C.A. Fire Volunteer Veterinary Efforts
In a tragedy like The Camp Fire in California where there are 200 people still missing, fire damage of 150,000 acres (the equivalent square footage of 5 Long Island’s, and then some..), 180,000 structures destroyed, and 85 human lives or more claimed in Butte County alone – animal safety is sometimes unheeded. Thanks the CAVMRC, volunteers of all kinds, providers of supplies and medicines, and those who donated – this is not the case.
According to the CAVMRC, 313 volunteers have been deployed to help monitor 2,700 animals, 400+ receiving care or ongoing treatment for burns or illnesses. The volunteers have covered three hundred and sixty one 12 hour shifts in working conditions that can be challenging, such as smokey air, supply hurdles, and some extreme medical cases.
After speaking with Executive Director, Valerie, the CVMA would like to extend a sincere thank you to all volunteers and providers who have offered supplies/medicine, driven long distances, or given up their time to work long shifts in order to help the animals affected by the fires. If you’d like learn how you can become a volunteer you can view this page, or here if you’d simply like to donate to the California Veterinary Medical Foundation.
One of our own Cutting Edge family members, Ginny Carlson DVM with Mountainside Veterinary in Carlson CA, volunteered with CAVMRC this past weekend and shares some insight as to her and other volunteers’ efforts:
“Animals are being well taken care of, the outpouring of donations is amazing. Injured animals are being sent to veterinary hospitals for care as soon as possible. Triage is being done for new intakes, but as time goes on the condition of animals being found gets worse. I checked in three dogs that were found the day I volunteered; Two were doing well, one needed subcutaneous fluid treatment, but felt great after. That dog happened to have a microchip, so the owner was contacted and notified their pet was found safe.
My job that day was to do examinations on animals being held as strays (no owner identified yet) and ducks/geese/chickens. We monitored for any problems, since burns can show up 2-3 days later. Also, it can be stressful for animals to be being kenneled, some need treatment for stress gastrointestinal issue. They are doing an amazing job. There are some amazing volunteers that were able to volunteer much longer than I and it truly warms the heart to see the world still has such genuinely caring people. I wish I could have volunteered for more time. They are still in need if anyone has the time.
The biggest thing I am taking back from this experience to my clinic, is the importance of micro-chipping. I have always recommended it, but will be mentioning the importance to all patients not micro-chipped. Also, indoor cats may not go outdoors regularly, but in a situation like Paradise it may be your best bet to be reunited.”
According to reports from yesterday, the fire hasn’t been 100% extinguished, however it has been 100% contained. There are still threats of flash flooding and rain related weather issues, but hopefully the worst is behind you CA. Keep in mind just because the flames are diminishing, the need for donations and volunteers are still high in order to maintain shelters and wounded animal care. Time to rebuild, restore, and rehabilitate – time to heal.