It’s Our Pets That Make Us Human

By Dave Wagner, Public Affairs Volunteer

When thousands were forced from their homes near Yosemite National Park due to the fast-moving Oak Fire, almost 100 humans landed at the Red Cross shelter in nearby Mariposa. Along with them came another 100 family members – pet cats and dogs, and an assortment of birds and reptiles. With the comprehensive services offered by the Central California Animal Disaster Team (CCADT), these animals received care at least equal to the human members of their families.

Just a few dozen feet from the human quarters at the Mariposa Elementary School, the animals were comfortably housed in one classroom for cats, two for dogs and even a makeshift hospital suite for the injured. Quality food, air-conditioned quarters, veterinary care and lots of walks through-out the day are just some of the amenities offered in CCADT’s pet shelter.

“A lot of people will not evacuate if they have no place to take their animals. Many of the animals are stressed in a new environment. We take time every day to calm their nerves,” said Leslie Harris, CCADT shelter manager and eight year volunteer.

These guys are finally going home, but are grateful for the loving care they received from the volunteers during their stay at the CCADT pet shelter.

Red Cross volunteers Michael Mcgehee and Annikah Trail assist in the CCADT cat room while also getting some quality time with the animals.

Like the Red Cross, the CCADT relies solely on the generosity of it’s donors and volunteers. They have been able to outfit several trailers stocked with animal necessities like wet and dry foods from Science Diet, cages, leashes, cleaning supplies, live stock feed and hay. These trailers, along with their dedicated volunteers, are ready to respond 24/7.

If you are able to help, the American Red Cross and the Central California Animal Disaster Team would be truly grateful. Both organizations are in need of new volunteers and charitable donations. Please click here to discover Red Cross opportunities and here for ways to help the CCADT. Thank you!

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