagniappe
A few years ago, one of my team members suggested that we add a permanent blog to our web site. As you may know, we do have an interactive Emergency Page that we use during Hurricane Season if necessary.
This sounded like a fantastic way to share information, ideas, photographs, stories, etc!
I started working on it just before Remy was diagnosed with cancer... and on March 27, 2008 (two months after he died) I started working on it again.
Nicole Douget Owner & Operator New Orleans Pet Care
I love this company with all that I have... And we give it our all. This is my passion, not my hobby... Remy's legacy leads me to continue our work here... not only with excellent pet care but it also affords me the opportunity to support the rescue/transport organizations that are so important to me. We will continue to differentiate ourselves by making sure we have a full team... ready to go everyday. We will never take vacation, we are 24/7, 365 days... we will be there when you can't. We love them like you love them. We always have and we always will!