Rescuers Save Hundreds of Animals Following Louisiana Floods
Cincinnatian Ken Paley and his dog Marley, a survivor of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
By Barbara L. Morgenstern, Esq. Publisher, Queen City Pets® www.queencitypets.com
As flooding again bombards Louisiana in biblical proportions, Marley the Labrador Retriever enjoys the love and safety of her adoptive family here in Cincinnati.
Photo provided by OAR
A nightmare revisited from Hurricane Katrina, animals are rescued once again in massive Louisiana flooding. Click for full story.
She escaped death in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.
Marley went from “doggy hell to doggy heaven,” said her owner Ken Paley of Cincinnati.
Now, more than a decade later, animals in Louisiana again are depending upon the kindness of strangers for their survival.
On August 12, Denham Springs Animal Shelter in New Orleans made a bold move to save its animals, according to the Huffington Post.
The shelter was 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, according to the shelter’s GoFundMe page.
The Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association has asked for donations to go to LSART, the state’s animal disaster response and rescue organization. Contributions can be made through the association’s website.
Marley survived Hurricane Katrina’s epic destruction, then battled for her health once rescued. Twice she endured brutal heart worm therapy–“shots in the back and six weeks in a cage,”Mr. Paley said.
Life is a charm now for Marley, estimated to be 12-13 years old. Mr. Paley, 65, vice president of Marketing for Episcopal Retirement Services, takes Marley to work every day and the 52-pound female also visits a nursing home as a service dog.
“She was in very rough shape, afraid of everything,” Mr. Paley remembered. “She would cower if you raised your hand or your voice.” The dog was so traumatized, she would not bark for a full year, he said.
Marley’s journey from Louisiana to Cincinnati was circuitous.
Brimming with health now, Marley is an estimated age 13.
It began when Mr. Paley volunteered with 16 others from his church, Horizon Community Church in Newtown, to clear debris from home sites at a community outside of New Orleans, making room for FEMA trailers.
Shocked by the destruction, with chain saws, a Bobcat compact excavator and other equipment, the volunteers cleared things like cars from people’s living rooms and a boat from a porch. The victims were so grateful, sometimes they cried, he remembered.
When Mr. Paley returned to Cincinnati, there was more crying—his wife Pam was moved to tears when she saw a TV news story reporting that two planeloads of dogs and cats had been rescued from the Katrina disaster and had been airlifted to Cincinnati.
Lining up at the SPCA in Sharonville after background checks, potential adopters or foster care volunteers could only say “yes” or “no” when offered a dog, he explained. There was no shopping. Marley became family at that moment.
The Paley’s children, Jeff and Lauren, now in their 20s, named their new pet from Louisiana after the reggae singer Bob Marley, he said.
Gentle Marley gives back by serving as a service dog at a nursing home.