Paws-itively the purr-fect partners

Furry Friends + Red Cross raise the ruff!

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

When disaster strikes, a furry friend can afford tremendous comfort to a family, and most pet owners do consider their pets to be part of their family. Keeping them together, therefore, necessitates being able to keep owners and pets as close as possible.

For Camp Fire survivors, there was room to shelter their pets immediately across from the men’s and women’s dorms in the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. While known for sheltering people, the American Red Cross turns to partner agencies to assist with pets.

Operating the temporary shelter and keeping the pets healthy is the responsibility of Furry Friends Pet Relief from Antioch.  Founded by Erin Piña of Oakley, California, Furry Friends began helping in mid-December and took over operation of the shelter on Christmas Eve.

A visiting veterinarian, Dr. Lauren Knobel, has been stopping in and helping set protocols to assure each animal is healthy and up to date on their shots.

Presently, the shelter is still housing over 30 pets, including dogs, cats, and birds. Assisting is shelter manager, Morgan Macy, of Yuba City, who has been here since the shelter first opened. “Thankfully, I can now say that all our dogs are happy and healthy again, and back in general population,” explains Macy.

The shelter is set up in a large A-frame building with dozens of cages of varying sizes. Birds and cats to the left and most dogs to the right. The exceptions are three pups and their mom, just to the left of the reception table.

Stealing the show are the three, fluffy, Alaskan Malamute pups, born on Halloween, shown here with (L-R) Morgan Macy, Grady Grammar and Demetra Poulos.

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If you are a cat person, then you are going to love Dinky, held here by Piña. She’s super friendly, and a crowd favorite.

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The shelter’s hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day and owners are encouraged to spend time with their pets whenever feasible. “If it were me,” says Macy, “I’d be spending as much time as possible with mine. They are suffering just like their owners, and they need to work together as the family members they are.”

If owners can’t walk their dogs daily, one of up to 20 volunteers takes care of walking each animal, three times each day.  Large fenced enclosures enable the dogs to play catch or run freely for exercise.

One owner, Dustin Lee, (R) enjoys playing around with his Pitbull, Hitch. “I got him about a month ago from the local humane society, and we love to horse around together,” says Lee. They enjoy having space outside where Hitch can run free in the enclosure.

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Presently seven AmeriCorps volunteers from San Jose are also assisting Piña and Macy with feeding, watering, walking and cleaning cages. Here every day, the volunteers work from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Shelter residents, as well as Red Cross workers, have been extremely complimentary about the pet shelter, and Furry Friends hopes to work with Red Cross again on future disaster responses that include pet-sheltering operations.

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“All is Not Lost”: A Carr Fire Survivor Shares Her Story

Los Angeles-based Red Cross volunteer Carmela Burke recently completed her deployment to the Carr Fire in Redding where she assisted the public affairs team. While there, she got the chance to interview Terry Zeller, a resident whose home burned in the fire.

But thanks to the help from firefighters and the support of friends and neighbors, Zeller said, “All is not lost.”

Read her story here.

Twice is Enough

By Georgia Duncan

“I couldn’t believe it could happen twice.” That’s how Heather Hournay, an Event Based Volunteer with the American Red Cross, began our conversation.

Heather and her family reside in Redding, California. She explained that on Friday the 13th in January, 2017 she and her family were sleeping when her husband awoke and discovered a fire in the ceiling of their daughter’s room. Just as the family had everyone and all the pets out of the house there was an explosion and the home was destroyed.

Heather said her church contacted the Red Cross and a Disaster Action Team arrived at her home. Red Cross volunteers offered the family comfort, gave them much-needed hugs and offered them assistance to get through the next few days. The family began their road to recovery.

Fast-forward to Thursday, July 26, 2018. The Carr Fire began moving toward her new home. Heather and her husband gathered their children, their pet rabbit, Guinea pig and dog and fled to a friend’s home.  As of today she is unsure if she has a home to return to.

Knowing her family was safe, Heather began searching for a place she could help others affected by the fire. She found the shelter at Shasta College that was helping evacuees. She found the Red Cross new volunteer intake area and applied. “It only took about 15 minutes and I was an official Event Based Volunteer,” reported Heather. Immediately she began talking to evacuees, offering a sympathetic ear and when appropriate, a hug. Heather said she has laughed and cried with other in the same situation she finds herself.

When asked she had decided to volunteer, Heather said, “I just had to work and serve to get through this.”

Red Cross and KCRA3 To Host a California Wildfires Telethon Tomorrow

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KCRA
has once more stepped up to support the American Red Cross and our local communities!

Currently, the American Red Cross is helping more than 1,130 people at 7 shelters across Northern California that have been affected by the Rough, Butte and Valley Fires.

At the shelters, Red Cross volunteers are providing meals, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, health services such as replacing medications and eyeglasses and emotional support for the people affected by the fires.

The telethon is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15 from 4:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KCRA3, with a cut-over to MY58 from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Help people affected by the California Wildfires. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.OKC_telethon15

The telethon number to make a donation is: 800-513-3333 and it will be staffed by Red Cross volunteers and corporate partners.

We have some exciting check presentations by our wonderful community partners!

And this just in! Salem Communications and I Heart Radio have begun promoting the telethon in their radio programming! (KKFS- the Fish, 1380AM-The Answer, 710AM KFIA, 105.5FM and I-Heart Radio Modesto!) 

Thank you to everyone who has been calling to help!

PS. If you are not able to call during the telethon, you can donate to the California Wildfires to the Gold Country Region of the American Red Cross:

  • Mail in  your donation to: American Red Cross Gold Country Region | Attention: Laura Thompson | 1565 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815
  • Call: Laura Thompson, r | 916-993-7080 | Please note, this is a recording, please leave a message and Laura will call you back to ask for your donation which will be designated to the California Wildfires.