This weekend a lot of us will be reliving ten years ago. Whether it was Katrina or Rita or in some cases both, 2005 was a tough year. Here in Acadiana while we did not get the absolute worst of either storm we certainly felt the effects reflected in the lives of friends, neighbors, and the sudden influx of new residents in the area.

One of the more personal areas of concern for a lot of people who had to flee either storm was where can I keep my pet? The barns at Blackham Coliseum became the place where displaced residents were able to house and care for their pets since most shelters would not allow animals. Ten years later the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has answered the call for animal lovers with a mobile pet shelter.

It is a state of the art mobile pet shelter and it has cages, just like in my veterinary clinic, backup generator, battery power, washing station, climate control, it is well lit, it has stairs and ramps.

That's what Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain told the Louisiana Radio Network about this new mobile facility.

Dr. Strain says this way families and individuals can evacuate areas and bring their pets with them. The pets will brought to an evacuation point and then transported to a larger more permanent shelter where they will be housed for the duration of the disaster.

We’ll be using those responses to have a place where we can treat animals on site and deal with any specific emergency such as a hurricane, tornado and others.

Almost half of the $80-thousand needed to fund this project was donated by Louisiana veterinary foundations. The intent was to make ensure that all animals ,even in time of disaster, are treated well and their safety is guaranteed.

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