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, northeast of the town of Weed, in northern California. As of yesterday evening, the ranch had already received more than 80 fire dogs, and, as of 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.
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. It is likely that, although the number will ebb and flow as some are returned to their owners, the total number of dogs will continue to go up. That is in addition to 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.
Most of the dogs belong to evacuees, while others have been brought in by County Animal Control, including an 8- to 10-week-old puppy named Ash. He was the sole survivor of his litter. He came in dehydrated and in shock. He was given subcutaneous fluids and is now receiving medication for his lungs after showing signs of respiratory distress. He is also being treated for burns on his paws.
An adult dog was brought in early yesterday afternoon by law enforcement officers who found him wandering in the Quarry Road area of the burn zone. At least one of his paws was split open and, according to the officers, his tongue was almost touching the ground as he walked. He drank two bottles on the way, and eight bowls of water upon arrival. He was given a bath and is being cared for at the ranch.
Ranch staff also traveled to the burn zone yesterday, at the request of Animal Control. As they traveled through the area, they observed the devastation left in the wake of the fire. Pockets of flame erupted randomly over the landscape as they drove by.
Helicopters overhead repeatedly doused hot spots north of their position. When rescuers arrived, they found the dogs dehydrated and in shock, as they emerged from their hiding places among the debris. Three dogs were recovered from two sites, a fourth dog was too traumatized and refused to be captured. Food, water, and shelter were left behind for him. He will be monitored until he can be caught and brought to safety.
Today the work continues unabated at Rescue Ranch and in the burn zone. Monetary donations can be made through the Rescue Ranch Facebook Page or website. An Amazon Wishlist has been created for in-kind donations.
About Rescue Ranch:
Rescue Ranch was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2001. Its purpose is to rescue dogs of all breeds and create opportunities for dog adoption. The ranch currently saves more than 600 per year. It promotes responsible dog ownership and provides the community with assistance in the care of their pets.
Rescue Ranch is a no-kill shelter and relies on generous donations from the community and local businesses, as well as grants from foundations and organizations. It does not receive funding from any State, County or City agencies. Proceeds from the boarding facility and thrift store also help cover some of the general operational costs.
All dogs are spayed or neutered, and receive the best care while at Rescue Ranch. The organization also offers donation-funded community assistance programs, such as Kitu’s Fund, a no-interest loan for high-cost emergency veterinary expenses; a dog and cat food bank, low-cost parvo-distemper vaccination and microchipping, free and low-cost dog training, as well as help with transportation for veterinary appointments booked through the facility. www.rrdog.org