California dogs high-tail it out of fire-damaged counties to Oregon Humane Society
The Oregon Humane Society is caring for 23 dogs from Santa Barbara County, California's Animal Services while the agency makes room for more animals whose homes were affected by the massive Thomas fire that has burned more than 275,000 acres near the Los Padres National Forest north of Los Angeles since Dec. 4.
A van loaned by the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society loaded with the dogs arrived at the Oregon Humane Society shelter at about noon Saturday, Dec. 23. Oregon Humane Society Chief Operating Officer Brian August and Santa Maria Valley employee Erik Anda drove the dogs to Portland. August has been in Santa Barbara since Monday, Dec. 18, helping evacuation efforts for animals at the shelter.
The dogs were available for adoption at the California shelters. None came to shelters because of the Thomas fire, or other wildfires in the county, but were relocated to make room in shelters for an expected influx of pets from areas hit by the blaze.
The Thomas fire is about 65 percent contained. Nearly 2,500 firefighters and support staff are battling the blaze, which they expect to have contained by the second week in January. The fire has destroyed nearly 1,100 structures and damaged about 300 others.