February 21, 2012
I moved to Louisiana two years ago. From the very first week of living here I was devastated by the unbelievable number of cats, dogs and horses that were abused, neglected and abandoned. I have lived all over the country and have never seen a community where domestic animals are so disposable. My first inclination was to run - just leave the state and move back to where I had previously lived. Then an inner voice directed me to a decision to become involved in the solution. I decided to volunteer my time to St. Martin Humane Society. I originally met some of its members at PetSmart where they were hosting an adoption event. I was struck by how compassionate and organized this group of individuals were. The key players in this organization are primarily women and they are primarily individuals who have grown up in Louisiana and recognized the need for active animal rescue. These wonderful individuals came together, and with almost no resources, decided to form a group of foster homes where they could take in rescued animals. These dogs, cats and horses are rescued from the streets, from people who surrender them, and from shelters where they are slatted to be destroyed. They care for these animals in their homes and on their property, forming a network to provide each other with support and service. This wonderful humane society has become well organized and has rescued hundreds of animals each year with very little resources available to them. I am proud to be a volunteer and to be associated with such a fine group of people. I am currently a foster parent for rescued dogs, and I was recently elected to their board of directors. It has been an amazing and rewarding experience. Heidi Paterson
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