Exclusive Interview With Monica Stevens of Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch & Red, The Cow, Update!


While the devastating Tubbs and Nuns fires in Northern California are now contained after three weeks, Monica Stevens, co-founder of the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch (JARR) located near Napa Valley, realizes that there is still much work to be done.

“Recovery can take up to a year,” Stevens said during an interview with WAN. She knows first-hand from helping victims of past fires.

But this fire, particularly, hit close to home.

Fortunately, all of the JARR animals were safe and sound in foster care as the fires raged, so Stevens and her team, some who had to evacuate their own homes, could be available to help wherever and whenever they were needed, basically 24/7.

“We were working from the emotional side rescuing animals and the personal side of trying to deal with what was happening in our own lives,” shared Stevens who explained that they did not take in animals at the ranch during the fire but worked as a liaison for people looking for answers, helped to find temporary shelter for other affected animals, assisted with financial aid and more. “Not only was Jameson Ranch under siege, personal lives were affected.”

Stevens called Cal Fire heroes. WAN believes they all are!

“Jameson Ranch was one of many organizations and people that united to save animals,” said Stevens who recounted the heart-wrenching story of a family that decided to shoot their horses before the ferocious untamable fire consumed their property. “No one wants their animals to be burned alive.”

Among JARR’s sheep, chickens, pigs, horses and other animal residents that are being temporarily cared for at safe locations, is a special cow named Red.

Red’s Story

In the midst of all the sadness surrounding the fires, there is a happy story about Red.

“Little Red,” as Stevens endearingly now calls him, arrived at JARR on October 5, 2017; three days before the beginning of the October 8th firestorm.

How he ended up there is quite remarkable!

Enter animal advocates founder of Peace 4 Animals and World Animal News Katie Cleary, Fia Perera, Simone Reyes and Lisa Karlan who joined Stevens and Hilary Hansen in the race to save Red’s life after hearing that he was at a farm which was preparing him for slaughter.

After much coordination and negotiation with Red’s owner, it was decided that Red’s life would, in fact, be spared and he would be sent to live safely and compassionately at JARR.

Peace 4 Animals sponsored the rescue of Red and Stevens and Perera arranged for the transportation necessary to move him from Southern California to his new forever home in Northern California.

“Peace 4 Animals is thrilled to have sponsored Red’s rescue and a second chance at the life he deserves,” said Cleary. “Peace 4 Animals and World Animal News promote veganism, and we hope Red’s rescue will inspire others to consider a plant-based lifestyle and to save the life of an animal.”

“Red is doing great now,” Stevens shared with WAN. He is enjoying his new life with his “farm animal buddies.”

Red was particularly excited when he was able to meet a prom steer in person at his foster home. They had previously been separated by a fence.

“Red was the only one with horns so we had to make sure it was safe and he would be gentle with them,” explained Stevens. “And he was.”

“They will want to keep him,” she said with a laugh while referring to Red’s foster family, “but they can’t.”

Disaster Preparedness

According to Stevens, Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch wants to use this experience to make sure that the community is better prepared to help and rescue animals when the next disaster hits.

“No one had a plan. We are smart people. We need to be smart for the animals, and we need to do more,” explained Stevens. “Rescues had limited access while utility trucks were able to go to where help was needed most. Rescue trucks need to be allowed the same type of access. Animal lives matter and there has to be a better and faster way that we can get in to rescue them.”

“As with wine, Napa prides itself on being leaders,” she said. “Now we can take what happened, learn from it, and help others facing similar situations in the future.”

JARR’s Recovery and Needs

As far as the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch property, Stevens said that they need help to get it up and running again so they can bring their animals, including Red, home.

A Napa Fire Wish List can be found on JARR’s website.

JARR is also in need of a 20-horse trailer so that in disaster situations they can travel to sites where animals, such as horses, sheep, cows, and goats, can be quickly loaded together on one truck and taken to safety.

People are encouraged to donate to Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch HERE!

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