October 10, 2005

Positivity: Mariners Build Shelters for New Orleans Pets

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

Those of you who feel there is sometimes not enough deference to our four-legged friends should like this item from The Navy Newsstand:

Mariners Build Shelters for New Orleans Pets
Story Number: NNS050927-02
Release Date: 9/27/2005 1:17:00 PM

By Katie Dunnigan, Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) — Mariners from the Military Sealift Command cargo ship USNS Bellatrix (T-AKR 288) helped Louisiana veterinarians save orphaned pets in New Orleans’ St. Bernard parish, an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina, in September.

The 946-foot fast sealift ship returned to its home port in Violet, La., soon after Katrina to join relief efforts.

“Most of my crew is from this area,” said Capt. William Nehring, Bellatrix’s master. “They couldn’t wait to get back here and help out.”

In their spare time, the 27 civilian mariners who crew Bellatrix used various supplies and spare parts to build cages and shelters for more than 300 cats and dogs separated from their owners. Mariners volunteered to walk and groom the homeless pets.

The ship also took on relief workers – 17 U.S. Marines from the 4th Civil Affairs Group, based in Washington, D.C., two Navy doctors and 10 local veterinarians and vet assistants.

When the outer bands of Hurricane Rita struck the New Orleans area Sept. 24, Bellatrix housed five sick canines in the ship’s massive cargo hold. The homeless pets were sheltered from the wind and rain and received medical attention from vets during the storm.

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