No ark? Animals menaced by flooding find a warm place to ride out the storms
Dozens of animals, from lambs to terriers, have been displaced by storms in recent days in Sacramento County and are awaiting reunions with their owners.
The county shelter on Bradshaw Road is reporting a surge in the number of animals picked up by its officers and citizens in areas damaged by storms that have pummeled the region during the past week.
The wayward critters include an adorable lamb rescued from high water by a Caltrans employee and a helper this week near Sunrise Boulevard and Florin Road, said shelter spokeswoman Janna Haynes.
“They wrapped him in blankets and rushed him to us,” she said. Shelter staffers “warmed and bathed him,” said Haynes. They named him Lambchop and put his picture on social media, along with other displaced animals.
The shelter received 67 animals believed to have been scattered by record rainfall and vicious winds in the Sacramento area between Sunday and Wednesday, said Haynes. The numbers do not include animals surrendered by their owners or confiscated for neglect or other reasons.
Haynes said the influx is typical of what the shelter sees following holidays such as New Year’s Eve, when frightened animals bolt their homes or yards in response to fireworks or noisemakers.
Lambchop has been claimed, Haynes said, but many dogs and cats have not. The shelter is working to find their owners, checking information on microchips and tags and posting information on Facebook and other social media. The agency usually charges $45 to $200 for costs related to caring for animals that come in as strays, but is waiving its fees for reclaiming animals displaced by the severe weather.
The city of Sacramento’s Front Street Shelter has seen a slight increase in animals that have arrived as strays during the past few days, said manager Gina Knepp. Knepp said she suspects the storms are the reason.
“Storms are like the Fourth of July,” she said, when the shelter typically fills up with lost animals. “We hate them.”
In Yolo County, chief animal services officer Vicky Fletcher said her shelter has seen a significant jump in animals brought in as strays this week compared with last year at the same time. Between Jan. 8 and 11 of 2016, 20 such animals arrived at the shelter, records show. This year, 32 strays came in between Sunday and Wednesday.
“I can’t say for sure that all of those were related to the storms,” she said. “But I do know that when we get rain and heavy winds, fences go down and pets get loose, particularly dogs. We fill up pretty quickly during storms.”
Shelters in El Dorado and Placer counties are not reporting significant impacts from the weather.
“We haven’t seen a dramatic increase in strays arriving at the center,” said Leilani Fratis, head of the Placer SPCA. “Knock on wood.”