Fairgrounds has housed as many as 67
It’s not just the people who need care and support. Yuba-sutter Domestic Animal Disaster Assistance has been operating an emergency dog shelter at the YubaSutter Fairgrounds since Sept. 8 to care for the many pets that have been affected by evacuations due to the North Complex Fire.
“Someone is here 24/7,” said Gretchen Cupp, president of the group.
Cupp said this is the longest running emergency shelter her team has facilitated to date, surpassing even the one established after the Camp Fire broke out in Nov. 2018.
“That one had the biggest number of animals housed, but this will be the longest open,” said Cupp.
On Wednesday the pop-up shelter was housing 15 dogs. Cupp said there have been as many as 67 dogs housed at the shelter during the past few weeks and numbers ebb and flow as evacuation orders are lifted or expanded.
According to Cupp, most of the dogs that have been housed at the facility were brought in by their owners for temporary housing, which is a good thing because in previous wildfire emergencies many dogs were brought in after being found running
“When they are brought in like that we have no idea who they belong to,” said Cupp. “And if dogs are not claimed when we have to close the shelter they go to animal control in the county they were found.”
Cupp said the facility is manned entirely by volunteers and operates through funds from FEMA in addition to community donations used to take care of things not covered by the emergency assistance.
“The community has been incredibly generous,” said Cupp. “We have had tons of food, toys, leashes and other supplies donated.”
They have also received generous donations from the Petco Foundation, said Cupp.
Although Cupp said the facility provided for the shelter at the Yuba-sutter Fairgrounds is the perfect set up to care for these animals, she would much rather see the pets with their loved ones.
“We love to care for these animals and it is so rewarding for us, but they are happiest with their families.”
Cupp said it is crucial for pet owners to have an evacuation plan ready not only for themselves, but for their pets as well, to ease stress during emergency situations.
“It is one less thing to fuss over,” said Cupp.
Ideally, Cupp said the best plan would be to find somewhere the whole family, including any four-legged friends, could go together during an evacuation or other emergency situation.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cupp said visits to the pets housed at the facility is limited and all volunteers must wear a mask and thoroughly wash after coming into contact with the animals.
Those interested in volunteering at the shelter are welcome to stop by the shelter located in the Expo Hall at the Yuba-sutter Fairgrounds between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monetary donations are also appreciated at this time and can be made at http:// ysdada.org.
For more information about Yuba-sutter Domestic Animal
Disaster Assistance, visit www.ysdada.org.
Volunteer Stephanie Horsfall pets Angel during a walk on Wednesday at the emergency pet shelter run by Yuba-sutter Domestic Animal Assistance at the Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds.
Angel, a dog currently housed at the emergency pet shelter run by Yuba-sutter Domestic Animal Assistance due to evacuations in Yuba County, takes a walk with volunteer Stephanie Horsfall at the Yuba-sutter Fairgrounds on Wednesday.