Update 9/22: The ASPCA has been in Northern California since September 13, providing emergency assistance in the midst of devastating wildfires. Our team has conducted field rescues and home searches, as well as provided critical aid to badly burned animals and inundated shelters.
Here is an important update on our ongoing intervention and rescue efforts:
203 animals, including dogs, cats, goats, pigs and horses, have been rescued and brought to safety
37 animals have been reunited with their families after being separated during emergency evacuations
700 phone calls have been fielded by our ground team, including calls from pet parents searching for their animals.
This post was originally published on September 13, 2015.
ASPCA responders are working to help rescue displaced animals in the aftermath of a devastating wildfire in Lake County, California. We stepped in at the request of the Lake County Animal Care & Control and its animal disaster response team, deploying to conduct field rescues to save badly burned animals, as well as check individual residences for pets and livestock left behind. The ASPCA will also house displaced animals in its 30-foot disaster response trailer, which is customized to shelter animals in emergency situations.
The unforgiving Valley fire swept through and burned 67,000 acres, destroying nearly 600 homes and leaving approximately 13,000 people displaced in the community. Pet owners were ordered to evacuate immediately by local officials as the fire spread quickly throughout the area, which resulted in many pets and livestock being left behind. Reports indicate that local authorities are now escorting residents to their homes in certain areas, allowing them to retrieve or feed the animals.
“We’re pleased to be working alongside the Lake Evacuation & Animal Protection team to help pet owners and displaced animals in the community, as well as support local agencies identify resource needs,” says Dick Green, ASPCA Senior Director of Disaster Response. “The destruction caused by the fire is indescribable, and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this disaster—people and pets alike.”
Animals rescued in this operation are being examined and treated by veterinarians at the Lake County Animal Care & Control at 4949 Helbush in Lakeport. Pet owners looking to report lost pets or rescue needs should contact the Lake County Animal Care & Control at (707) 263-0278.
If a natural disaster or emergency strikes, will you be prepared? As part of National Preparedness Month, the ASPCA wants to make sure that pet parents are ready for any situation that may arise. That’s why we’re hosting the ASPCA Disaster Preparedness Month Hangout tomorrow, Thursday, September 18 from 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M EST.
At this Google Hangout, we’ll help you “master the disaster” with tips and tricks to keep your four-legged family members safe. Topics will include how to prepare for a disaster with pets, what to do if a disaster strikes, how to find pet-friendly evacuation locations, and more!
Our expert panel will be moderated by Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee. Participants include:
Dick Green, Senior Director of Disaster Response, ASPCA
Deborah Press, Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs, ASPCA
Anne McCann, National Emergency Programs Coordinator, USDA
Mark Tinsman, Mass Care Specialist, FEMA
Lysa Boston, Shelter Manager, Joplin Humane Society
Rob Curran, Hurricane Sandy Survivor, and his cat, Joy
To participate in our #NatlPrep hangout, be sure to RSVP today and tune in tomorrow!