Northern California animal hospitals are asking for help reuniting dozens of pets that survived the Camp Fire — the deadliest in state history — with the animals’ owners.
The San Francisco SPCA said in a Facebook post Friday that it took in 29 animals from the Camp Fire area, and is treating them for mild to severe burn injuries. The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has also been caring for injured pets from the blazes, as well as reuniting animals with their owners.
The posts include pictures of the injured, unclaimed pets, and have been shared tens of thousands of times. Many of the cats and dogs have cones around their necks, singed fur, bandages on their paws and other signs of injury.
“We haven’t been able to find the owners for most of these pets,” the San Francisco SPCA wrote on Facebook. “Please help us by sharing this album! If you believe one of these animals is yours, call us at 415-554-3030.”
Like the San Francisco SPCA, UC Davis animal rescuers shared a photo album of unclaimed pets in hopes of locating their owners.
“If you believe one of these may be yours, please email email@example.com,” the UC Davis veterinary school wrote on Facebook. “You will need to provide photo ID of your missing pet if at all possible. We will answer inquiries as soon as we can. Please be patient with our team as we manage this situation.”
San Francisco and Davis are south of the fires. But, like much of the Bay Area and Northern California, both cities are still dealing with smoky, unhealthy air as a result of the expansive wildfires.
The Camp Fire has killed 63 people and burned 142,000 acres since it started Nov. 8, according to a CAL FIRE update on Friday morning. It has destroyed nearly 10,000 residences and is 45 percent contained. The blaze forced many to flee on a moment’s notice, leaving behind pets and treasured belongings, not to mention homes, friends and family. Hundreds of people are still missing.
As the Sacramento Bee reported earlier this week, survivors of the Camp Fire and other blazes have been desperately seeking missing pets, fearing they were lost in the fires. Law enforcement in Butte County said Monday that deputies are doing what they can to help pets impacted by the fires.
“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 on Facebook. “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.”
A Sacramento Bee reporter who went to Paradise, California, to cover the fatal wildfire said he found a town in ruins and animals suffering to an extent that haunts him.
“My thoughts and dreams are filled with burned animals,” Ryan Sabalow wrote earlier this week. “Days later, the smell of burned animal hair won’t leave my nose.”
But Sabalow said amid the horror, there were signs of hope.
Sabalow rescued a singed cat from under a car, dropped the calico at an animal hospital in Chico and shared a photo of the pet on Twitter.
The cat’s owners saw the picture of the cat — her name is London — and were reunited with the pet. The family’s home is gone, but they believe London will recover.
“Something beautiful amid total disaster,” London’s owner, Christopher Martin, told Sabalow over Facebook.