Crisis in California

For the most up-to-date information, visit Cal Fire’s website or Twitter feed.

As of Dec. 23, 2018, the emergency shelter in Richvale, which the Humane Society of the United States has been operating in Butte County, has been consolidated into a temporary shelter at 2279 Del Oro Ave. in Oroville. The shelter in Oroville has a target closure date of January 4, 2019. Butte County officials are requesting for owners to make arrangements to reclaim their pets as soon as possible. Please contact the Butte County Reunification Hotline with any questions about reclaiming a pet from this location at 530-895-0000. Updates can be found here. Information about lost animals from the Camp Fire can be found at Camp Fire Rescued Animals.

What did you do to help?

At the request of Butte County Animal Control, the Humane Society of the United States was on the ground providing sheltering support for hundreds of evacuated, rescued and displaced animals in temporary shelters across the County. Animals being cared for by HSUS responders included dogs, cats, bunnies and birds. We set up a longer-term, temporary shelter in Richvale to provide interim care for owned animals, whose families were displaced by the wildfires. 

Additionally, we provided grants to several organizations and shelters including Ventura County Animal Services, Ruff Valley Animal Refuge and the Red Cross for supplies for evacuee pets and pets found without their owners, as well as feed for evacuee horses. 

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I heard that a particular city or area needs help. Can you help?

In order for an out-of-state agency to assist in a federal disaster area, there has to be an official request from the appropriate agency or emergency official. California has a protocol for how to make these requests during a disaster, and if a group or agency is in need of help, we ask that they contact their local emergency officials, who—if assistance is needed—will get the request to us. These protocols are in place to ensure there is not chaos created by outside groups coming in unrequested, and to ensure the assistance is sent to where it is needed most.

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I can drive to California. How can I help?

People who are part of our disaster response team will be emailed directly if their help is needed. Beyond those trained responders, it is imperative that no one goes to the affected areas on their own or self-deploy. We won’t be able to use volunteers who haven’t gone through official training and there are already a lot of trained volunteers in the impacted region who are on standby to help when called. If people who self-deploy come and get stranded, emergency response attention must then add them to the potentially long list of rescues, and divert attention away from the existing priority rescue work. It is simply too dangerous, and also may result in lost/stray animals not going through the official systems that can ensure they are reunited with owners.

If you are not a trained volunteer but would like to become one, you can learn more about the requirements and fill out an application.

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My local shelter can take animals. How can we help?

We encourage you to reach out to local shelters in threatened areas to ask how you can help. Interested in becoming a Shelter and Rescue Partner

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I want to donate supplies for local animal shelters. What should I send?

The best thing for out-of-state folks to do at this point is donate money and supplies to impacted shelters and those that are taking in animals. Please check with those organizations before sending supplies to make sure what you want to send is actually needed and helpful; many shelters will have lists of their top needs on their websites.

Additional resources:

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How can I support the Humane Society of the United States' efforts to help animals impacted by natural disasters?

Please support rescue and relief efforts by donating to our Emergency Animal Rescue Fund. Your gift will ensure that our team can continue to answer the call during times of emergency wherever and whenever animals need us.

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Where can owners find their pets if they were separated during evacuation or rescue efforts?

First and foremost, contact the animal control agency in the area you last saw your pet. There are several websites that also have information on animals rescued during the hurricanes. You can find an updated list of these sites at Find My Lost Pet. We encourage owners to try different search terms, as animals are sometimes labeled by different breeds then what owners have on paperwork.

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I want to foster a displaced pet. Where can I go to sign up?

Please visit fosterahurricanepet.com for more information on fostering. If you are able to help with equine, please visit the Horse Helpers Directory. We also encourage you to reach out to our Shelter and Rescue Partners near you to see if fosters are needed. The following shelters have taken in adoptable animals from Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and/or the British Virgin Islands in response to hurricanes:

  • San Antonio ACS (TX)
  • Houston Humane Society (TX)
  • St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center (NJ)
  • Seattle Humane (WA)
  • Oklahoma Humane Society (OK)
  • Tulsa SPCA (OK)
  • Humane Society of Tulsa (OK)
  • Humane Society of Central Oregon (OR)
  • Homeward Trails (VA)
  • Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (VA)
  • Humane Rescue Alliance (DC)
  • Tri-County Animal Shelter (MD)
  • Anti-Cruelty Society (IL)
  • McKamey Animal Center (TN)
  • Nashville Humane Association (TN)
  • Humane Educational Society (TN)
  • HAWS of Waukesha (WI)
  • Northwoods Humane Society (WI)
  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa (IA)
  • Wilson County DART (TN)
  • Harbor Humane Society (MI)
  • Mohawk Hudson Humane Society (NY)
  • Lakeshore Humane Society (WI)
  • Fox Valley Humane Association (WI)
  • Potter League for Animals (RI)
  • Southhampton Animal Shelter Foundation (NY)
  • Angels of Assisi (VA)
  • Van Buren County Animal Control (MI)

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My shelter can take animals. How can we help?

If you are located in an area impacted by recent storms, we encourage you to reach out to area shelters to let them know you can help. If you are interested in becoming a Shelter and Rescue Partner in the future.

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I heard that a particular city or area needs help. Can you help?

In order for an out-of-state organization to assist in a federal disaster area, there has to be an official request from the appropriate agency or emergency official. If a group or agency is in need of help, we ask that they contact their local emergency officials, who—if assistance is needed—will get the request to us. These protocols are in place to ensure there is not chaos created by outside groups coming in unrequested, and to ensure the assistance is sent to where it is needed most.

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I can travel to an area impacted by one of the disasters, how can I help?

Beyond trained responders who were contacted, it is imperative that no one goes to the area on their own or self-deploys. We won't be able to use volunteers who haven't gone through official training. If people who self-deploy come and get stranded, emergency response attention must then add them to the long list of rescues, and divert attention away from the existing priority rescue work. It is simply too dangerous, and also may result in lost/stray animals not going through the official systems that can ensure they are reunited with owners. If you are not a trained volunteer, but would like to become one, you can learn more about the requirements and fill out an application.

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What do I need to take when evacuating with my pet?

If you are evacuating or relocating with your pet, see our disaster preparedness kit list to make sure you have everything you need to keep them healthy and safe.

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What percentage of donations to the Emergency Animal Rescue Fund goes toward disaster relief?

Donations made to our Emergency Animal Rescue Fund are used for the Humane Society of the United States’ preparedness, rescue and relief efforts for these and future disasters. This includes paying for the care of animals, the cost of deploying resources to a location (such as staff, transport, etc.), increasing the infrastructure and capacity of our disaster response efforts through fundraising, education and awareness raising, the support of shelters and rescues taking animals from us, transporting animals from affected areas and, in some cases, long-term support of pets in the community going forward. Our priority is always to use donations in the most effective and efficient way possible so that we are always ready to help animals in times of disaster.

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