Valley News -

Holy Fire pet transport program to end Wednesday morning


Last updated 8/14/2018 at 4:05pm

Riverside County Animal Services

This family was happy to get their family cat back from the Riverside County Animal Services people who sheltered the cat until evacuations from the Holy Fire were lifted.

Riverside County Animal Services will continue the Holy Fire pet transports through Wednesday morning, Aug. 15. More than 180 pets received care by Animal Services' employees during a mandatory evacuation period of the fire that burned more than 23,000 acres over the past week.

A day after the fire started, authorities began issuing voluntary evacuation notices for many neighborhoods in Temescal Canyon and Lake Elsinore areas. Those notices eventually resulted in mandatory evacuation warnings.

Pet owners received assistance from Animal Friends of the Valleys at the Southwest Communities shelter in Wildomar and the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in San Jacinto and board and care fees were waived for Holy Fire evacuees. The two organizations combined to help roughly 400 pets during the peak moments of the incident.

Riverside County Animal Services

These two dogs were excited to be reunited with their family after being held at local animal shelters until Holy Fire mandatory evacuations were lifted.

Recognizing that the distance between evacuees' homes and the county's San Jacinto location was long distance, so Animal Services Director Robert Miller offered pet-owners the option to have their pets transported back to the original drop-off location at Temescal Canyon High by county officers and other staffers.

Currently, the department is caring for about 40 pets and employees continue to contact pet owners today. The employees are asking pet owners whether they would like the animal transported or if the owner prefers to redeem their pets themselves.

"We heard some positive comments from pet owners during this incident about our transport service," Miller said. "That made all the effort worth it. We had hoped it would provide pet owners some peace of mind and some convenience during a high-stress event. And we're feeling confident that we achieved those goals."


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