Rescuers Come Together to Help the Animal Victims of California’s Wildfires

As thousands of firefighters continue to battle wildfires blazing across California, rescuers are coming together to help save both companion and wild animals affected by the fires.

In Defense of Animals (IDA) has offered a harrowing glimpse into the situation with footage that shows horses being rescued from dark clouds of smoke.

“It was pretty scary, as the fires were right there, and they were moving fast,” said Nicole Otoupalik, an IDA rescuer seen in the video. “The poor horses were scared, too. It was amazing to see people just running to help the horses at Irvine Park. They didn’t have enough staff to evacuate the horses, and so members of the public who had come to get a look at the fire just started running back into the park to help lead the horses out. Strangers were just offering their time, trailers, and trucks to help get the animals out of there. Others in cars stopped to offer rides to help everyone get there more quickly.”

According to IDA, the horses were safely evacuated from Irvine Park to a grocery store parking lot, and were taken from there to an evacuation camp at the Orange County Fairground.

Evacuated Horse s OC Fairgrounds CREDIT In Defense of Animals_previewEvacuated horses at the Orange County Fairground. Credit: In Defense of Animals

The danger in Orange County is over, but many animals were injured and killed, and their homes have been destroyed, while many more are still at risk.

Evacuated Pigs OC Fairgrounds CREDIT In Defense of Animals_previewEvacuated pigs at the Orange County Fairground. Credit: In Defense of Animals

In an effort to help, IDA has teamed up with several local organizations to offer aid through its Disaster Relief Fund, including the Sonoma Humane Society, Lost Hearts & Souls Horse Rescue, Forget Me Not Farm, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, House Rabbit Society and the Otra Mas horse rescue.

Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch receives IDA aid CREDIT In Defense of Animals_previewJameson Animal Rescue Ranch. Credit: In Defense of Animals

Despite the heartbreaking losses of life and devastation, people are still coming together and using their time and resources to help some of the most vulnerable victims.

Lost Hearts and Souls Rescue receives IDA aid  CREDIT In Defense of Animals_previewLost Hearts and Souls Horse Rescue. Credit: In Defense of Animals

These organizations are taking in a variety of animals who have been displaced by the fires and providing them with care, and some are working to reunite lost pets with their families, and provide services to pets for people who have been hit financially as a result of the fires.

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue fire evacuated sheep 1 CREDIT In Defense of Animals_previewEvacuated sheep at the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. Credit: In Defense of Animals

“5,700 homes and businesses are reported destroyed, with at least 41 confirmed human deaths and untold animal casualties. 217,000 acres have been consumed by the flames and wild animals have no choice but to simply run as fast as they can from the terrifying blazes consuming their homes. Tens of thousands have perished, and  more are injured and need help,” IDA added in a statement.

“Many families forced to flee the burning onslaught had very little preparation or warning. Some barely made it out alive as they dashed to find and secure their animals. Now these family members – four-legged, winged or hoofed – must find shelter and hope for the best as 11,000 firefighters battle the blaze.”

For more on how to help support disaster relief efforts, check out In Defense of Animals.

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Photo credit: In Defense of Animals

114 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thank you

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R4 months ago

Thank you for posting.

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Melania P
Melania Padilla5 months ago

Great, animals also need help in crisis situations. Thanks for posting

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joan silaco
joan s7 months ago

TYFS

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Anna G
Anna G7 months ago

hi

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers7 months ago

Good news.

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Jaime J
Jaime J8 months ago

Thank you!!

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Leanne K
Leanne K8 months ago

By jingos I haaate people who abandon their animals, including livestock. Despicable

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Leanne K
Leanne K8 months ago

Bless your cotton socks kind souls who helped animals

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I8 months ago

There is a special place in Heaven for these wonderful people; indeed, they are Angels of God. Thank you for sharing this wonderfully inspiring article!

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