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July 2, 2012

Fire and Heat Threaten Animals in Western and Eastern States

The HSUS offers help during wildfires, power outages

The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team

  • The HSUS brings hay, pet food to animals affected by wildfires and evacuations. Wendy Hergenraeder/The HSUS

As Colorado struggles to contain wildfires, Utah and Montana cope with similar damage, and the Atlantic states suffer a heat wave and massive power failures. HSUS staff offers updates from around the country.

Wildfires, evacuations in Western states

The HSUS has remained in close contact with communities in Utah and Montana affected by fires. We have allocated funds for hay for a Fairview, Utah, resident with 100 horses facing a dire shortage of grazing land.

The Department of Agriculture and The HSUS are in communication to evaluate further needs in the community. The HSUS's Wendy Hergenraeder and Dave Pauli provided food and water to animals in the Cheyenne Reservation whose owners have been evacuated (see below). The HSUS will remain in close contact with emergency management officials regarding ongoing needs, as there are few local resources for animals.
Niki Dawson, Director of Disaster Services

Keep your pets safe during hot weather and natural disasters.

Atlantic heat wave and power failure

In the D.C. area, severe storms on Friday night knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people during a heat wave. The HSUS offered resources to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to address the needs of companion animals during the power outages and hot weather, both of which are expected to last through the July 4 holiday and beyond.
Niki Dawson, Director of Disaster Services

Montana wildfires

On Friday, Dave Pauli and I traveled to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to do an assessment of animal needs due to the Ash Fire. We bought pet food and supplies to distribute at the human shelters and also to feed dogs and cats in evacuated areas.

We first stopped in Lame Deer at the Red Cross shelter. As far as we know, no one at the shelter had evacuated with their pets. The director of the shelter suggested we take the animal supplies to Ashland, which was still under evacuations orders. Tribal police gave us permission to go past the roadblock into the burned areas. We dropped off some supplies at the human shelter in Ashland and talked to locals, then proceeded out to the residences with pets. We fed and watered several dogs who were very happy to see us, and checked on some horses in the area.

There are many cows and horses in this area. Some animals had been found but some were still missing. I received one report of a burned horse standing on the side of the road. I alerted the tribal police and they went to check but could not find the horse. Tribal police did say they can put down suffering animals without the owner's permission.

On our way home we noticed a huge fire by the road on the Crow Reservation. Law enforcement was there to escort vehicles in the fire area. The fire had burned right up to a pen with horses in it next to the road, but the horses, including a newborn foal with its mom, were safe.
Wendy Hergenraeder, Montana State Director

Help us save lives

Your donation to The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team helps us be there when disaster strikes.

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