Massachusetts Woman Helps Rescue Refugee Dogs

Nearly 80 canine victims of Hurricane Katrina have received help from the good Samaritan.

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Eastham, Mass., resident Chris McLaughlin has helped rescue close to 80 dogs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Now she's helping Waveland, Miss., a city that was literally in the eye of the storm, get back on its feet again and provide care for the dogs that are running loose and dying for lack of proper care.

McLaughlin got involved in animal rescue in September, when her sister and some friends went to New Orleans and started rescuing animals that had been left behind after their owners fled.

It was then that she decided to do all she could for the animals, who, she says, are worse off now than they were nine months ago.

There was a large population of stray animals before Katrina, and the animals left behind by their owners when Katrina hit are now running with those strays, McLaughlin told the Massachusetts newspaper the Cape Codder. They are reproducing in abandoned buildings and contaminated soil, and we've got a ridiculous number of puppies being born in these abandoned, demolished buildings.

And now, she said, we are seeing a lot more disease than we ever had there, and we are losing more animals today than we lost during the hurricane. 

McLaughlin, who quit her job in the high-tech industry after making another trip to Mississippi in November, says she's now networking with people all over the country to provide homes for these needy dogs, many of them puppies.

She says she's going to devote the next year of her life to helping the animals get the care they need, and finding them new homes.

Posted: April 1, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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