California Wildfires

Nov 17, 2018

Horse survives California wildfire in swimming pool.
Credit Jeff Hill [Facebook]
Horse rescued from pool
Credit Jeff Hill [Facebook]

The dramatic rescue of a horse that miraculously survived the raging California wildfire by stumbling into a back yard swimming pool is one amazing victory to be celebrated.  But so many animals - and humans - that survived the devastation are injured or homeless or both.  As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday this coming week, remember to be grateful for all who are willing to pitch in, rescue and provide care.


Responsible pet ownership generally includes making sure your pet has adequate food, water, shelter and care. But in a disaster situation, responsible pet ownership takes on a new dimension. For many residents in California, the raging fires threatening their homes meant they had to evacuate without much notice, and often without their animals. 

In the midst of all the devastation and ongoing efforts to fight the deadliest fire in California history, firefighters, volunteers and animal rescue groups are doing everything they can to help save pets, livestock and wild animals. Veterinarians are treating those that are injured or burned. Celebrities are helping by making contributions to organizations that are caring for animals evacuated from the fires.

One amazing story was reported in a Facebook post by Jeff Hill. He was checking on houses and found a horse that survived the blaze by jumping into a backyard swimming pool. She got caught up in the pool cover, which actually kept her from drowning. They managed to get her untangled and out of the pool, shaken up, but alive and unhurt.

Amber Wittner wanted to help distraught pet owners reunite with their animals, and came up with a digital solution – an app she called “Paw Prints” to track pets lost in the northern California wildfire. An owner can create a dot on the digital map to show where their pet was last seen, and list the breed, a description, and contact information for the owner. Whoever finds an animal creates a star on the map, also with a description and contact information. Hopefully, owner and pet can be reunited.

Many groups are working to rescue, treat, and house animals affected by the fires. They need equipment like respirators, medical supplies, cages, blankets, food. You can be a part of the ongoing rescue efforts by making a contribution to any one of them. Pitching in to help support rescue efforts could help someone who has lost everything find comfort in being reunited with their best friend, when you’re speaking of pets.