Thousands of pets, strays, and shelter animals that lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina and, in some cases, their families have been brought here.
Memphis Animal Services, which runs the city's shelter, is operating a pet helpline at 324-6220. Evacuees who need to place their pet in temporary or permanent care can call. The line is also open to Memphians wishing to foster a pet or volunteer their time. Memphians can donate food, toys, or money at Hollywood Petstar, Petco, or the Memphis-Shelby County Humane Society.
Humane Society volunteer coordinator Jenny Oxandale says they've placed about 50 animals in foster care. Over 400 local families have offered to temporarily foster animals for at least 30 days.
"Our first placement was 14 gerbils," says Oxandale. "We're doing our best to help whatever comes to us."
Over the past weekend, even more animals were rescued.
"We've learned a lot from this," says Phil Snyder, director of Memphis Animal Services. "Had something like this hit Memphis, we'd have farm animals to deal with, as well."