Shelters Work Together to Save Animals From Wine Country Fires

What to Know

  • Thousands of animals have been evacuated from the North Bay fire zones
  • Volunteers are needed to house displaced animals
  • Shelters from across the Bay Are area coordinating efforts

As thousands escape the destructive fires engulfing much of Northern California’s wine country, animal rescue groups throughout the Bay Area are hustling to clear space in shelters and find temporary homes for lost pets.

Milo Foundation, a long-running animal rescue group with headquarters in Point Richmond, was forced to evacuate about 200 animals from its sanctuary in Willits. Shelter staff are asking people who live in safe locations to open their homes to shelter dogs and cats as a result.

“We’re trying to clear as much space as possible,” said Jasmine Salazar, the assistant kennel manager. “We’ve been getting calls from people, asking if we can take in other pets too. We know they’re going to be coming in, so we’re trying to be prepared.”

[NATL-BAY GALLERY]North Bay Wildfires: The Smoldering Aftermath

Salazar advised people to go to their website for more information about fostering pets, as phone lines have been consistently busy since Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Humane Society Silicon Valley, Kiska and the Nevada Humane Society picked up evacuated animals from the Petaluma Animal Shelter on Monday, as the flames continued to roar closer to the Hopper Street location. Some of the four-legged evacuees had only recently arrived from Louisiana, where they were rescued from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The Petaluma shelter posted that it had received a strong show of support from the community, quickly maxing out the needed number of volunteers and receiving dozens of bags of food and other supplies. Shelter staff said they are still in need of foster parents for animals and cash donations to cover veterinary care.

“We're all super tired but inspired by the love of our friends and neighbors who worry if we're OK,” Petaluma shelter staff wrote in a Facebook post. “We love to serve animals and people, and we're here for fire victims. We're one big family - that's how we see it.”


Marin Humane also took in 100 cats and kittens from the evacuated Pets Lifeline in Sonoma, but the organization posted on its Facebook page that it had plenty of volunteers and was stocked up on supplies.

“what we need most right now is financial support to cover the cost of care for the many, many animals we're boarding free of charge for evacuees,” staff wrote in a Facebook post. “People can make donations to support the boarded animals here.”

Meanwhile, Safari West, an animal wildlife preserve in Santa Rosa, was mostly spared by the fire. About 700 animals, including wildebeests, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, and boars, live at the 400-acre sanctuary.

“The preserve remains intact and the animals safe and contained,” Safari West said in a statement. “However, fires continue to burn nearby and the situation is far from stabilized. Please continue to help by keeping the roadways as clear as possible and allowing our firefighters to do their work

Have something to add to this? Email Gillian.Edevane@NBCuni.com

Contact Us