Lost in the shuffle of the massive evacuations due to fires burning throughout the San Diego area this week are the fates of pets and other animals.
Fortunately, some area shelters are reaching out to lend a helping hand.
Lisa Wilhoit McCormick, owner of Fido & Co. Canine Country Club in Hillcrest, is offering free boarding and pet assistance to anyone affected by the fires.
“Clearly, if you have to evacuate, you’re not going to get a crate, not going to get food,” she said. “We’re so glad to help.”
She said they haven’t taken in any animals displaced by the fires, but they have been getting donations of food, blankets, crates and other pet supplies over the past two days and wants to help pet owners for as long as it takes.
"Definitely through the weekend,” she said. “I’m not sure how crazy it’s going to be in terms of people dropping off, how much help they will need.”
Residents can call Fido & Co. at (619) 295-9663 for assistance.
North County residents who have evacuated with large animals can take them to Cloverdale Ranch in Escondido or call the County Department of Animal Services emergency line at (619) 236-2341. Warner Ranch in Pala and Oceanside Ivy Ranch have closed after receiving no animals.
For those with bigger animals, County Sheriff Bill Gore said Border Patrol has resources to help any in danger.
“They have the ability to, if we need to evacuate larger animals, they have horse trailers available,” he said.
The San Diego Humane Society is offering a help line for pets and livestock at (619) 299-0871.
PETA also offers some tips for displaced pets. The organization says owners should know their destination ahead of time, if possible, and find out if it will accommodate animals. The group also suggests owners keep a week’s worth of food, as well as bowls, toys and blankets to keep pets comfortable.
Animals should never be left unsupervised in cars, as temperatures can rise quickly, causing them to panic.