AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “The second time, we took a crew of 20 people and rented air-conditioned trailers and RVs, water tanks and gas tanks because there was nothing in Louisiana that you could use. Most of the animals we rescued on that trip were running through the streets or playing in the toxic water. We gave them several baths, and the vets who volunteered with us gave them health checkups.” Dorafshar and his crew went door-to-door searching places where they could find evidence of animal lovers – a dog house or carrier, bird houses, toys – to rescue pets left behind. They noted the location of each find, using global positioning satellites when addresses were wiped clean by the hurricane, in the hopes that, once the animals were safe, they could be reunited with their fleeing owners. “The city of New Orleans was dead on our first trip,” Dorafshar said. “You walk in the city. and all the homes on the left and right are gray. There’s no color at all and no noise except the volunteers walking around. These people lost everything they ever owned. Being able to find the owners and put them back together with their pets is absolutely wonderful.” The second drive home brought 40 animals to shelters in Southern California. Every animal rescued by Dorafshar’s crew was implanted with a microchip to identify them. Dorafshar thought his Gulf Coast work was done until he got a call in early October from friends in Gonzales, La., who told him their shelter was closing, putting hundreds of animals at risk. He orchestrated the airlift of 120 dogs and cats to Los Angeles, farming them out to various shelters and kennels for feeding and care. NEWHALL – The Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport will live up to its name on Sunday when New Leash on Life conducts the Katrina Super Adoption Event. Nearly 200 animals from the Gulf Coast areas ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – christened “ruffugees” by their rescuers – will put on a hopeful face for potential owners. The adoption event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bobby Dorafshar, founder of New Leash on Life in Newhall, made two trips to the Gulf states to rescue animals, the first just four days after Hurricane Katrina hit in August and the second a couple of weeks later. “I contacted a couple of organizations in the area to see what they needed, and both times I drove because I took them supplies,” Dorafshar said. “The first time, I took one volunteer, and we were in Louisiana for five days. We had to leave because the next hurricane was about to hit; we grabbed about seven animals and came home. Volunteers have been working the Internet, text messaging and phone banks for the last two months to facilitate reunions of pets and owners. About 20 percent of the animals have been reunited with their owners, but the vast majority are looking for homes. “Some of the owners we found could not keep the dog for various reasons, which is why we’re having the adoption on (Sunday),” Dorafshar said. “These animals are true survivors, and they deserve a chance to live with a family that gives them love and attention.” The “ruffugees” have been living at more than 30 animal sanctuaries throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. The adoption event will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will also feature a silent auction and pet-related vendors. Proceeds from the auction will be distributed among the groups that cared for the animals. Volunteers are needed to help with holding the animals, cleaning and supervising them and guiding the adoptions, as well as a variety of other tasks. To volunteer, call Alex Isbell at (661) 255-0097, Ext. 105. The Santa Monica Airport is located at 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. For more information on animal rescue efforts, visit www.newleash.org or www.rescueforruffugees.org. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!