July 15, 2008

Cami and Dusty survive Concow fire

Cami the Bullmastiff/Rhodesian Ridgeback and Dusty the ferret got to go home on July 14. They returned from an emergency shelter with guardian/owner, Virginia Beaudry, to their northern California home near Chico.

The week before, Cami and Dusty had been lucky to be safely evacuated. Their guardian had a few minutes to get them all out alive when the sheriff came to say that the Butte-Plumas wildfire was raging toward them. They left so fast that I doubt they had time to grab their food. Ms. Beaudry didn't have time to grab even her clothes.

Cami dog with guardian/person, Virginia Beaudry, on July 14, 2008
Cami dog and Virginia Beaudry at Concow home site

Going home is different this time. There's no house for them in the smoky, charcoal grey landscape of their Concow home site. There's nothing left. Not even Ms. Beaudry's stuff in the "fire safe," 'cuz everthing melted. They have to start all over. Home is a trailer now as they begin to clean up the property — an awful task.

The Three Rivers chapter of the American Red Cross has been out there, and maybe a lot of other people will pawse to help them.

I hope help is going to reach other Concow pets and people, too — like Kathy Lentz, who'd been staying in the shelter and caring for seven dogs. The California Conservation Corps really helped at the shelter by bringing a trailer filled with animal food and supplies.

(Somebody from animal control didn't help. They wanted to take Dusty the ferret away from Ms. Beaudry. Attention, animal friends: Remember to have your papers with you — maybe rolled up inside a tiny collar pendant — in case of disaster!)

The North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG.org) has cared for up to 250 pets a day at the shelter. Folks from Yuba-Sutter Domestic Animal Disaster Assistance (www.ysdada.org) pitched in, too. The NVADG (530-895-0000) needs your help, so please contact them via phone or email to assist in sheltering or evacuations.

My dog-ma talked to Stacy at Chico Enterprise Record newspaper. Stacy commented that people affected by the fire disaster are talking about pulling together and building stronger community relationships. Paws up, everybuddy! Please visit www.ChicoER.com in the coming weeks to read stories about people rebuilding their lives after the fires.

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