Rescue Ranch today launched an appeal for donations to help house and care for dogs displaced by the Lava Fire at the foot of Mt. Shasta, in northern California. As of yesterday evening, the ranch had already received more than 80 fire dogs. Early this afternoon, the number stood at 104.
“With only a handful of staff and dedicated volunteers, and limited resources to deal with the sudden influx of dogs, Rescue Ranch is appealing to dog lovers everywhere for donations to support us in this crisis. We appreciate every donation, whatever the amount. Every little bit helps to save lives.” Laura Finley, Rescue Ranch Board Member.
Rescue Ranch works around the clock to save Lava Fire dogs
Staff and volunteers have been working nonstop to build temporary kennels for the new arrivals and to ensure that all of the dogs are safe and comfortable. Although the numbers will ebb and flow as some dogs are returned to their owners, the total number of will continue to go up. The number of fire dogs is separate and in addition to from the ranch’s regular complement of shelter dogs, which at the moment stands at roughly 35.
“As the designated dog evacuation center for Siskiyou County, Rescue Ranch has been receiving dogs directly from evacuated owners, as well as from Animal Control and other first responders. They’re coming in from all sides, and we can’t build the kennels fast enough. We need food, shade cloth, and cleaning supplies, among other things. This Lava Fire is going to take every ounce of effort and support we can muster,” says Finley.
Rescue Ranch helps dogs injured in the Lava Fire
One little guy rescued from the flames is an 8- to 10-week-old puppy named Ash. He is the sole survivor of his litter. Seeing how dehydrated he was, staff administered several rounds of subcutaneous fluids and treated the burns on his paws. He is now also receiving medication after showing signs of respiratory distress.
An adult stray came in early yesterday afternoon. Law enforcement officers found him wandering in the Quarry Road area of the burn zone. At least one of his paws had split open and, according to the officers, his tongue was hanging out, almost touching the ground, as he walked. He drank two bottles on the way over and eight bowls of water upon arrival. Ranch staff gave him a bath and tending to his needs.
Ranch staff travel to burn zone to save fire dogs
As designated rescuers, staff also traveled to the burn zone yesterday, at the request of Animal Control. As we made our way, we observed the devastation. Pockets of flame erupted randomly over the landscape as we drove by.
Helicopters overhead repeatedly doused hot spots north of our position. When we arrived on-site, the dogs emerged exhausted and confused from their hiding places among the debris. We recovered three dogs from two sites. A fourth one was too traumatized and refused to be captured. We left behind food, water, and shelter. We’ll monitor him until we can catch him and bring him to safety.
Will you help the fire dogs?