Animals injured and lost in the deadly Camp Fire in Butte County are making their way to San Francisco animal shelters, and officials are asking the public for help in locating their owners.
San Francisco’s SPCA received a shipment of 29 dogs and cats from the fire area on Wednesday, and is treating them for injuries ranging from mild to severe, according to the SPCA.
The SPCA has posted heartwrenching photos on Facebook of the animals, many of them bandaged and burned. Several are in intensive care right now, said spokeswoman Krista Maloney.
The shelter, which has also sent volunteers and supplies up north, hopes to reconnect the animals with their owners, and anyone who sees a photo of an animal they think is theirs is urged to call.
“We do believe that these are somebody’s pets, that they are owned animals and that’s why we are making such an effort to find their owners,” Maloney said.
The City’s Animal Care and Control department was also preparing to receive a group of animals Thursday from the fire area, where 142,000 acres and 11,862 structures have burned, 63 fatalities have been confirmed so far and more than 600 people are still accounted for.
In most cases, officials have not been able to locate the owners of the animals.
Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for ACC, said an emergency animal hospital that has been set up at the Chico Airport is caring for more than 1,500 animals.
An ACC veterinarian who has just returned saw more than 800 animals during her stint assisting at the fire scene.
“It’s massive, and horribly sad,” Campbell said.
ACC will also be posting photos of animals online as they receive them, Campbell said, and people with missing pets are encouraged to check with the shelter.
Officials in Butte County urge residents seeking to report lost pets to call the North Valley Animal Disaster Group at (530) 895-0000.
While there is no formal timeline for how long the shelter will hold the animals, Maloney said the SF SPCA understands owners are “going through a lot right now, and we want to give them more than ample time.”
Both the SPCA and ACC are accepting donations. Information on how to make contributions is at https://www.sfspca.org/get-involved/donate and https://www.sfanimalcare.org/make-a-donation/