Padilla Letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hurricane evacuee expresses thanks for shelter, special effort

To the editor:

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 I live with my husband in Kenner, La., which is next to New Orleans.

After the mayor of New Orleans ordered a mandatory evacuation before Hurricane Gustav, we left with my daughter’s pet, Lucas, a miniature schnauzer. It took 10 hours to get to Jackson. We stopped in every little town looking for hotel rooms, but we didn’t have any reservations and besides they wouldn’t take us with Lucas.

We were tired of looking for a hotel and decided to stay in the rest area and the next morning continue to Memphis. Next morning a lady from a church gave everybody at the rest area warm muffins for breakfast and we started driving again.

We stopped in the first town we found, which was Batesville. We stopped at the first hotel, the Hampton Inn, and I stayed in the car with Lucas. After five minutes my husband came back to me shaking the keys and with a smile he said, “we have a room.” Suddenly my husband said to me, “oooh, I forgot to tell them that we have a pet.”

He came back and said “no pets allowed,” so we started driving looking for a shelter. We got to a church and a gentleman came to us and let us know there was a lady who had a shelter for animals.

We arrived at her house on Baker St. and there was Kim Strickland with her blonde hair and a smile on her face. She welcomed us and told us not to worry. She had a place for Lucas. She is the president of the Panola County Humane Society.

She gave us a cage, food, water and showed us a nice inside room and a nice outside porch where we could put Lucas.

She was an angel for us.

So I am writing this note to ask Mayor Jerry Autrey to help Kim Strickland and the Panola County Humane Society continue to provide a shelter for animals in need.

Thanks again to the people of Batesville.

Patricia Padilla

Kenner, La.