msnbc.com
updated 9/9/2005 12:50:08 PM ET 2005-09-09T16:50:08

Amid the heart-wrenching moments of devastation from deadly hurricane Katrina, there is at least one bright spot. Snowball, a small white dog taken by police from a sobbing little boy as he and his family were boarding a bus at the Superdome, has been located, USA Today reported Thursday.

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Snowball is now at the Louisiana SPCA in Gonzalez, La., and will be reunited with his owner, U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian Terry Conger told the newspaper. The Humane Society of the United States and the Louisiana SPCA rescued 43 dogs and 16 cats from the Superdome and delivered them to a temporary shelter at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

The dog is reported to be among an estimated 3,000 animals brought into the Louisiana shelter system.

When the police took the dog during the Superdome evacuation, the boy cried "Snowball! Snowball!" until he vomited. At the time authorities said they didn't know where the boy or his dog ended up.

The sad story of Snowball prompted an outpouring of emotion from pet lovers around the country who went on the hunt for the boy and his dog. One woman set up a reward offer to encourage the search for Snowball.

The story was first reported by The Associated Press.

Late Monday, there was a ray of hope when the United Animal Nations said Snowball was safe, citing news from the state veterinarian’s office. However, the information could not be verified because there was some confusion over whether Snowball was a terrier mix, a poodle or a bichon frise.

On Thursday, the president of the Humane Society of Southeast Texas in Beaumont blasted officials for not doing enough to take care of the pets of hurricane victims.

The organization is offering to temporarily take care of the pets while the evacuees find a new home, said Cindy Meyers, board president of the group.

It’s important that animals are taken care of in evacuations, Meyers said, adding that it’s “inexcusable” that pets are being separated from their owners.

"Pets are family members and they need to be cared for just as the people do," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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