Things have changed for animals since Hurricane Katrina!

As Hurricane Gustav made it's way toward the New Orleans and Gulf Coast areas, all concerned pet lover eyes were on watch in hopes that all the animals in shelters and rescues, as well as pets of evacuees, would be safe.

No one wanted to see a repeat of the events surrounding the animals and pets during Hurricane Katrina. And because of the efforts of countless animal welfare organizations, pets and shelter/rescue animals became a priority this time.

Here is a wonderful article from National Geographic News, about how the pets were cared for during evacuations...

Gustav Pet Evacuations Show Katrina Lessons Learned

Maryann Mott
for National Geographic News
September 2, 2008
It's not just the human evacuation that went much smoother this time.

Thousands of pets accompanied the estimated two million people who fled inland from the U.S. Gulf Coast this past weekend as Hurricane Gustav hurtled toward the region.

On August 31, Gustav moved into the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 3 hurricane, raising fears of a repeat of the devastation caused three years ago by Hurricane Katrina and prompting evacuation orders for much of the Gulf Coast.

About 160 climate-controlled vehicles operated around the clock in New Orleans to whisk pets and their owners out of harm's way. At least a half dozen emergency shelters throughout the state quickly filled with pets of all shapes and sizes.

"This is the first time in history that pets have been a priority in an evacuation," said Ana Zorrilla, CEO of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA-SPCA), based in New Orleans.

And here is a video from ABC News:

This video shows the largest shelter created through the events of evacuation of pets and shelter animals during Hurricane Gustav, and the massive effort involved: