BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - While most were preparing for the brunt of Hurricane Barry, animal shelters around the area were scrambling to get pets out of the way and into a safe home. Many of those dogs ended up in a Good Samaritan’s shop and now need to be adopted.
The shop they’re in is hot and slightly insulated, and the only thing keeping the dogs cool during the day are the fans scattered throughout.
“This is definitely a temporary shelter, not a permanent shelter at all,” said Jodi Stafford, owner of the makeshift shelter.
Stafford offered up her shop after seeing that dozens of dogs were being evacuated.
"Hoping to just save them for the hurricane and then when the hurricane was over with, they would go back to their homes or to their shelters,” she said.
The dogs were brought from four shelters across the area by Keys to Happiness, a non-profit rescue. Now that the storm is over, the dogs have not been returned to those shelters.
“What's probably happened is these shelters have had them evacuated, regardless of whether the storm came through or not, these shelters have probably filled back up,” said Kristen Lizana, who is helping Stafford take care of the dogs.
Lizana owns her own non-profit rescue and has used her connections to help secure supplies for Stafford.
“We are going through 40 pounds of food a day,” she said.
Immediately after Barry, Stafford received 54 dogs. So far, 14 of those have been adopted. The goal is to have all of them either returned to the shelter from which they came from, put in a rescue, or adopted.
“So there will be an application. We’ll go through all of that,” Lizana said. “You come out, you look at the dog, you fill out the application. We still want to make sure they’re going to good homes.”
For Stafford, she’s hoping to find homes for the dogs. She fears the worst if they are returned to the shelters.
“I hate for them to go back to the shelter, you know, the same life they have here,” Stafford said. “I don’t want this life for them. That’s where I’m wanting them, just to find homes.”
Lizana and Stafford are working to get in touch with all the shelters. The Iberia Parish Animal Shelter is supposed to pick their dogs up Saturday, July 20.
Until then, they say they need all the help they can get to take care of them and to get them adopted.
Anyone who would like to adopt, foster, or volunteer to help these dogs is urged to reach out to Trevor Reeves by phone at 225-236-6524 or by email at email@example.com.