Digital Civic Engagement Spring 2024: From Stranded to Snuggles: The Impact of Zeus’ Rescues

Zeus’ Dog available for adoption on a walk with a volunteer

Whenever I visit one of my closest friends right off Freret Street, I always pass the window of Zeus’ Rescues, filled to the brim with cats and Kittens meowing at me, practically begging for attention. As an out-of-state student, it is always excruciating to walk by, as there are always one or two cats that could be the doppelgängers for my cats back in New Jersey (they are very basic-looking tabby and black cats, but they are my pride and joy). One particular cat that always catches my eye when I walk by is the exact copy of my cat, Howie. It has the same mannerisms as him, including the most heart-wrenching reaching toward you motion that has almost brought me into the shelter, despite all my roommates being allergic to cats and a strict ban on pets in my lease agreement. She has one eye, so I always called it “Pirate Howie” in my many texts to my mother, trying to get her to remind me that I could not bring this adorable animal home. After much stalking on the Zeus’ website, I found out this gorgeous girl was named Dancer, and whenever I see her in the window, I stop and say hi to her. 

In New Orleans, many animal rescue shelters do fantastic work, and I never thought that Zues’ did anything more than the others until my mom shared a video with me on Instagram a few months ago. Like me, my mom is an animal lover and constantly sends me  cute and funny animal videos. One day, though, she sent a heartbreaking video from Zues’ account. 

On January 31st, the rescue’s account shared a heartbreaking post of a Pitbull who was left tied to a pole outside one of the shelter’s locations. In the middle of the night, the dog was left stranded in the cold, abandoned by its family, its plaid coat being the only thing protecting it. Seeing this cold, scared, and anxious dog broke my heart. However, seeing the care Michelle, who approached this pup, was truly inspiring. The ability to calmly and effectively take this shaken-up pup, who was very reactive due to this circumstance, displayed the care and the love Zues’ has for the animals they help save.

Outside of Zeus’ Rescues Ferret Street

Since then, I have closely followed Zues’ work for animals in the local community. It is no easy feat to save and rehabilitate animals to prepare them for adoption. With three locations in New Orleans, they are constantly taking in animals looking for a kind and loving forever home. The shelter works tirelessly to give these animals the chance they deserve. We live in a world that often forgets about those who cannot stand up or defend themselves, so Zues’ looks to be the voice and the advocate for those animals that come through their shelters.

Like most shelters, Zeus’ Rescues relies heavily on help from volunteers in nearly all aspects of their operation. The shelter is continuously looking to add volunteers to help streamline its operation and give each animal the attention they deserve while within their walls. Zeus’ is constantly looking to add volunteers to help with in-house assignments, walking dogs, fostering animals, helping at adoption events, assisting with transportation, and checking in with the animals who are in the rescue’s cat habitats at Petco. All of these roles are essential to providing care to these animals and beginning the process of human interaction and care to help smooth the integration of animals moving in with their new families. 

Cat at the Zues’ Rescues Ferret Street Location

While every type of volunteer provides indispensable and vital work to the shelter, Zeus’ mainly seeks fosters to join their volunteer community. Some of my close friends have volunteered as dog walkers at the Ferret Street location and have had highly positive experiences with the animals they help walk. I ran into my classmate Ross, a Tulane sophomore, when he was on one of his walks with Casper, an energetic and super-sweet Pitbull. I asked him about his experience volunteering with Zeus’, and he told me, “Seeing the dog’s face light up when you put their harness on makes it all worth it, especially since he was quite shy when I first met him.” He continued, “I have walked Casper a few times, and just seeing him so happy to interact with people on the street brightens up my day.” After a few pets and some slobbery kisses, Ross and Casper continued their walk, getting stopped just a few feet away by a group of girls who gave Casper tons of love.

Volunteers make a world of difference to the animals at Zues’ Rescuses. With the Ferret location being so close to Tulane’s campus, the dog-walking opportunities can give pet-deprived college students the chance to have this missing connection while performing essential work that can help transform an animal’s life. With many dorms and off-campus houses prohibiting animals, this volunteering opportunity is perfect for animal lovers looking to relieve some stress from their hectic lives and just live in the moment with an animal. Little do you know, you are making their day impacting their life and preparing them for their future family. To volunteer with Zeus’ Rescues, visit them here: or follow their Instagram @zuesrescues for updates and more information. 



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