Ana Zorrilla

Host of Animal Life

As a compassionate animal lover, Ana Zorrilla was drawn to the Louisiana SPCA for the opportunity to make an impact in the animal and human community of New Orleans. She joined the team in February 2006, and was selected by the Board of Directors to lead the organization as Chief Executive Officer in November 2007.

Through her tenure as CEO, Ana has led the organization through Hurricane Gustav and the first evacuation of companion animals from an American city. In 2012, Ana became the first person in Louisiana (and one of less than 100 professionals in the country) to successfully complete the Certification of Animal Welfare Administrators (CAWA). 

Ana has also received accolades within her community as a recipient of New Orleans Magazine’s People to Watch, Person of Fashion, and as one of 50 honorees for New Orleans’ City Business’ Women of the Year. She has served on the Board of the Directors of New Orleans Outreach, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Camp Fire USA and Summerbridge/Breakthrough National Program.

Ana graduated from Loyola University with an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Secondary Education and went on to receive her Masters in Educational Administration from the University of New Orleans. A New Orleans native, Ana’s family includes three Jack Russell Terriers — Mila, Pepper and Sparky — and several box turtles.

David Rush


Have you ever seen a cat without a tail? It was probably a Manx cat

This breed originated centuries ago on the Isle of Man, off the coast of England. The missing tail is actually a genetic mutation that appeared on the island at some point. The mutation thrived in the isolated location, eventually producing its own distinct breed of cat. 

Gianna Stadelmyer/Shutterstock

All dogs are born cute. But most of them aren’t born obedient. Basic obedience training is easy and important. You don’t want your dog getting a bad reputation.

The key element of the most successful obedience training is positive reinforcement, not punishment. The idea is simple: every time your dog obeys a command during training, he gets a treat. This method is much more effective than yelling or swatting your dog with a newspaper.

Jason Saul / WWNO

Animal shelters see a lot more than just dogs and cats. At the Louisiana SPCA we get hamsters, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, rabbits and a variety of birds. We call these types of animals “pocket pets.”

Pocket pets are a great option for people who love animals, but don’t have room for a cat or dog. They’re also a great way to teach kids about responsibly caring for a pet. 

Mark Richardson

If there’s one thing in the world that can make you love your cat a little less, it’s a ruined couch. Some cats seem determined to pee everywhere in the house except their litter boxes. If this sounds familiar, here are a few tips.

First and foremost, make sure your cat is spayed or neutered. Cat mating rituals involve spraying and marking — definitely not something you want in your house. 

Mary Ehret


Life is stressful. Luckily, Louisiana is home to several animal sanctuaries where you yourself can go to take refuge. 

Take Avery Island — it’s more than just Tabasco! Each spring, thousands of Snowy Egrets nest in the island’s bird sanctuary. The egrets settle on piers in a pond nicknamed “Bird City.” 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

If you drive west on Highway 90 you might notice bear crossing signs. That’s right, bears.  

The large but gentle Louisiana Black Bear is our official state mammal. They were once common in the Lower Mississippi Valley and Atchafalaya Basin region, but habitat loss and over hunting have reduced the population to about 300. In 1992 they were listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 

Rachele Totaro

Lately, people have noticed that my dog Sparky seems to have gained some weight. Luckily, he’s not sensitive to the comments, but it has made me wonder if I need to add a few more minutes to our daily walk, or put less kibble in his bowl. 

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, about 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. 

Barna Tanko /


Did you know that every parish has different animal laws? Are you familiar with the animal laws in your parish?

For example: in Orleans Parish it’s against the law to have an intact pet — a pet that has not been spayed or neutered. If you decided not to spay or neuter your pet, you must obtain an intact permit. But this law does not apply to other parishes like Jefferson or Plaquemines.

Looking for a krewe that’s active year round, service-oriented, and extremely cute? Consider joining the kitten krewe by becoming a kitten foster parent!

Kittens must be at least 2 pounds before they can be spayed or neutered and become available for adoption. Foster volunteers take the kittens home and care for them until they meet the weight requirement for surgery; usually 8 to 10 weeks. 

Annette Shaff /

Over 25 million people own mixed-breed dogs. Trying to determine the exact type of dog just from a glance can be challenging. But now there’s a way to tell for sure.  

Pet DNA testing is a great way to find out exactly what breeds make up your beloved pet. It’s a simple as a quick cheek swab. In fact, you might be shocked to find out your pet is something completely different than what you initially thought.