Evacuated animals find foster homes at Young-Williams Animal Center in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida

Center officials said they received more than 100 applications from new foster homes after a public call for help to make space at their shelter.

Knoxville, Tenn. – In the days leading up to Hurricane Ida making landfall around the Gulf Coast, the Young-Williams Animal Center issued a public call for new foster families. They said their shelter was filling up and needed people to temporarily house animals so there would be room for evacuees.

As a result, they said they received over 100 applications from new foster homes. The new foster homes were matched with a pet from the hurricane evacuation or a pet from the shelter, according to a statement. The evacuated animals arrived Tuesday evening and underwent health assessments.

In total, the center said it accepted 40 animals. The Humane Society of Louisiana and Best Friends staff worked to transport them to East Tennessee. There were 20 cats and 20 dogs, and officials said they arrived safely at the shelter.

“Thanks to the emergency foster families who applied to take over the rescues, all of these animals will stay with people in our community,” said Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “We are so grateful to our Knoxville family for stepping up and opening their hearts in this difficult situation.”

The animal center donates free supplies to help care for foster families, including food. They also accept monetary donations and take pet supplies for evacuated animals, such as canned kitten food, fleece blankets, collapsible wire dog crates, kitty litter, reusable grocery bins, cat and dog toys and one gallon resealable bags.

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Benjamin M. Yerger