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Responding to the Destruction of Katrina: Emails from the front

FOR RELEASE: September 20, 2005 - E-Mail from Britton Badgley-Babcock

Hello Dr. Dhupa - greetings from LSU from team 2. We arrived safely late on Saturday night. After a quick tour of the vet hospital and the 'hurricane ward' and its patients - Catherine and Kate have been doing a lot of the treatments and on-call shifts - we headed to bed. We each have a mattress to sleep on and it's air conditioned (it's hot down here).

The next day, started with excitement. The first team briefed us on what we were likely to expect and what our primary job for the day would be - vaccinating, microchip, deworm, photographing, etc. - we did about 18 in 30 mins. - sounds good, right? well these were the nice cats and pretty much all of them were able to be handled. After those were done we started the "CHILL CATS WARD" - so these kitties have an area put aside because they are either grumpy, fractious, bite, or just plain CRAZY! We gave it try - vet wrapped our arms and armed ourselves with towels and cat gloves. Thanks Sharon for teaching me how to 'speak' to kitties that are having a bad day. However, after about 8 cats in 1 hour and various noise complaints- we decided that it wasn't worth our limbs. Off to isolation to finish the cats there.

After lunch (which is provided by various people and restaurants and very good) we headed into the barn/arena and started on the dogs. Good God there are alot of dogs! There are row after row after aisle after aisle. Most stalls (these are horse stalls) have 2 to 4 dogs in them. Some are single dogs because they fight, etc. I have no idea how many we vaccinated, dewormed, microchip, etc.

It was a long day and we have only touched the population of dogs that need to be chipped. We have a great team and besides being tired we seem to be having a great time. Everyone is very nice and I have had some wonderful encounters with owners that are so appreciative of what is happening here. Well, that's all for now. Day 1 was great and I am so tired after day 2 that I need to sleep!

-- britton