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Long Island animal group collecting donations to aid pets in Ida's path

The North Shore Animal League America's emergency rescue

The North Shore Animal League America's emergency rescue team set up a collection point at their Port Washington headquarters on Saturday for donations of supplies to support Louisiana animal shelters affected by Hurricane Ida. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Some New Orleans residents rode out Hurricane Katrina on their rooftops — next to the pets they would not abandon.

So now the North Shore Animal League America is asking Long Islanders for donations — from crates to pet food to bottled water — to take to the same city that Ida likely will slam Sunday as a powerful hurricane, a representative said. The storm is forecast to hit 16 years after Hurricane Katrina, which directly or indirectly killed 1,833 people.

North Shore's supply mission will depart Tuesday from Port Washington, bound for a Louisiana shelter, Paws 4 Life, which will parcel them out.

North Shore will return with as many as 50 adoptable pets from those places, estimated Kathleen Lynn, a league spokeswoman.

Nearly 89,000 pets were unaccounted for after Katrina, according to the Louisiana SPCA website. "No one knows exactly how many animals died during Katrina but most estimates put the number between 50,000-70,000 across the entire Gulf Coast," it says.

Because so many Gulf Coast residents risked their lives during that 2005 storm when they refused to evacuate without their pets, Congress in 2006 enacted a law requiring "governments on all levels" to plan on including companion animals in evacuation plans, the Louisiana SPCA says.

Donations may be dropped off at North Shore from Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional items needed include paper towels, sponges, new litter boxes and litter, dog crates and cat carriers, treats, new food and water bowls, garbage bags, pads, dog and cat biscuits, and new or "gently used" towels, collars, leashes and toys.

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