SAN DIEGO — As Valley Fire evacuees weren’t able to best care for their animals, the San Diego Humane Society stepped up this week to lend a hand. Emergency team members have gone the extra mile for Jamul area animals impacted by the fire with a goal of helping four-legged friends.
“[We] topped off their water resource early in the day and [are] just making sure they have what they need,” said Officer David Zook of the San Diego Humane Society Doing, who was out doing welfare checks Wednesday in the area to make sure all animals were okay.
One East County ranch had a few senior horses, so instead of just alfalfa, the owner made a special request for a couple of different kinds of hay to help calm his horses down due to the stress of the nearby heavy smoke.
“A lot of the owners that did choose to stay don't have the ability to go into town. They cannot refill, so that's why we are here to provide that assistance,” Zook said.
At the Iron Oak Canyon Ranch in Spring Valley, like many area shelters, it was filling up early in the week.
“It was about 75% full within three hours," said Lt. John Peaveler of San Diego Humane Society emergency services.
Large animal evacuation centers have been packed with everything from baby alpacas to goats to chickens to turkeys rescued from the Valley Fire and given food to eat and water to drink.
"We've had tremendous community support; tons of things dropped off. We've got food all over the place,” Peaveler said.
Peaveler runs a 155-person team part of the San Diego Humane Society emergency services. He said there are 137 properties from homeowners and business owners stepping up to take in animals for fire evacuees in need.
"It's critical, and if you are an owner who has been displaced, you are trying to deal with your property, or however your life has been disrupted, it's really, really meaningful to know that your animals are being cared for properly,” Peaveler said.
The Humane Society said animals evacuated from the Valley Fire are clear to stay in the shelters as long as their owners need the help.