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.

LASPCA

Sometimes you see a picture on social media of a dog you just have to adopt. Or you come across an adoption event at the mall and fall instantly in love with a kitten.

Recently we had a mini-horse named Darsha available for adoption at the Louisiana SPCA and I found myself wanting to adopt her. After a quick reality check I realized that it wasn't going to be a good fit. 

LA/SPCA

Did you know that New Orleans has an animal overpopulation problem? While shelters in our region are overflowing with homeless animals, some shelters further north are practically empty. 

Overpopulation itself is not easy to fix, but one part of the puzzle is simple: move the animals from here to there. 

Sarah Baird

A recent study ranked Louisiana as the #5 best state for dog owners. So what is it that makes our state a perfect place for man's best friend? 

For starters, southeast Louisiana has more festivals in one month than most places have in a year. And a lot of them are dog friendly.

And when was the last time you went to a coffee shop or bar and didn't see a dog? Pet friendly businesses are everywhere. Not to mention the numerous dog parks and mild winters that allow us to enjoy them year-round. 

Kate Richardson

On this week's Animal Life we listen in as local cat lover Mariana Coudrain adopts a kitten at the Louisiana SPCA.

Click here for a list of shelters and rescue groups in Southeast Louisiana where you can adopt your next pet.

Alexander Raths / Shutterstock.com

What’s on your yearly checklist? The dentist? Taxes? What about taking your pet to the veterinarian?

That’s right: your pets need a medical check up every year.

An annual visit to the vet is the best way to ensure that your pet has a long, healthy life. Regular check ups also keep your pet up-to-date on important vaccinations like rabies and kennel cough.

Diseases that affect animals can be airborne or spread through contact with a parasite or virus that’s brought inside on your shoes. So the yearly checkup is important for both outdoor and indoor pets.

Ivonne Wierink / Shutterstock.com

Here's a question we get all the time at the shelter: "If I microchip my pet, does that mean I can track him using GPS if he gets lost?"

That would be pretty handy, but unfortunately the answer is no. A microchip is not a form of GPS or tracking. It's more like an electronic ID tag. A microchip can range in cost from about $30-$100. It contains a series of numbers linked to the pet owner's contact information. It's the size of a grain of rice and only takes seconds to insert.

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.

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.

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. 

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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