Mass and rapid evacuations by residents caught up in the massive, raging California fires resulted in companion animals being left behind. The residents fled without their pets. It reminds me of the floods. It must have been rapid and terrifying.
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In some ways the cats were affected worse than dogs. Although dogs obeyed orders to come with their owners, cats ran away. But if dogs were left behind they were more likely to perish as cats were more able to escape but in doing so suffered burns and smoke inhalation.
An army of animal welfare officers, vets and volunteers have been involved in saving animals. Animal welfare officers go to the abandoned houses in the evacuation zones around Santa Rosa and Sonoma. For pets who are safe and well they leave water and food. They bring the injured back with them to the Sonoma County Animal Services shelter for medical care.
They are getting hundreds of calls to do welfare checks on abandoned homes. A lot of the pets brought back are cats suffering from burnt feet. This is because as mentioned the cats ran away while dogs went with their human caretakers.
The pictures on this page show a 10-month-old male cat being treated at the Santa Rosa shelter. The poor thing had his paw pads burnt to the bone.
Dr Jay Kerr of the Calfornia Veterinary Medical Association Disaster Reserve Corps said:
“Unfortunately, if pets were left in the home, in many cases, they’re just gone. The cats fend better than the dogs – they find a way over the fence, to get out and escape.”
They don’t know how many pets have died. Around 3,500 building have been destroyed. How many pets are inside these buildings?
Source: Mail Online.