ASPCA - American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

10/30/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/30/2019 13:29

ASPCA Assists Sonoma County Animal Services in Rescuing At-Risk Animals Displaced by Kincade Fire in California

Santa Rosa, Calif.-At the request of Sonoma County Animal Services, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) 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. SCAS has assisted approximately 1,500 animals impacted by the fires, with support from the ASPCA and other 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,' said Dick Green, senior director of ASPCA Disaster Response. '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.'

'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.'

SCAS was forced to evacuate animals from their shelter, and they have been relocated 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 should contact SCAS dispatch at 707-565-7103.

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, take your pets with you. Never leave your pets behind or tether them to poles or trees, which prevents them from escaping emergency situations and getting to safe areas.
  • 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 the evacuation zone, who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.

For more information on how to incorporate your pet into your disaster preparedness plans, visit aspca.org/disasterprep.

The ASPCA deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering and placement of animals during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In 2018, the ASPCA responded to a string of natural disasters including Hurricanes Florence and Michael, the volcano eruption in Hawaii, and mudslides and wildfires in California, assisting more than 9,000 animals through pre-evacuation, field rescue, and post-disaster relief efforts. In addition, they work closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities.