‘I’m going to cry.’ Desperate evacuees seek pets lost in Camp Fire chaos

As the search continues for the missing and dead in the rubble of the Camp Fire in Butte County, pet owners forced to leave their animals behind also are desperate for news.

Jeannie Webb of Paradise, who lost her home, visited an emergency animal shelter at the Chico Airport in search of her dog, Travis, reported KPIX.

“He’s a Dalmatian. Male. I didn’t get to go home and get him…and…I’m going to cry, sorry,” she said, according to the station. Webb did not find Travis at the shelter.

“The fire was coming up the canyon and they closed off the road and I couldn’t get in,” said Jane Sharman Barnes, who also was looking for her dogs after her home burned, reported KPIX. “I was probably 3 or 4 miles from my house and I couldn’t get to them.”

A lucky horse that jumped into a backyard swimming pool to escape the flames did survive the blaze after being rescued by Jeff Hill, who wrote Sunday on Facebook that he had been checking on houses.

“She was all caught up in the pool cover but her being suspended by it prevented her from drowning,” Hill wrote. “We scrambled to unhook the pool cover and pulled her to the shallow end where we guided her up the steps. She got out, shook off, loved on us for a few minutes as a thank you and walked off assuring us that she was ok.”

Hill’s Facebook post about the horse they saved has been shared more than 9,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Department wrote Monday on Facebook that deputies patrolling the fire zone are on the lookout for lost pets. They’re providing the animals with water and food donated by North Valley Animal Disaster Group. Deputies also note the location of the animal.

“In the event Deputies locate an animal that is sick or injured, Animal Control is contacted to transport the animal to a shelter where veterinarians are able to give the animal the care it needs,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “We don’t have the resources to transport every animal to a shelter, but we are doing all we can to help animals located during this time.”

The sheriff’s office advised owners of missing pets to check animal shelters at or report them to North Valley Animal Disaster Group at 530-895-0000.

An app called Paw Prints also has been created to try to help owners reconnect with their lost pets, reported KSBY.

Owners can place a dot on a map with information on their lost pet, while anyone finding an animal can input the information, according to the station.

“They can easily put a found dot on the map and that way, hopefully, that owner will come across the map and say, ‘Oh my gosh, they have my pet,’” said creator Amber Wittner, reported KSBY.

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