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PetConnect’s Katrina Rescue: A Mission Not Impossible

Surrounded by donated supplies in her garage, PetConnect founder Lizette Chanock of Potomac, along with co-founders Jan Sapp of Silver Spring and Anna Strates of Olney, gave one of their first Katrina rescue dogs, Hurricane, a good-bye hug.

Last week, PetConnect received 29 more pets from the Gulf area which arrived at Chanock's home to great fanfare and a good many helping hands. "The outpouring of support has been overwhelming," said Chanock, who has had to round up 29 foster homes for the new arrivals. "How did this happen?"

It happened because these women, who formerly confined their rescue work to local pets, decided to reach out to the animal victims of Katrina in the best way they could. They loaded their vans with crates, drove to New Orleans and brought back some very lonely, frightened and needy pets. Their efforts started a groundswell of response from anyone who saw or heard of their mission. Who could resist the soulful eyes staring from behind the bars of the crates at their Potomac Day display? "We had such a huge response from everyone we met there," said Chanock.

After a successful fostering of 19 animals last month, word spread. With the arrival of their second rescue mission, Chanock's lawn again became a stage for the arriving pet's new drama.  It started with a vet check, and then they were washed, dried, given new collars and a warm hug before being introduced to their future foster families. If the number of volunteers increased this time, the interest from local news organizations rose to bantering for exclusive rights.

PetConnect, a non-profit animal rescue organization, works at saving animals from euthanasia by local shelters and placing them in compatible homes. "We continually follow up on their welfare," said Chanock.

PetConnect expects to continue to rescue the Katrina pets as long as there are families willing to take them.

To learn more about fostering a Katrina rescue pet or contributing to their welfare,

call 301-299-3798 or e-mail petconnect@petconnectinc.org.

All donations go directly to animal care, which includes veterinarian bills.