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The Gulf Coast Will Rise Again

Two years after Katrina, signs of progress are everywhere

Two years after Katrina, signs of progress are everywhere

In Olive Branch, Miss., veterinarian Isis Johnson and her team created a mobile spay/neuter unit inside this vintage-1972 bus. HEATHER CAMMISA/THE HSUS
At one Louisiana animal shelter, a single employee takes care of some 2,000 dogs and cats a year. At another, the staff converts old school buses into storage sheds for food, cleaning supplies, and dog and cat crates.

In Mississippi shelters, employees often rely on prisoners to lay tile, help care for animals, and build comfortable resting platforms to keep pooches off cold shelter floors. One humane organization in the central part of the state operates in an area so poor that every student in the local elementary school is eligible for a free lunch.

As the former director of the Jersey Shore Animal Center in Ocean County, N.J., I know that shelters all over the country care for endless streams of animals on shoestring budgets. But my recent travels to the Gulf Coast for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) gave me new appreciation for the resourcefulness of those who do the job in regions still plagued by poverty and indiscriminate dog and cat breeding.

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