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Two puppies born at Camp Katrina in Mississippi are available for adoption at the SPCA of Luzerne County.

Pat Smith and Crystal Wallace pet Darla and Spanky on Saturday at the SPCA of Luzerne County. The two American English coonhound mix puppies were born at Camp Katrina, an animal rescue site in Tylertown, Miss., and are now available for adoption at the Plains Township shelter.

FOR THE TIMES LEADER/Jonathan J. Juka

PLAINS TWP. – Interested in two puppies with a story behind them?

Two 6-month-old American English coonhound pups from Camp Katrina, an animal rescue site in Tylertown, Miss., are ready for adoption at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County.

The brown and white playful puppies, Darla and Spanky, were picked up a few days ago from Camp Katrina by a woman in Mechanicsburg and given to Pat Smith, a volunteer at the SPCA.

Smith then delivered the puppies to the local animal shelter on Saturday. They are the first animals from the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 to reach Luzerne County, Smith said.

“These two coonhounds were born at Camp Katrina,” Smith said. “Their mother was strayed because of the hurricane but is now in Canada.”

Smith said a veterinarian from Canada that volunteered time at Camp Katrina earlier this year returned home with the puppies’ mother. Darla and Spanky were left behind but weren’t adopted.

That’s when e-mails began to circulate about the two puppies, Smith said.

“Camp Katrina had these two puppies and they had a difficult time getting them adopted,” Smith said. “We were asked to make them available for adoption here.”

Crystal Wallace, an employee at the SPCA, said the dogs are available for adoption now.

“If someone wants one or both, we’ll do the screening process,” Wallace said. “It would be nice to keep them together.”

After more than a year since the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast, Smith said stray pets are still be recovered.

“It’s really sad. They’re still picking up strays on the streets,” Smith said.

According to the American Kennel Club, American English coonhounds are renowned for speed and endurance. Males grow to 24 to 26 inches at the withers while females grow to 23 to 25 inches. Coonhound dogs are avid hunting companions and are pleasant, alert and are sociable with humans and other dogs, according to the American Kennel Club.

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