Animals Evacuate From Ivan, Too

REPORTER:  Jeff Ferrell

It's not just people making the exodus from the gulf area. It's also man's best friend, not to mention cats, along with everything from horses to cattle.  Now, the folks from the LA State Fairgrounds in Shreveport have stepped-in to help.

"Oh, you be quiet (dog barks)," says Walt Jacobs, who has some play time with his dog Shilo.  The huge, 86-pound collie is just one of countless pets and other animals who have made their way to the fairgrounds.

It will be their temporary home away from Hurricane Ivan.  Most of the time, Shilo is very gentle, according to Walt's wife, Joyce, who told News 12, "now, if someone started to or tried to hurt us, I'm sure his attitude would change in a hurry."

As the dozens of recreational vehicles pour in, the variety of pets widens.  But, there is a point where you have to say no to taking some of the family pets.  And we found that with the Manderson family from Pensacola, Florida.  Pam Manderson intimated, "my 17-year old daughter's mad at me because we left the aquarium fish behind and I said, 'baby, we cannot put a 30-gallon aquarium in the car with us.' "

But, the family's two gineau pigs did make the trip.  Holding one gineau pig up to the camera lens one of Joyce's daughters talked to the camera, saying, "hey Willow, look at you, you're gonna be famous."

But, Willow and her grumpy companion 'Buffy' are the lucky ones.  Some pet owners have no place to put them while staying the night somewhere.  That's where an animal group volunteered to help out the fairgrounds.

Fairgrounds President Sam Giordano welcomed the help.  "So, we told 'em yes they could come in.  So, they're going to bring in cages later and some dogs and cats and they're going to have people here and we're going to put them in the (Hirsch) Coliseum."

Giordano tells news 12, they've also opened up the zoo area for kids and pets to play, along with cages there for some animals.  They're also expecting horses and some livestock shortly.  "We do know, some's on the way tonight (Wednesday), and we've got a person here all night here to accommodate these people. "