Animal rescue in Napa County is now about more than just cats and dogs, but large farm animals as well.
Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch (JARR) says it has a new Large Animal Emergency Response Unit that is capable of ferrying horses and other animals involved in accidents or endangered by natural disasters, such as wildfires.
The emergency response unit uses a large covered trailer — a Sundowner Sportman 3H Slant Bumpter Pull — that can carry up to three large animals.
JARR intends to use it in coordination with the Napa Community Animal Response Team (CART), UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and the County of Napa Emergency Services.
The trailer will assist in the rescue or evacuation of large non-ambulatory animals, according to a JARR press release. It will also function as a training vehicle for disaster response teams and to educate the public on appropriate evacuation of large animals.
The Valley Fire in 2015 revealed the need for the rescue rig when the overwhelming crisis resulted in many animals being left behind, said JARR co-founder Monica Stevens.
JARR estimates there are approximately 5,000 horses, plus many more farm animals in the Napa Valley area, demonstrating the need for a recovery and rescue vehicle.
While natural disasters prompted the development of the trailer, its importance will also be demonstrated during smaller events like horse trailer accidents. JARR said handling large animals that are stressed and injured is different from rescuing domestic dogs and cats.
The availability of the rescue trailer will also put Napa County in select company, according to Dr. Claudia Sonder, director of equine outreach at the UC Davis Center of Equine Health. Sonder said only a handful of counties in California are equipped with a large animal response trailer.
Making the trailer available for training emergency personnel and others will be important, too, she said.
“This is really about people,” said Sonder. “If you can respond appropriately to someone’s animal you keep them from risking themselves as well. The need to keep citizens and first responders safe is paramount in crisis situations involving large animals.”
JARR unveiled the trailer at its annual fundraiser, WineaPAWlooza. It was dedicated to the Roth Family of New York for their longtime support of domestic and farm animal rescue, the group said.
“One of our benefactors, the Larry & Nanci Roth family from New York, love horses and thought it very appropriate to dedicate this trailer on their honor,” said Stevens.