Valley News -

By Stephanie Lai

Animal Friends of the Valley reaches capacity from Holy Fire evacuees

Towels, blankets and cat litter needed


Last updated 8/9/2018 at 3pm

Shane Gibson

Jessica Rodriguez and her family grab their pets before adhering to evacuation orders in a neighborhood in the McVicker Canyon Park Road area in Lake Elsinore as the Holy Fire burns closer, Aug. 8.

Animal Friends of the Valley has announced they had reached their holding capacity due to an influx of pets from Holy Fire evacuees.

Residents in evacuation areas are advised to bring their pets to the San Jacinto Animal Shelter, Western Riverside Animal Control or to Temescal Valley High School, where animals will be transferred to another center, Katie Menges from Animal Friends of the Valley said.

According to a Facebook post from the city of Lake Elsinore, small animals should be taken to the San Jacinto Animal Shelter and large animals can be brought to Elsinore High School.

The Animal Friends of the Valley shelter holds approximately 300 animals, but due to Holy Fire evacuations, the shelter has set up several temporary kennels and additional spaces. While they did not have a total number of animals at the shelter reported, Menges stated that they had taken over 130 pets from evacuees.

Animal Friends of the Valley staff have written down specific medications and accommodations for taking special care of the animals. Extra staff members have been working to ensure the needs of all the animals are met.

Currently, the shelter does not need more volunteers and are not accepting any surrendered animals for adoption. They will not take new animals for adoption until after the evacuations are lifted, Menges said.

The shelter is accepting donations of cat litter, large towels and blankets. While they have enough food at this time, those wishing to donate are welcome to bring Hill's Science Diet cat and dog food.

For any evacuee who has brought their pets to Animal Friends of the Valley, the shelter will hold their animals until the evacuations are lifted but is asking people pick up their pets soon after.

While four employees have been affected by the Holy Fire evacuation orders, Menges is confident in the staff taking care of the shelter animals.

"It has warmed our hearts how many people have reached out asking how they can help," Menges said.


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