Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get to Know Zeus' Place: A Haven for Critters

Copyright, Zeus' Place, New Orleans

With all the wicked and incomprehensible nonsense going on in the world, I'm just in the mood for a good ol' feel-good story and this news clip fits the bill perfectly. 

Michelle Ingram is the owner of Zeus' Place here in New Orleans.  Since she and her husband bought a flooded-out building after Katrina, she has transformed her little kennel into a thriving business enterprise where pets are lovingly boarded (including Bouie and Rosie -- yes, they board special needs pets!), groomed, and, literally, saved.  One of their sweet groomers has even figured out that our blind little Rosie won't freak out and is not so very hard to groom if she is simply held in the groomer's lap while getting gorgeous.  Now, that's a genuine animal lover.

Zeus' Place takes its name from Michelle's late chocolate lab, and, as you may have already surmised, the employees are among the nicest people you'd ever encounter.  The front office walls are covered with poster-size pictures of regular "clients," and the large front picture-windows are home to the kitty crates.  Kitties like to look out of windows, so this is the ideal spot for the many boarded and rescued cats from across the region.  In the evenings, the kitties (at least those that work and play well with others) are turned loose to play and romp.  It's a hoot to watch them on one of the many cameras they have set up so that you can monitor your pet, and check out the goings-on at ZP, via their website.

Adoption Days are staged regularly -- there's no telling how many pets have been placed in loving homes as a result of Michelle's hard work and the network she's cultivated over the years.  They even post photos on their website, and Facebook, of adoptables and "visiting pet of the day," along with a little narrative (or poem!) about the critter.

Zeus' Place was also an anchor in Freret Street's commercial renaissance following Katrina.  The transformation of that business corridor has been nothing short of remarkable, considering that it pretty much resembled the aftermath of Armageddon a few short years ago.  Well, I suppose it was smack-dab in the middle of the aftermath of Armageddon.  But today, it's a clean, cheery, bustling street with schools, businesses, monthly Markets, an annual festival, and even decorated bus stop shelters, thanks to the efforts of Michelle and company.

I feel blessed to count the Zeus' Place family among my friends.  I try to donate a little food to them every now and then because, well, just because.  Thank goodness there are such compassionate, energetic people in this sometime-dismal world!

Yesterday, Michelle and friends rescued a starving puppy stranded on an island, and WWL, the local CBS affiliate, went along for the ride.  It's a heart-warming story.  Enjoy!


  1. This was indeed a feel-good post and the video was the icing on a very satisfying cake. You know the coolest people, Moogie... but then you would.

    Was that Michelle in the Funkify shirt? re: that shirt... want!

  2. Glad your day was brightened a bit!

    Yes, that was Michelle. Isn't that a great shirt!

  3. I'd been crabby and irritable all morning until your little puppy rescue vid came along and ruined my bad mood. :)

  4. Awww, sorry, Inno. ;) Just turn on the news -- it's an automatic bad-mood restorative!