Pets & Animals in Distress Director Chris Sisto visiting Lou-Sippi (AKA Sippi) that was
Rescued in Mississippi then brought to Academy Animal Hospital In Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Pets & Animals in Distress volunteers have returned back from Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts bringing food and animal relief supplies to help the people and animals in Waveland and Pearlington, Mississippi while helping in the search and rescue of Katrina animals that were abandoned and left homeless. We are glad to report that many other animal rescue groups and many volunteers have answered our urgent call to come down to help in the search and rescue of Pearlington’s animals in this small gulf coast town that got directly hit by both the full force of hurricane’s 150 mph winds along with the 25 foot tidal sure that left a path of death and destruction in the aftermath. The good news to report is that over 200 pets and animals from the town of Pearlington alone have been rescued, provided medical care, food and water then transported out of the disaster area over to Mandeville, Louisiana to be sheltered and cared for, to then be placed in foster homes or put up for adoption. Some of the many animals that have been rescued include German Sheppard’s Hound dogs, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Beagle, Labradors, Pit Bulls, Great Dane, Domestic Cats and many other mixed mutt breeds including one little black lab mix dog.

Some of the lucky Katrina animals that were found by search and rescue volunteers and brought into Camp Pearlingtons animal relief staging area for medical care check-up, food and water, photographed and then transported out to Mandeville, Louisiana. The National Guard along with several FEMA Vet medical staff members came to the camp to help the animals, which we cannot say enough for the valuable services they have provided.

Pets & Animals in Distress Director Chris Sisto saw the frail and weak little black dog lying in the cage after being examined and wanted to bring him back to Florida with 20 other Katrina animals that Pets & Animals would be picking up in Louisiana when we were ready to depart. The little black dog at this time had no name and was then transported 40 miles across the state lines to a place called Mandeville, Louisiana where he was then under the care of Kendra Williams and staff at Lansas Kennels.

We would like to share this little black dog’s incredible story because of how he was rescued in Mississippi and transported across the State lines to Louisiana giving him the honorable Bi-State title name of Lou-Sippi (AKA Sippi) for short. If Sippi could speak and tell us what he has been through, I bet he would have a tale to tell from his incredible experience when he battled the 150 mph Hurricane Katrina winds and the 25-foot tidal surge that came through his town of Pearlington, Mississippi on August 29.

Sippi has been through a very long journey and stressful experience in the last few weeks. After delivering and distributing all the dog and cat food and relief supplies to the people and animals in Waveland and Pearlington, Pets & Animals in Distress volunteers then drove to go pick up little Sippi in Mandeville, La to get him ready for the 800-mile road trip that would take him now down south to Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida where he would be taken immediately to Academy Animal Hospital to be seen and examined by Dr. Stewart and cared for by his and staff.

Sippi had survived and made it through both of these catastrophic disasters is truly amazing. When we approached him he looked up at us with his big brown bright eyes and his happy little tail that was wagging that he recognized Chris knowing that he had walked him and fed him back when he was at Camp Pearlington and that he would be leaving with him and would be safe and taken good care of. We were able to only leave with Sippi, as we received a call from Waveland from our friends from The Humane Society who informed us that any Mississippi would now require that all animals from Mississippi would require a 30-day quarantine hold on all the animals that were rescued. We were able to place our organization’s name on a waiting list once the 30-day quarantine would expire that would allow our organization to be contacted to then be able to come back to take out the Katrina animals that could then be placed up for adoption.

Since Sippi was very weak and tired we decided that he needed to get the proper medical attention, so we decided we would take him with us back to Fort Lauderdale to have him seen by Dr. Stewart. Once we loaded him up in the truck with Chris we were all trying to pick a name for this little heroic dog, and we chose several names that were picked like Katty, Herc, Lucky, but one name took the spotlight that our disaster relief coordinator Don came up with to call the little black dog that had survived the worst disaster in history, and was rescued in Mississippi then brought across State lines to Louisiana to proud name of Lou-Sippi.

