• Cierra Voelkl

Woolsey Fire Rages On

As the now infamous Woolsey Fire runs rampant in Southern California, over 200,000 Angelinos are being evacuated from their homes along with their furry family members including dogs, cats, horses, other farm animals and even scaly friends. As of Tuesday, November 13th, the fire has spread to over 95,000 acres with only 35% containment. Even the air quality in the rest of Los Angeles and areas surrounding has been compromised.

Photo Credit: Fox 5

The animal rescue community has rallied together in an effort to ensure all animals are being evacuated with a place to go while receiving proper vet care. Unfortunately, many are being left behind for a couple reasons. One, the homeowners were away when the fire started and not allowed back to their home to retrieve their animals despite their efforts. Two, and worst of all, animals are treated as disposable and left to die by either fire or smoke inhalation.

Amid the chaos, one case in particular has the public fuming and demanding answers. The popular Malibu Wine Safaris is home to the one and only, Stanley the Giraffe. Well, it was found out that while the owners were able to evacuate themselves, staff and ALL their expensive cars, Stanley and other animals were left to fight for themselves. While it may not be easy to evacuate a giraffe, just like zoos, they should have an evacuation plan in place for this situation.

Activists like comedian, producer and author Whitney Cummings, has rallied the public against Malibu Wine Safaris to demand answers. “I went rogue and went to check on Stanley the giraffe myself,” she wrote Sunday on social media, “There were a lot of rumors and I didn’t want to be contributing to untrue gossip. I don’t know enough about exotic animals to know if them choosing not to move him was the right choice, but for now he is safe although the conditions are terrible air quality and windy.”

Due to the wide spread social media outcry, many vets have taken to the now burned away winery to check on Stanley. While Stanley is actually doing fine, just traumatized, an emu, sheep and some pigs are still missing after the animals were released into a pasture.

Many organizations have opened up their doors for evacuated animals including boarding and day care faculties, animals shelters, warehouses and more. Pierce College, a school with an accredited Registered Vet Tech program, is accepting animals to find safe haven there. The Hansen Dam Equestrian Center in Sylmar, took in more than 300 horses Sunday, Nov. 11, along with dogs, donkeys, ponies, sheep, chickens and one pig, according to Daily News.

Photo Credit: Daily News

All animal shelters around LA area and desperately asking for fosters so they can make room for incoming animals that have been found or need to be temporarily housed by their owners. If you can foster or even adopt, please contact an LA or Ventura animal shelter. Donations are also being accepted by local rescues to bring to evacuation centers. Other centers taking animals are: Antelope Valley Fair Grounds is taking horses still, Lancaster, Palmdale and Castaic are taking cats and dogs. Castaic also takes small wildlife.

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