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Protecting Animals from the Fires

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As people are dealing with the effects of the local wildfires, there are also organizations making sure the four-legged victims are being looked after. Especially since there are so many horses in the fire-stricken neighborhoods.

The LA Times reports on the evacuation of animals from the Porter Ranch and Marek wildfires. "One person said 100 to 150 horses had been turned loose in Brown's Canyon as the flames neared because they could not be evacuated in time."

The ASPCA's emergency DART (Disaster Animal Response Team) was dispatched Monday to assist animal victims of the Marek fire.

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Pierce College was able to assist many with their pets, but at some point last night had to stop taking new "boarders". The LAFD website recommends contacting L.A. Animal Services: (888)452-7381

According to the LAFD website, livestock affected by the Sesnon evacuations are to be taken to The Ventura County Fairgrounds. The livestock Evacuation Center for the Marek fire is Hansen Dam Equestrian Center.

Columbia News Service has suggestions for emergency preparedness for pets

Regardless of available government aid, the ASPCA recommends that pet owners take several measures to prepare for an emergency. Emergency supplies and travel kits for pets should be created and put in a handy place, and everyone in the family should know where they are. Kits should include enough pet food for a week, water, cleaning supplies, bandages, a leash, toys and treats.
"When an emergency strikes, many shelters will not accept pets because of health and safety regulations," Mahaffey said. contains listings of more than 25,000 pet-friendly hotels, inns, campgrounds and beaches nationwide at every budget level. Among those that accommodate pets are Holiday Inn, Comfort Suites, Loews Hotels and the InterContinental Hotels and Resorts.
Also, make sure rescue workers know where pets live in the house or apartment. "Think of it like having a child," Mahaffey said. "Parents put stickers on every kid's window alerting firefighters to their bedrooms, but many people don't have one for their pets."

Pet Safety Alert Inc. manufactures the static cling decals that affix to windows and doors. The items cost $4.99 for a pack of two and can make a big difference. "After Katrina so many rescue workers who volunteered in the Gulf Coast said, 'My God, if only we knew pets were inside," said Brenda Kujos, who is the company's vice president and sales manager in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The cherry-red pet alert decal has a Dalmatian mascot wearing a red fire hat, space to indicate number and type of animal, and a plea: "Pet alert fire rescue: please save our pets."
Along with regular ID tags, rescue organizations also suggest implanting animals with a microchip to ensure that even if their tags fall off, they can be reunited with their owners. Vets charge $40 for the procedure.

(AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)