Director's Update: November 20, 2005 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time
There have been rumors circulating on the internet recently that pertain to Noah's Wish which I would like to correct. I apologize for not doing this sooner but we have been extremely busy trying to shut down our operation in Slidell. Also, I would have hoped that people would trust us enough to do our job the right way and not get pulled into the rumor frenzy. In all honesty, taking time to put these rumors to an end definitely distracts from what needs to be done right now for the few remaining animals in our care.
Noah's Wish will be completely closing down our shelter on November 21 which we have had open in Slidell, Louisiana for 84 days. Originally, we thought we would be done by the 15th of November, but we postponed our departure when we realized there was still more work to be done. When we leave, everyone of the 1,986 animals we have cared for will either be reunited with their families, placed in a foster home, adopted, or they will be waiting for an individual or small rescue group to pick them up. We are not turning animals over to Slidell Animal Control for them to be euthanized which is the rumor being circulated on the internet. The rumor that we are doing this is absolutely incorrect. There will be a small number of animals that do stay at the animal control shelter for a few days after we leave as they cannot be picked up before we depart. We will follow through with animal control to make sure this happens. If any of the plans fall through we will come up with another solution.
I must say it is an insult to the organization for people to think we would give up on these animals at this point. It makes me sad at how quickly people jumped to misjudge us when our history in past disasters proves we have always been committed to the animals that we take responsibility for during disasters, no matter how long it takes to get them all where they belong and where they will be well cared for. For those who have sent e-mails saying they will no longer support Noah's Wish, I can only say that we want people to support our work who truly trust us and believe in our commitment to the animals. And, there are hundreds of thousands of people who do and the numbers are continuing to grow rapidly.
All of us on site in Slidell have put in incredibly long hours for the past 2 and a half months taking care of all the needs of the animals that have come through our shelter. We have nursed animals back to health, bathed them when they were covered in oil, held them in our arms when they were scared, gave them blankets to curl up with at night when the weather got colder, and played with them to help them feel they mattered to us. The love and attention that has been shown for these animals is a testament to the compassion everyone on the Noah's Wish team, including Slidell Animal Control, feels towards these animals and also their caregivers. Noah's Wish has invested a great deal in the animals we have been responsible for during this disaster and we will continue to do this, not only during this disaster, but in future ones too.
I want to also come to the defense of Slidell Animal Control. For people to automatically think that turning animals over to this agency means they will die is wrong and unfair. Out of all the agencies and organizations that Noah's Wish has worked with during past disasters they have been by far the best. The level of commitment to the animals, and the obvious concern and compassion that the staff has shown throughout this entire ordeal, is to be commended. They too have invested a great deal in these animals, working right along side of us the entire time. There is no way they could give up on these animals either.
Noah's Wish will be posting a full report on our website once our work in Slidell is complete.