Local volunteers prepare for animal rescue mission

While many Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts have been focused on evacuating people out of devastated regions in the Gulf Coast, there are many four-legged, furry victims that have been left behind — and that’s where three volunteers from Animal Rescue Families of Bremerton are coming in.

Jennifer Havekost, her husband and a friend are preparing for a 40-hour drive that will take them to Mandeville and Baton Rouge, La. where they will help care for, vaccinate and clean up abandoned animals and, if possible, bring back as many homeless animals as they can. They will begin their more than 2,700-mile trek early Friday morning and are planning on returning around Oct. 1.

“We’ll find the animals that have already been signed over (by their owners), that way we can bring them back and can find a good home for them,” Havekost said.

The trip is being funded by Animal Rescue Families of Bremerton, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, that works to find homes for abandoned, abused or unwanted pets. Elia Ginn, founder and director of Animal Rescue Families, was watching the news recently when she made the decision to send a van full of supplies and volunteers to the devastated area.

“I decided to do something about it in our own little

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