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Hundreds of Pets Evacuated Due to Colorado Wildfires

Colorado wildfireIn what Gov. John Hickenlooper has called “the worst fire season in the history of Colorado,” three major wildfires are currently burning out of control in the state.

Tens of thousands of residents have had to evacuate along with their pets.

The High Park fire, which was started by a lightning strike on June 9, is about 75-percent contained and not expected to be fully contained until mid-July, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

The Larimer Humane Society is coordinating the rescue of animals in the High Park fire zone. According to its website, this includes “providing owner-requested food and water to animals not evacuated (as permitted by fire and sheriff authorities), reuniting owners with lost animals and providing temporary shelter for evacuated animals.”

Michael Scronce has had to evacuate three times, according to the organization’s blog. He left his two dogs, a Doberman and Pit Bull-Whippet mix, at the shelter for 15 days.

When he was able to return to his home and retrieve his beloved pets from the shelter, Scronce said, “I hope people understand how incredible it is to not have to worry about your dogs when you get displaced by a fire. You took my worries away and that really helped me a lot.”

Farther south, more than 32,000 residents of Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city, have been evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon fire that started last Saturday. The Denver Post reported today that at least 300 homes have been destroyed.

Reuters reported yesterday that the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) had taken in more than 252 pets evacuated from that area.

A second emergency shelter for pets has been set up at the Freedom Financial Services Expo Center, according to the HSPPR website. This shelter will only accept pets evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon Fire. Several area businesses are also taking in pets on a temporary basis; check the HSPPR website for a continually updated list.

The latest wildfire, the Flagstaff fire near Boulder, was sparked by a lightning strike on Tuesday and is slowly growing. However, an evacuation order has been lifted, 9News reported today.

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley is prepared to take in pets in the event of mandatory evacuations. “We are transferring some of our adoption animals to other metro area animal shelter partners to make more room available here to house the animals of our community members in need,” according to its web site.

The American Red Cross web site reports it has eight shelters open in the three major fire areas as of yesterday afternoon.

These hotel chains are pet friendly and do not charge extra for your pets.

How to Prepare Your Dog for Evacuation

If there’s a possibility you may have to evacuate your home, do the following:

  • Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an ID tag and pet license.
  • Pack your dog’s medications and any special food he eats.
  • Keep your dog on a leash or in a carrier at all times to prevent him from running away if he gets scared.

For more information about how to preparing your dog for evacuation in any emergency, see Prepare Your Pets for Emergencies.

How to Help

  • Larimer Humane Society – You can make a donation online or by mailing a check to Larimer Humane Society, 5137 S. College Ave., Fort Collins CO 80525.
  • Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region – You can make a cash donation on the HSPPR website or mail a check to HSPPR, 610 Abbott Lane, Colorado Springs CO 80905. HSPPR is also in need of equipment to help its Animal Law Enforcement department respond in disasters.
  • Humane Society of Boulder Valley – You can make a donation via this online form or send a check to Humane Society of Boulder Valley, 2323 55th Street, Boulder CO 80301.
  • American Red Cross – You can make a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief via the Colorado Chapters web page, or call 1-800-REDCROSS or 303-722-7474 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MDT).
  • Pet Oxygen Mask FundraiserSurf Dog Ricochet and the Emma Zen Foundation are raising funds to supply Colorado firefighters with oxygen masks specifically designed for pets. Each mask kit, which includes a small, medium and large mask, costs $75, but donations of any amount are welcome. You can donate via the Surf Dog Ricochet or Emma Zen Foundation website.

PHOTO: Facebook

Laura Goldman

Laura Goldman is senior social media writer for i Love Dogs, Inc. She does love dogs. And elephants and turtles. Along with writing about the loves of her life, Laura likes to play with her two pound pups and tell anyone who'll listen just how awesome Pit Bulls are.

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June 28, 2012 By : Category : DOG NEWS Tags:
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