Photo: Oregon Humane Society
The wildfires in Oregon have challenged our community in new and historic ways. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes this week, many with pets and livestock, creating enormous challenges. As past disasters have shown, caring for pets during an emergency is critically important.
The Oregon Humane Society is working with numerous agencies and shelters around the state to coordinate response and address the most pressing needs of pets in our community.
In the Portland-area, OHS is part of a group that includes Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington County Animal Services; Cat Adoption Team; Humane Society of Southwest Washington; Portland Veterinary Medical Association; and Sound Equine Options.
Across the state, OHS is working with the Department of Agriculture and dozens of shelter partners.
Here are some examples of OHS’s assistance this week:
· OHS has transferred 60 shelter pets from shelters in Marion, Lane and Lincoln counties to free up space for local emergency boarding.
· OHS has supplied and set up dozens of kennels for evacuated shelter pets at the Salem Fairgrounds.
· Working with Washington County Animal Services, OHS delivered supplies to a variety of evacuation sites.
· OHS Technical Animal Rescue team responded to a report of an injured cat in a level 3 evacuation zone in Marion County. Working with the local fire department, the cat was rescued and is now receiving medical care at an emergency vet clinic.
“Our thoughts are with all the people and pets in our community who have been affected by the fires,” says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. “We are very grateful to work with so many incredible partners in response to this unprecedented crisis.”
How the public can help:
· Make a plan for your pet - Have an emergency kit prepared for your pet in case you need to evacuate. Consider placing your pet’s crate out now so they can get more comfortable with it. Here are more tips to get ready.
· Sign up for emergency alerts - Know when an emergency is happening in your county. Getting info quickly gives you power to take action. Find your county and sign up now.
· Stay connected with your community - Reach out to evacuating friends and family to see if they need a place to stay. Let them know that you're willing to help with emergency boarding, supplies, etc.
· Make a financial donation - There are a number of agencies and non-profits helping with the wildfire response. A financial donation is the best way to provide flexible resources that can be used to respond to the needs of the moment.
Source: Oregon Humane Society