As every pet parent knows, animals are essential members of the family. When disaster strikes, however, folks must make extremely difficult decisions to keep themselves and their animals safe from harm.
As always, the darkest of circumstances can never extinguish the light of our shared humanity. The human-animal bond remains unbreakable.
Last week, the American Humane Rescue Team deployed to California to assist in the response to the Caldor Fire, which has been burning for two weeks and now threatens the Lake Tahoe region. The effects are devastating. As of the morning of August 28, the fire had burned more than 149,000 acres and destroyed 469 homes displacing thousands of families and their precious animals.
Thankfully, El Dorado County Animal Services was able to immediately step up to the plate to provide shelter for more than1,500 animals in its existing three facilities. American Humane’s animal first responders are proud to join other rescue organizations on the ground to help care for some 500 animals housed at the El Dorado County Animal Shelter, which is now home to dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, pigs, chickens, ducks, exotic birds and even some tortoises.
American Humane’s Rescue Team is divided between sections for the cats and dogs, providing attentive care to animals who miss their loving families. The team put boots on the ground on Thursday night and has worked tirelessly since arriving. When the crew starts in the morning, the air quality is at its worst, with the smoke clinging to the ground due to lower temperatures overnight. As the day progresses, the smoke rises back into the sky due to the heat and it’s easier to breathe.
The American Humane Rescue Team is feeling the long days, but happy to relieve some of the pressure from local staff and volunteers who have been providing around the clock care and attention since the fire started.
The terrain is familiar to American Humane. Just last year, American Humane’s rescue team deployed to Butte County, California –two hours north of our current position, to provide support during a different wildfire.
As always, American Humane’s team is developing connections with these precious animals, providing food, water and a loving hand to every animal distressed by the devastating circumstances. Please if you are able, consider making an emergency gift at www.americanhumane.org/caldor-wildfire.