As wildfires ravage the West Coast, we’re helping shelters and rescue groups care for the animal victims.
Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center
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 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.
Whitman County Humane Society
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.”
Exotic Bird Rescue of Oregon
We sent additional funds to Exotic Bird Rescue of Oregon in Springfield, which has been asked by Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene to help provide shelter and care for exotic birds displaced by the Glendower/Almeda Drive, Beachie, and Riverside fires.
Because the fires are so fast-moving, many exotic-bird owners have been forced to evacuate without their pets’ food, cages, toys, and medications. The rescue’s foster homes have been providing smoke-free havens for the sensitive animals, and Exotic Bird Rescue has been taking food to evacuation centers where displaced pet owners have been staying with their birds housed in carriers or travel cages.
Our grant funds will be used to pay for food, cages, and toys or toy materials, as well as medications and any medical attention that displaced birds might need.
Siskiyou Humane Society
Another disaster grant will help Siskiyou Humane Society in Mt. Shasta, CA, which is helping pets affected by the Slater Fire in Happy Camp, CA. The shelter has been deployed by Siskiyou County Animal Control as boots on the ground, conducting animal rescue, checking homes for animals, and leaving food and water where animals are sheltering in place after their owners have evacuated.
“Expenses associated with the service provided for this fire include fuel, food, wages, and pet supplies,” says Shelter Manager Kim Latos. “We had to close to accommodate the rescue services, leaving minimal staff. Everyone had to work longer hours. Our new transport van had engine failure and staff used their own vehicles to transport food and supplies and visit the areas deployed to.”