The fires in Southern California have now, for the most part, abated or been contained. Many animals—both domesticated and wild—lost their lives as the fast moving fires, stoked by the Santa Ana winds, scorched the homes and parched vegetation in their path. The flames engulfed hundreds of thousands of acres and devoured more than 2,000 homes.
But many animals were saved, thanks in part to the quick thinking and advance planning of California residents who took their animals with them or delivered them to some other safe place. The Humane Society of the United States and San Diego Animal Services also provided a safety net, with teams that fanned out throughout San Diego County and attended to the needs of animals.
The recently passed California law including pets in disaster plans, and the new federal law—along with the awareness generated by Hurricane Katrina—made a world of difference, as did highly trained disaster response teams.
As usual, during the crisis our supporters gave generously to enable disaster operations to respond. Please take a look at this video and slideshow about our animal rescue response, and thank you for your support.
As always, the key is to be prepared. Make sure you have a disaster plan for you and your animals.