The fall was commonly known as ‘fire season’ in Ventura County but now should be expected all year. High heat, low humidity, dry brush, and high winds create disastrous conditions for extreme fire behavior. The Humane Society of Ventura County has learned to be prepared year-round.
The HSVC has assisted in the safe evacuation and relocation of animals displaced by wildfires, which erupt regularly across the region and have hit close to home. For the last three years, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties have been hit hard with wildfires and in each case, the HSVC has been there to help.
The Humane Society of Ventura County offers a sanctuary for pets as well as temporary crates, kennels, pet food, ID tags, and other supplies for those in harm’s way. “We will also send out our Emergency Response Teams to assist with animal evacuations at the owner’s request,” said Hoffman. “Our primary concern is for the safety of people and their pets,” Hoffman continued. “Please do not hesitate to take them to animal rescue centers in the event of an emergency,” she said.
The Humane Society of Ventura County offers a few tips for pet owners to prepare for a fire or other natural disaster:
- Your pets should be microchipped and always have an id tag affixed to their collar with up-to-date contact information.
- Work out in advance with your neighbors to assist with an evacuation of your pets in case you are away from home.
- Keep a go-bag for each of your pets to include 5 days of food and water, medications and vet records, leash, collar, id tag, harness, photos of you and your pet together. Have a crate or pet carrier to transport and keep each of your animals safe. Bring litter and a disposable litter pan if you have cats and spare poop bags for your dogs.
- Evacuation centers are often people only so it is important to know the local animal shelters, rescues, and county facilities that will take in pets in the event of an emergency. Find out about each of the shelters and their requirements for taking in animals.
- Keep informed of the happenings in your community before, during, and after an emergency through the radio, TV, computer, or phone. Be prepared to adapt to new information and news that may affect your circumstances.
- After a disaster, your home and neighborhood may be a very different place. It is important to keep a good eye on your pets and do not let them roam loose. The break-in routine can be very disorienting to your pets so be patient during their transition back to normalcy. If any serious problems occur or the health of your pet seems questionable contact your veterinarian immediately.
- If you have livestock, including horses, have a plan for trailering that includes transportation and housing. Include identification on your horse using a livestock marker with your phone number. Attach a pet tag to your horse’s halter. Consider microchips and/or using a marker with identification on the hooves.
For a complete list of suggestions, visit: hsvc.org/disaster_preparedness
Financial support from the community is crucial to help to offset the costs incurred for their services. For those who’d like to support the HSVC’s emergency preparedness can drop off supplies at the Ojai shelter, at 402 Bryant St. Also, the HSVC Amazon Wish List has been updated to include examples of requested items.