DERIDDER, La — Troopers from the Louisiana State Police contacted Humane Society of West Louisiana's (HSWL) founder, Rita Bingham, seeking assistance in rounding up animals spotted near the interstate in the aftermath of Ida.
Troopers were notified when motorists were spotted dropping off or losing dogs, puppies, and kittens on Interstate I - 10 going west, between the DeRidder and Lake Charles exits.
Bingham and others said they were horrified to see several dogs, kittens, and puppies wandering on the edge of I -10, according to a press release.
The animals were spaced out over several miles; the volunteers spent the next several hours picking them up, placing them in their vehicle, and driving them back to their facility.
HSWL rescued a total of 15 dogs and 11 kittens, including four shepherd mixes and a 13-year-old blind cockerspaniel.
Included in that number, they say, were puppies that were left in a cardboard box by a nearby convenience store.
Lining the box was a copy of the New Orleans Morning Advocate.
During the same time period and general vicinity, a motorist pulled over to smoke a cigarette and as he was standing on the edge of the Interstate, he saw several kittens poke their heads out of a discarded Budweiser beer box, they report.
The motorist called HSWL, and Bingham found six kittens cowering in the bottom of the box. Bingham took the frightened kittens back to HSWL shelter.
The Humane Society of West Louisiana is currently housing all 26 animals, they say.
All of the dogs appeared to be in good health and were likely people's pets; while some of the animals may have been lost during a frantic evacuation, it is clear that at least some were abandoned on the road to fend for themselves.
"I am so disappointed and mad that people would be so callous and heartless as to leave pets on the side of the road, said Bingham where they had almost no chance to survive. All these people had to do was call a humane society or rescue to arrange to accept custody of these wonderful creatures, rather than subject them to such a terrifying ordeal."
The Humane Society of Louisiana, which has worked closely for many years with HSWL, will send a donation of $1000 to help cover some of the boarding and medical costs of caring for these pets. Anyone who lost an animal on this stretch of road during the evacuation should contact HSWL at 337-462-3321.
Those interested in contributing to their care may send donations to HSWL, 19301 Lake Charles Hwy, DeRidder, La 70634.
For more information, visit their page on Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/HumaneSocietyofWestLouisiana/ [m.facebook.com].
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