Animal services

1,800 pets evacuated by El Dorado County Animal Services, over 200 in South Lake Tahoe / Meyers | South Lake Tahoe


EL DORADO COUNTY, CA – How do you move and care for 58 dogs, 127 cats, five rabbits, 27 birds, two turtles and four fish as flames descend on an evacuating community? With a lot of planning, help and dedication.

As the lives of humans in the South Shore community were disrupted and thrown into a panic mode due to the Caldor fire, those with the animals faced even more complications – where do I go. go to accept animals, or even how do I transport my beloved creatures in tanks and cages?

Many turned to El Dorado County Animal Services who helped evacuate not only the animals at their location, but also the pets of those who couldn’t get them out of South Lake Tahoe and Meyers.

“El Dorado County Animal Services has been involved 24/7 for several weeks responding to the Caldor fire and working closely with our partner agencies and volunteers to evacuate and protect animals in need,” said Henry Brzezinski, chief of animal services for El Dorado County. “Across the county, we have helped more than 1,800 animals, including dogs, cats, cattle and other animals due to the Caldor’s fire. In South Lake Tahoe in particular, that number was around 200 animals. ”

All animals that were at the shelter prior to the evacuation have been transferred to the Nevada Humane Society and Safe Haven Rescue in Nevada. A staging area for animal evacuation has been set up at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel after evacuation orders are in place at the Christmas Valley Shelter. Animals that were evacuated at the owners’ request were first taken to the Hard Rock and then transported to the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

During the evacuation, not everyone took their pets to the assembly area and instead took them directly by the pet owners to the fairground. Volunteers and staff then worked around the clock at the temporary shelter, including those who spent the night like Wendy Jones of Tahoe PAWS (Community Animal Response Team).

“We are very grateful to our agency partners in El Dorado County and the City of South Lake Tahoe, our neighboring counties and the State, our animal welfare partners, the many residents who have heeded the early evacuation warnings, community volunteers and others who coordinated the safe evacuation and care of the animals with us. Everyone did a great job, “added Brzezinski.

As evacuation orders were removed, people and animals began to repopulate South Lake Tahoe, Meyers and Christmas Valley, activity increased on the fairgrounds and pets and their pets. humans have been reunited, said Kimberly Lusby, animal services manager for El Dorado County Animal Services in South Lake. Tahoe. It took several days after the orders were lifted to get all the pets out of the fairgrounds and the few that weren’t picked up were transported to the Lake Tahoe shelter.

Transferred adoptable dogs that have not been adopted by art have returned to the animal shelter and will be adopted there again, Lusby said.

“We also want to applaud and thank the many firefighters who worked so hard to fight this blaze and for saving our shelter,” Brzezinski said. “When the fire spread to Christmas Valley, we were concerned about losing our animal shelter in South Lake Tahoe. The fire occurred within 25 feet of the shelter and is still present today thanks to these men. and dedicated women. We are very grateful! “

It took a team to take care of the animals during the evacuation. There were several outside jurisdictions assisting with the evacuation and transport of animals, sheltering the animals on site and patrolling for injured and stray animals, Lusby said. These other agencies included Placer County Animal Services, San Diego Humane Society, Ventura County Animal Services, City of Los Angeles Animal Services, and North Bay Animal Services.

There were also several volunteer organizations helping with animal care at the Douglas County Fairgrounds and Animal Shelter in addition to Tahoe PAWS – Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, Animal Rescue Relay, American Humane Rescue.

“All the help that has been provided has been greatly appreciated,” said Lusby. the event. ”

El Dorado County is still looking for volunteers to help the shelter walk the dogs or socialize the cats. To volunteer in catastrophic times like the Caldor Fire, one must go through the process of becoming a volunteer before the event happens. Please contact them at 530-573-7925 (volunteers must be 18 years of age and over and be scanned live}.

“We would love to have more volunteers to help us out when needed,” added Lusby.


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