At the request of Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS), the ASPCA is on the ground assisting animals impacted by the Kincade wildfire that has devastated Northern California.
The ASPCA’s team of disaster response professionals deployed with emergency response equipment and is fulfilling animal search-and-rescue requests and providing welfare checks for non-evacuated animals.
So far, Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) has assisted approximately 1,500 animals impacted by the fires with support from the ASPCA and other animal welfare groups.
“The unrelenting Kincade fire has burned more than 70,000 acres of land and is threatening the lives of people and animals, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents and their pets to evacuate from their homes,” Dick Green, Senior Director of ASPCA Disaster Response, said in a statement. “The ASPCA is on the ground providing critical search-and-rescue support for Sonoma County Animal Services as they work tirelessly to assist displaced animals in their community and help pet owners get through this difficult time.”
SCAS was forced to evacuate animals from their shelter and have relocated them to the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds for ongoing care. Once the mandatory evacuations are lifted, SCAS will repopulate their shelter and begin lost-and-found animal reunification.
A list of evacuation shelters that allow small animals, as well as other essential information, can be found on the SCAS Facebook page. Residents whose pets are in need of emergency rescue are encouraged to contact SCAS dispatch at (707) 565-7103.
“We are deeply grateful to be partnering with the dedicated ASPCA who is providing invaluable assistance for animals, community members and our Sonoma County Animal Services staff,” said Brian Whipple, Operations Manager of Sonoma County Animal Services. “We value and appreciate their knowledge, skill, expertise and advice given during these difficult times.”
With multiple wildfires burning throughout California, the ASPCA is urging pet owners to take the following steps to prepare their pets should they be impacted by a disaster situation:
If you evacuate, always take your pets with you. Never leave them behind and never tether them to poles or trees—this will prevent them from escaping emergency situations and getting to a safe area.
Make sure all pets are wearing ID tags with up-to-date contact information. The ASPCA also recommends checking microchip registration information to ensure that contact information is up-to-date as well.
Create a portable pet emergency kit with essential items including medical records, water, water bowls, pet food and your pet’s medications.
Choose a designated caregiver, such as a friend or relative outside of the evacuation zone who can take care of your pet in the event that you are unable to.