My husband and I have been blessed with three wonderful children, but we like to joke that we also have a “perfect” fourth child: our dog Olive. While she did have a few unfortunate chewing incidents as a puppy, we all agree otherwise she’s the best behaved, most attentive and least demanding of anyone in our family. Sadly, unlike Olive there are thousands of equally lovable pets in our city who, through neglect and homelessness, are placed in high-kill animal shelters. But thanks to Zeus’ Rescues, caring volunteers are working tirelessly to alter this upsetting trend through strategically and enthusiastically connecting people to the many pets needing forever homes.
As a small girl, Executive Director Michelle Ingram felt a passionate life-long calling to help rescue and place homeless pets. So when forced to reevaluate her career post-Hurricane Katrina, she made a decision to begin “doing something she loved.” She opened Zeus’ Place offering pet boarding and grooming in 2006. Noticing the number of abused, abandoned animals combined with overcrowding in animal shelters during the city’s recovery, Ingram responded by starting Zeus’ Rescues. Originally operated in the Zeus’ Place Freret Street location and funded through its success, a lawyer friend assisted Ingram in forming Zeus’ Rescues as a nonprofit in 2014, which ultimately moved into their own Napoleon Avenue facility in 2017. They now successfully operate as an all-volunteer organization relying completely on private donations and grants, receiving no local or state funding.
Through strong relationships with metro shelters, Zeus’ Rescues fulfills its mission to eradicate pet homelessness and euthanasia within the New Orleans area by taking in adoptable pets from these facilities and matching them with loving owners. Each animal accepted at Zeus’ Rescues receives necessary vet care, three rounds of shots, is spayed or neutered, microchipped and most importantly is shown lots of love. By adhering to values of practicing compassion and kindness to meet the needs of the animals they save, the Zeus’ Rescues staff relies on their application procedure to provide the best match of the pets to caring human companions. In addition to the adoption program, they also encourage temporary fostering of animals, which alleviates space in the facility to save even more animals. Since their founding, Zeus’ Rescues has placed a whopping 4,000 animals in new homes: 706 in 2018 and 255 already in 2019!
Zeus’ Rescues also actively aids with disaster response in New Orleans, throughout the United States and internationally, such as Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Now that we’re in hurricane season, Ingram stresses the importance of pet preparedness and offers these evacuation tips: have a three-day food supply in an airtight, waterproof container; have at least three days of water specifically for your pet; have medicines, medical records and important documents handy; make sure your pet has a collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash; and bring a crate or pet carrier.
Further committed to community-building and pet education with a focus on children and the elderly, Zeus’ Rescues offers student service hour opportunities through partnerships with Tulane and Loyola Universities, a pet food bank for neighborhood low income pet owners, and daily “resident” visitation hours for the general public.
From the tiniest kitten to the heftiest dog, Zeus’ Rescues’ compassion and determination enhances our community by saving the many lovable animals who might otherwise never find their forever homes.
A little more…
For more information to adopt, foster, donate or volunteer with Zeus’ Rescues visit ZeusRescues.org or call 309-2144.