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.

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Animal Life
9:13 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Animal Life: Raising Awareness Of Endangered Species

Newly-hatched Loggerhead Sea Turtles making their way to the ocean.
Credit foryouinf / Shutterstock.com

Did you know that Louisiana is home to a variety of rare animals? There are about 1,300 endangered species in the United States. More than 30 of them are native to Louisiana. Animals such as the Red Wolf and the Loggerhead Sea Turtle thrive in Louisiana’s subtropical climate.

Unfortunately, some of these species are almost extinct. The Louisiana Black Bear and the Gulf Sturgeon, for example, are now struggling to survive because humans have disrupted their habitats.

Raising awareness about native endangered species is the first step to ensuring their survival.

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Animal Life
8:47 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Animal Life: Putting A Stop To Animal Abuse

Credit Rigorosus / Shutterstock.com

Animal cruelty is tragic, and often goes unreported.

Recently, a LA/SPCA Humane Officer rescued a 10-month-old puppy named Wes, who was abandoned on the interstate. She was huddled against a guardrail on I-10 during rush hour traffic. Wes had a fractured pelvis; she needed at least eight weeks of rest and pain medicine while she healed.

Two months after being rescued, Wes is doing much better, and is available for adoption.

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Animal Life
3:07 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Animal Life: Protecting Your Pet From Rabies

Credit Genevieve Dietrich / Shutterstock.com

Rabies is a viral disease often transmitted through an animal bite. Most reported rabies cases occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks and foxes. 

The good news is that rabies is preventable by getting your pet vaccinated. In 2013, over 36,000 pets were vaccinated for the rabies virus in Orleans Parish alone. 

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Animal Life: Finding Purebred Pets In Shelters

Credit VKarlov / Shutterstock.com

Most people assume that shelter animals are all mixed breeds — also known as mutts. But the fact is, purebred pets are actually pretty common in shelters.  

The other day, I walked through our adoption room at the LA/SPCA. I counted two Dobermans, four Chihuahuas, one Cocker Spaniel, one Yorkie, one Siamese cat and one ragdoll kitty.

Most shelters post pictures of adoptables on their websites. Some will even alert you if you are looking for a pet of a specific breed, size or age.  

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Animal Life: Dog Safety Tips

Whether you’re an animal person or not, it’s important to know basic safety tips for interacting with dogs.
Credit Reddogs / Shutterstock.com

Summertime is here and that means that more people are out and about in public places like parks. Whether you’re an animal person or not, it’s important to know basic safety tips for interacting with dogs.

Teach children to keep a safe distance from unfamiliar dogs. Never leave a child alone with a dog and be sure to keep an eye on children playing outside in the neighborhood.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Animal Life: Preparing Your Pet For Hurricane Season

Credit Sergej Razvodovskij / Shutterstock

Hurricane season is upon us. Does your evacuation plan include your pet?

Under no circumstances should you ever leave your pet behind. Pets are members of the family and should always be included in disaster preparations.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Animal Life: Kitten Season Is In Full Swing

Late spring is kitten season, which sounds adorable but can be truly problematic.
Credit Linn Currie / Shutterstock.com

Warm spring weather brings good things, like flowers; bad things, like termites; and cute things... like kittens!

Late spring is kitten season, which sounds adorable but can be truly problematic. Newborn kittens flood local shelters, which often lack the resources to care for them all. 

Here's what you can do to help:

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Animal Life: What To Do If You Lose Your Pet

Putting up flyers is one of several things you can do if your pet goes missing.
Kate Richardson

Losing a pet is scary. Do you know what to do if this happens?

As soon as you notice that your pet is missing, go to your local animal shelter in person to file a report. Be sure to bring a photo ID and a recent picture of your pet. After you do that, make flyers and post them around your neighborhood. 

If someone brings a lost pet to the local animal shelter, they're only legally required to hold it for a few days. So it's crucial to be proactive in your search.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Animal Life: To Leash Or Not To Leash?

Credit Giedriusok / Shutterstock

It's festival season here in Louisiana. That means tons of pet-friendly outdoor activities, which raises the question: to leash or not to leash?

Most parishes require that dogs be on a secure leash. There are some exceptions to this law for places designated as off-leash areas, like NOLA Bark in City Park.

Dog owners know that even the most obedient canine companions have their moments. Keeping your dog on a leash while out and about is the best way to protect him from traffic, crowds and other animals.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Animal Life: Pets Have Allergies Too

Pets have allergies too!
Credit Marcella Miriello / Shutterstock

Allergy season is tough on everyone, including our pets. Just like humans, animals can  be allergic to a variety of things. And they even have some of the same symptoms. 

My dog Sparky was miserable, scratching and itching. A veterinary dermatologist tested him and determined that he was allergic to grass, trees and dust. Common pet allergens include pollen, dust, mold, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, and certain foods.

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