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Katrina Dogs: Three Years Later


honey and her puppies
Honey and her puppies in Oct., 2006. (Photo courtesy of Shelley Janashek)

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By Debra Bell
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Thursday, August 28, 2008; 1:30 AM

Many animals that were left roaming the streets in the weeks following Katrina were not spayed or neutered. This led to additional homeless puppies wandering around town long after Katrina had struck. Honey, a four-year-old Corgi mix, was one of them.

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Shelley Janashek of the Montgomery County Humane Society first saw the cream-colored dog with brown spots in October, 2006. Janashek was walking around the small town of Buras in Plaquemines Parish, where Katrina made its strongest landfall.

"I stopped at the fire department to take a picture," she says, "and she [Honey] was sitting there, in the parking lot."

Janashek found out from volunteers at the fire department that the thin dog, whose red, swollen mammary glands suggested that she had been nursing puppies, did not belong to anyone. The volunteers had tried to approach her before, but she was too scared and ran off.

"I left a bunch of food and went back a week later," she says, "and she was still there."

It took her several hours to lure the 16-pound dog over. Once she was put on a leash, Honey led Janashek to an abandoned home with shattered windows and broken furniture strewn all over. She then fell asleep. Janashek looked around for Honey's puppies but did not find them.

The next day, Honey led Janashek back to the same spot, and this time she was able to quickly locate the litter of five pups under the house.

"They together weighed more than she did," Janashek said. "Eighteen pounds worth of puppies and a 16-pound dog."

Animal Rescue New Orleans took in all six dogs until they were healthy enough to be brought back to Montgomery County.

Honey now shares a home in Montgomery County with Janashek and two other Katrina rescues -- a pit bull named Boo and a mixed-breed named Aubrey.

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