As the wildfires have burned across northeastern Napa County, the Napa Community Animal Response Team mobilized to rescue scores of animals from properties in harm’s way.
Over the past week, NapaCART and its partners have sheltered 128 horses, 62 goats, pigs, cattle, and sheep, and sent out field teams to provide home care and welfare checks for numerous animals of all types including cats, poultry, alpacas, goats, and pigs who had to be left behind in evacuated zones, the organization reported.
Several burned animals were also referred to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, NapaCART said in a news release.
NapaCART was activated by the Napa County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with Napa County Animal Services around noon on Aug. 17. NapaCART’s Animal Search and Rescue branch set up their staging center at the Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association and NapaCART’s Shelter Division set up at NapaCART’s pre-arranged horse shelter sites at Valley Brook Equestrian Center and Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association. When goats and sheep started to arrive, NapaCART’s partners, Ag4Youth, opened their livestock pens at a third shelter site.
American Canyon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) sent their communications team to run dispatch operations.
“What strikes me most about this disaster is its complexity,” said Dr. Claudia Sonder, DVM, NapaCART’s president. “We experienced a fast-moving fire triggering massive evacuations, in the face of Covid-19 with the potential for additional red flag fire conditions. To evacuate hundreds of large animals into shelters required all hands on deck – and the community stepped up to make it happen.”
NapaCART’s mission is to educate the public on the animal component of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery; to assist emergency services in sheltering, evacuation, and care of animals during a disaster, and to train first responders, veterinary professionals and community volunteers in animals rescue and trauma care.
The human-animal bond is so strong that historically, many lives have been lost when people do not comply with evacuation orders because they are not able to take their animals with them, the organization said. First responders are put at risk when called to rescue people who have waited too long to leave,the organization said.
People who are interested in helping at NapaCART’s shelters may sign up at: http://volunteersignup.org/LR7LY