As wildfires continue to blaze in the West, Alley Cat Allies is providing support for the rescue, veterinary care, food, emergency supplies, and reunion of cats and other animals harmed or displaced by the disasters.
“Speed is essential. By acting even while the wildfires are still burning, we can save many cats and other animals who have become injured in the devastation,” says Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies.
Right now, we are focusing much of our relief efforts in Oregon, where the Holiday Farm Fire has been burning east of the City of Eugene. Since the fire began in early September, it has scorched more than 170,000 acres of land and hundreds of homes and businesses—destroying most of the town of Blue River.
Many residents were forced to evacuate quickly in the chaos, leaving the animals they care for in a precarious situation. Our emergency funding is helping Eugene-based Greenhill Humane Society care for these fire-affected cats, dogs, and other animals.
“Every day brings new and urgent requests for assistance, and with Alley Cat Allies in our corner, we are helping many more people and animals as they attempt to recover from these devastating fires,” says Cary Lieberman, executive director of Greenhill Humane Society.
Some cats and other animals were brought to Greenhill by evacuees who had nowhere else to take them, and they need food and other supplies until their families are in a position to care for them again. Others are being swept from fire zones by rescue staff and need veterinary care and emergency housing while their human families or community cat colonies outdoors are identified.
A regal calico dubbed Speckles is just one of those cats. She was found stray in a high-level fire evacuation zone and brought to Greenhill’s facility. There, through Alley Cat Allies’ emergency funding, she will be cared for and fed for as long as she needs. Speckles’ photo has been posted in the Found Animal Listings on Greenhill’s website, where her family will hopefully find her.
To provide further support, Alley Cat Allies has also delivered cat food to the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany, Oregon, which has served as an evacuation center for people and their animals. Our emergency supplies arrived at a critical time as resources are stretched to battle the fires.
In addition to supplies and funding, we are providing guidance and expertise on how to save animals during natural disasters and their aftermath. Our advice draws heavily from our experience with the 2018 Camp Fire in California, where the Alley Cat Allies Recovery Center®, operated by local organization FieldHaven Feline Center, played a major role in rescuing, treating, and reuniting impacted cats with their families.
We at Alley Cat Allies know well that disaster recovery is a long, draining, and difficult process. The Holiday Farm Fire and many other wildfires in the West are not contained, and cats will need our help even after the flames are extinguished.
“Our focus is to continue helping as many cats as possible to be safe and healthy for the long haul,” says Becky Robinson. “The damage caused by the fires is heartbreaking, and we will not allow cats and other animals to be overlooked in relief and recovery efforts.”
If you have been affected by the Holiday Farm Fire and are looking for or have found an animal, please visit Greenhill’s website for more information.