As wildfires ravage the West Coast, we’re helping shelters and rescue groups care for the animal victims.
We’ve sent a Disaster Fund grant to Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center in Roseburg, OR, which is taking in pets belonging to locals forced by the Archie Creek Fire to evacuate.
“Douglas County, along with the entire state of Oregon, is dealing with wildfires on a scale we’ve never seen before,” says Executive Director Megan Gram. “We currently have two wildfires causing level-three go-now evacuations for about 3,000 local residents. The fire which is impacting us most is the Archie Creek Fire. It is currently burning at 121,000 acres and is about 10% contained.”
The shelter is also offering free pet food and crates for residents in need. “We are now starting to see strays who we assume were left behind by owners who did not have time to get them out,” Gram says. “We believe we will see more and more strays, whom we hope to be able to reunite with their owners in the coming weeks. We are reaching out to other counties in our area to see how we can help as we have additional space available to take in more animals as needed. We are currently caring for 43 evacuated pets on top of our existing shelter population.”
Petfinder Foundation grant funds will be used to provide care for displaced pets as well as strays who may have injuries sustained from the fires.
We’ve granted additional disaster funds to Sanctuary One in Jacksonville, OR, where the Almeda and Obenchain fires have caused massive evacuations of both animals and people.
“We have taken in more dogs from our county shelter (four are being officially signed over to us and two will be held as fosters for the county),” says Executive Director Megan Flowers. “We are also working with our local law-enforcement community to help rescue farm animals in evacuation sites.”
Grant funds will help pay for dog food and vet bills for the dogs pulled from the Jackson County Animal Services, as well as gas and staff time required for the farm-animal rescues. The shelter is working with more than 40 farm animal rescues/evacuations and receiving new calls every hour from the sheriff department to assist in more farm-animal rescues.
Another disaster grant recipient is Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman, WA. On Sept. 7, a wildfire destroyed most of the homes and buildings in the small towns of Malden and Pine City. Because the fire was moving so quickly due to high wind speeds, many people were forced to evacuate quickly, leaving behind their belongings and their pets.
“As the fire has gone out, people’s animals are returning to the area burned and injured,” says Director of Shelter Operations Ashley Renae Phelps. “We have been taking in all of the unclaimed animals as well as helping match lost pets to their owners.”
Grant funds will support staff working to catch stray burn victims and pay for these injured animals’ medical care. “We have already received five cats from this situation with vet bills totaling over $3,000,” Phelps says. “There is a known feral colony of about 30-40 cats living in the Malden area who, if alive, will need assistance.”