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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Sunday Camp Fire Shelter Update

Good afternoon, all. Gold Country Communications Director Stephen Walsh writing to you from Bidwell Junior High School in Chico, our newest evacuation shelter for Camp Fire evacuees.

As I type this, Red Cross volunteers are setting up dozens of cots inside the school cafeteria and readying the campus for the arrival of Camp Fire evacuees.

All Red Cross shelters are accepting additional guests except Church of the Nazarene in Oroville. That location is at capacity.

Here is the updated list of our evacuation shelters in Butte County:

Bidwell Junior High School, 2376 North Ave., Chico, CA 95926

Butte County Fairground, 199 East Hazel St., Gridley, CA 95948

Church of the Nazarene, 2238 Monte Vista Ave., Oroville, CA 95966 (FULL)

Neighborhood Church, 2801 Notre Dame Blvd. Chico, CA 95928

Plumas County Fairground, 204 Fairground Rd., Quincy, CA 95971

If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross California Wildfire Relief effort, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

 

 

Oroville Scouts Ready to Help Despite Camp Fire Anxieties

Boy Scouts from Troop 29 in Oroville arrived at the Oroville Red Cross shelter Saturday ready to pitch in wherever they could help. The enthusiastic scouts moved supplies to storage areas, sorted donations, picked up litter, even occasionally handled babysitting dogs for people at the shelter.

Drew, one of the scouts, said his home is safe, but others in his troop were not so lucky. One family is unsure of the status of its home and some others are in areas at risk. Drew said that he felt good that all of the people at the shelter were getting the help they needed.

Kullen, another scout from Troop 29, said he had spent many restless nights unsure of where the fire would go. He had worked with his family to pack up all their important and precious processions, just in case. But still he worried that they would not have enough room in their two cars for everything they needed.

Though Kullen had his own worries, he was also very concerned about the people he encountered at the shelter. He overheard conversations. “They could not stop talking about the fire. It was very heartbreaking,” he said.

The Red Cross appreciates the assistance and hard work of Oroville Boy Scout Troop 29 and all of the organizations that support the Red Cross.

If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross California Wildfire Relief effort, go to redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Saturday’s Camp Fire Shelter Update

This morning’s Red Cross shelter update is coming to you from the Church of the Nazarene in Oroville. First a note of appreciation to The Salvation Army who has been here providing meals to Carr Fire evacuees. They got the morning rolling yet again by serving breakfast items as everyone started the morning watching the local news.

The Red Cross is providing shelter, food, and comfort at four shelters in Butte County. Last night, Red Cross shelters housed about 650 evacuees.

Red Cross Shelter Locations:

Butte County Fairgrounds

199 East Hazel Street

Gridley, CA 95928

Chico Elks Lodge

1705 Manzanita Avenue

Chico, CA 95926

Neighborhood Church

2801 Notre Dame Blvd

Chico, CA 95929

Oroville Nazarene Church

2238 Monte Vista Avenue

Oroville, CA 95966

Red Cross shelters are open to all, regardless of race, creed, religion, or immigration status.

Evacuees are encouraged to register at the Red Cross Safe and Well website so friends and loved ones know you are safe.

Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.