Sippi waiting to be discharged by Dr. Stewart.

My Personal Experience

By Chris Sisto

My first encounter with Sippi was when we returned to Camp Vet after going on a rescue mission with the US Coast Guard. While at the camp, it was pretty much all hands on deck for the caring of the animals that had been rescued. Everyone had to lend a helping hand with walking, watering, feeding and cleaning cages. I noticed one of the cages was not in the same area as all the other animals. I decided to take a walk over and I saw this little, black lab mix puppy; or at least I thought he was a puppy; come to find out he is about 3-4 yrs old. He looked very sad and scared; he was quite shaky and very muddy. When he looked up at me he had a discharge coming from both eyes looking as if they were tears, and after what he had been through they very well could have been. I instantly said I would care for this dog as well as 2-3 others. Monday morning we arrived at Camp Pearlington, and of course, I cared for the little black lab mix pup. After caring for the little guy I, along with Don, a few other volunteers and several soldiers from the National Guard began to erect 9′ x 12′ x 6′ pens so we could safely house 4-6 dogs in each in each pen. As one was Kennel was built, volunteers removed dogs from their tight confined crates and transported them to the pens where they had room to move around and stretch; my little black pup was moved to a pen with a Beagle and three Pomeranians, that Don had placed them in.

Mid-afternoon, I and another volunteer went on a rescue mission at NASA’s Stennis Center to try and rescue 2 dogs reportedly running the grounds. Upon returning to the Camp I noticed all the dogs in Sippi’s cage were gone including Sippi. I asked everyone if they knew where he was and no one could say for sure. Before leaving back to Florida, we drove to Mandeville to pick up approximately 10 dogs and 10 cats to bring back with us for fostering and adoption. Much to my surprise, Sippi was lying in his own kennel quietly and looking weak and tired. He noticed me, stood up, and wagged his tail. I said to Don “he is coming with us.” We loaded him in the Ryder truck for the 800-mile journey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The entire way home from Louisiana, Sippi laid his head in my lap. Every time we stopped I could not get out of the truck without Sippi- after what he went through, he didn’t want to be alone and he had found the love and care that he deserved. Today Sippi is in the care of Dr. Stewart (Vet) of Academy Animal Hospital where he has been diagnosed with Heartworms, multiple infections and a low protein count. He has been given two IV treatments for his heartworms since he has been in Dr. Stewart’s care. He was also was X- rayed to see if he had any fractures or broken bones or ribs. What Dr. Stewart found after he looked at the X-ray came as a big surprise to both of us that got me very upset. Not only did Sippi survive both hurricane Katrina and a 25-foot tidal surge, he also had survived from being shot with buckshot pellets by some animal abuser that needs to be caught and prosecuted. This little dog has been through so much and his amazing story and will to live truly incredible. He is almost like a cat with 9 lives. Dr. Stewart said this could have happened a while ago as these were old wounds that had healed. He said that the small buckshot pellets did not present any harm to Sippi’s vital organs and he would be fine. Dr. Stewart placed Sippi on antibiotics to treat his infections and put on a special diet to raise his protein count. On Monday, September 19, 2005, Sippi has been released by Dr. Stewart and turned over to our organizations and my personal care where he will be fostered in my home with our other two rescued dogs. Sippi will have to remain calm for the next 6 weeks and we will continue giving him all of his medication for the different infections and continue with the special diet and give him lots and lots of love and belly scratches. Sippi will be under close watch for his symptoms and will be taken back to Dr. Stewart twice a week for more treatments and tests for his heartworm and infections, parasites and to have both his protein count and BUN levels checked. We will keep everyone updated on Sippi’s health and progress in upcoming newsletters. Please keep Sippi in your prayers.


Pets & Animals in Distress Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts Photo Gallery 1
Pets & Animals in Distress Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts Photo Gallery 2

Pets & Animals In Distress Thank You’s