Sequim business owner helps save pets displaced by Hurricane Katrina

SEQUIM — Like many business owners, Hope Stime set up a donation point at her business, the Park Place Market in Sequim, to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina — specifically, the pets that were abandoned or left behind by necessity when the storm approached the Gulf Coast.

She raised about $500 for animal relief efforts, but “I felt that wasn’t enough,” she said.

“One thing led to another, and then I had an airplane ticket, and I went down there.”

Stime, 59, returned Monday from eight days in Raceland, La., helping tend to animals found trapped in houses or roaming the streets of New Orleans.

The work is being led by the Washington-based Pasado Animal Rescue, and thousands of animals are being cared for at sites in Raceland and Gonzales, La., which is south of Baton Rouge.

Exhausting experience

Stime said she’s glad she went, but added that the eight days were physically and mentally exhausting and that the work is not for the faint of heart.

“They’re asking for a lot of volunteers and helpers to go down still,” she said.

“They expect to be down there for another month.”

The stories Stime brought back are heart-wrenching.

Search crews found one house with several pets inside, but only four dogs were still alive. They were severely traumatized, she said.

“They wouldn’t look up. They wouldn’t get up. They wouldn’t go for a walk,” Stime said.

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