Roselyn Desrochers, 57, died trying to save the animals she so dearly loved.
"No matter if it was a cat or a dog or a bird, she loved animals," said her sister, Deborah Downey of Waveland. "In fact, she died trying to save 17 Chihuahuas. She fell in love with Chihuahuas and she started buying them from the pound. They started having babies. She had a cage for each and every dog."
As the water rose around her house at 5145 Pointset in Clermont Harbor, Downey said, "Roselyn was putting her dogs on the roof. My nephew was handing them out the window."
"That's when she disappeared," said Desrochers' uncle, Eugene Tschantz Jr. of Metairie, La. On beyond her love for animals, Downey said, "She had a great love for people and was a caregiver.
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"Everybody in the neighborhood knew her because she helped out anybody in any situation. If she knew they had a need, she found a way to fulfill that need. She gave up her job for four years prior to her death to take care of (our) parents until they died. Both had cancer.
"She constantly grieved about our parents. Once she realized the Lord wasn't taking her, she started living life for herself. And she ended up drowning."