Hurricane Katrina may be long over, but the repercussions of the devastating storm continue to exist for people and animals alike.
Tens of thousands of animals were abandoned in the wake of the storm. At the urging of Kunzang Palyul Choling's spiritual director, Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo, KPC volunteers rescued 130 animals from the Gulf region and have been providing care, medical attention and rehabilitation ever since.
The dogs have been housed in temporary shelters on retreat land in the Payson area. "As cold winter nights approach, it is critical that we find homes for these remaining dogs," reports Megan Gilana, coordinator of Tara's Babies, the animal rescue arm of KPC.
Finding foster homes for the four-legged victims of Katrina has been the current and primary focus. Of the original dogs KPC rescued, 11 dogs have been reunited with their owners and approximately 85 dogs have been placed in foster homes in Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Foster homes are urgently needed for the remaining 34 dogs. They include: chows, black Lab mixes, hound shepherd mixes, pit bulls, and a retriever. As of Dec. 31, the dogs that are in foster homes can be adopted on a permanent basis.
Chris Hodgson, Sedona resident and volunteer with Tara's Babies, describes the transformation he's observed with many of the rescued dogs "I saw them from the beginning of the effort, pulling them out of the devastation of New Orleans, arriving sad and hungry, some acting very depressed. Now, you can look at their faces and see how happy they are. Most everyone who has fostered a dog reports that they are so grateful to be in loving homes and they respond with overwhelming affection. It's really been a wonderful win-win for everyone."
Members of Kunzang Palyul Choling, a center for the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism, have long been involved in animal rescue. KPC supports and maintains Garuda Aviary of Sedona, an all-volunteer, nonprofit rescue operation dedicated to providing lifelong sanctuary for abused and neglected parrots. Many households have multiple pets liberated from "puppy mills" and other cruel situations.
To foster a dog, help with publicity to foster dogs or contribute to support the dogs needs and transportation, call, toll-free, 1-866-728-0592 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.