Pet shelter set up for backbone fire evacuees
The towns of Pine and Strawberry remain under evacuation order as the Backbone Fire expands beyond 32,000 acres, without containment yet. Emergency shelters have been set up in Payson for people, their pets and livestock. Melissa Sevigny of KNAU spoke with Bretta Nelson of the Arizona Humane Society who is on the ground in Payson with an emergency response team.
What do people need to know if they are in the evacuation area and need to take care of pets?
The Arizona Humane Society has set up a temporary animal shelter at Rim County Middle School in Payson, Arizona at 304 South Meadow Street in Payson…. We provide round-the-clock care for the pets of Backbone Fire evacuees. So if you need any help you can come to the college and we will register your pets, and we will provide food, rides, love, of course, and a safe place for them to. sleep at night.
And what kind of animals can you take?
We take pets here, there are up to 25 dogs in the college. There is a breeding area set up, I understand it’s at the Payson Event Center, so if you have cattle you want to go to the Payson Event Center, but for cats and dogs you can come to the Rim Country Middle School.
How are you in the space, do you still have space?
Yes. The space is a little tight, more and more restricted in the room we are in, but we are in the middle and the Red Cross shelter has been moved to the neighboring high school, we have a little space to enlarge.
How is everyone feeling, how are people there?
Definitely a lot of emotions, we had a woman come in in tears yesterday, she has four dogs that she needed help with, and was looking for us, and ran into us and was so excited when she finally found out that she had a place to go. , she also had goats, so right after dropping off her dogs, she was going to bring their goats to another location. Definitely a sense of relief for these pet owners. Some of the pet owners who stay at the high school which is very close will actually come twice a day and walk their dogs, it’s wonderful to see how the animals react. We who work as staff working with these pets really care about it, I have a few favorites that I will miss when I leave here. The animals are in a good mood, sometimes they are a little stressed when they come in, but we try to make them as comfortable as possible, they have their bedding and blankets, and very large ventilated kennels, and treats passing by, little pieces of cheese, and stuff like that, we gave them. We have a calming spray that we can put on their bedding, and we’re playing classical music for them right now. We do our best, and I think when owners come in and see their pets have a really cool place to stay – because it’s too hot right now, some owners have taken them with them during the day in different places, but when the heat started to rise so high, they wanted them to be air conditioned. Spirits are good, I think pet owners are eager to bring their pets home and see if they still have homes when all of that is said and done, but for now everyone is on board. good mood.
Alright hang in there, thank you for the job you do.
You too, thank you very much.
Updates on the Backbone Fire here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7545/ in
Arizona Humane Society, information on preparing for pet evacuations: https://www.azhumane.org/events/disaster-preparedness/