Our hearts and prayers go out to every one of our Southern California neighbors, two-legged and four, impacted by the deadly fires that have raged in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside counties.
As with the Northern California wine country fires in the fall, we are saddened by the loss of life and property. At the same time, we are comforted by the support of the many emergency responders, support personnel, and volunteers who are saving lives, property, and pets.
Here are links to the latest information on the fires and some ways you can make a difference.
The Latest Information:
Calfire fire map can be found here.
- Thomas Fire: All animal evacuations are being handled at the Ventura County Fairgrounds located at 10 W Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001
Santa Barbara County:
- Thomas Fire: The Santa Barbara Public Health Department has a guide to protecting your pets from smoke and poor air quality during the fires. Download here. If you are evacuating, do not leave your pets behind. Contact the Animal Services hotline at 805-681-4332 should you need assistance in housing your evacuated animals. Note: Santa Barbara County Animal Services says it is no longer in need of volunteers to assist with evacuated animals. Officials say those needs have been met.
Los Angeles County:
- Rye Fire
- Creek Fire – Animal shelters:
- Antelope Valley Fairgrounds – (661) 948-6060, 2551 W. Avenue H Lancaster, CA 93536. Animal shelter only: Accepting large animals, including horses.
- West Valley Animal Shelter – (888) 452-7381, 20655 Plummer St. Los Angeles, CA 91311. Small animal shelter only.
- East Valley Animal Shelter – (888) 452-7381, 14409 Vanowen St. Los Angeles, CA 91405. Small animal shelter only.
- Hansen Dam Equestrian Center – (818) 896-6514, 11798 Foothill Blvd. Sylmar, CA 91342. Accepting large and small animals.
- Skirball Fire – People and animal shelters:
- Sylmar Recreation Center – (818) 367-5656, 13109 Borden Ave., Sylmar, 91342. Accepting evacuees and pets with owner.
- Branford Recreation Center – (818) 893-4923, 13306 Branford St, Arleta, CA 91331. Accepting evacuees and pets with owner.
- Wilson Fire
San Diego County:
- Lilac Fire – Animal evacuation centers:
- Small pet-friendly shelters have opened at:
- Palomar College at 1140 W. Mission Road in San Marcos
- Bostonia Recreation Center at 1049 Bostonia St. in El Cajon
- East Valley Community Center at 2245 E. Valley Parkway in Escondido
- Large animals and livestock can be taken to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
- Small pet-friendly shelters have opened at:
How You Can Help/Pets:
Many animal welfare organizations throughout California supported the rescue organizations in Texas, Florida and the Northern California wine country during the natural disasters that recently hit our country and state. Now, many of these organizations are stepping up to assist our Southern California neighbors with support and services. Here are a few:
- The Humane Society of Ventura County is in need of donations after taking in more than 300 animals since the fires began Monday. The organization has set up a registry wishlist on Amazon with items needed to care for the diverse group of animals currently in its care. Those unable to bring supplies or food to the shelter can make cash donations on HCVC’s website.
- Citizens for a Humane Los Angeles are looking for temporary homes for displaced animals as the shelters begin to fill up. They can be contacted at 323-244-8020.
- The Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation is accepting donations through its Noah’s Legacy Fund by donating through the organization’s website. Check can be mailed to P.O. Box 100515, Pasadena, CA 91189-0515.
How You Can Help/People:
Thomas Fire Fund:
- The United Way of Ventura County has partnered with the American Red Cross of Ventura County and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services to create a fund to help fire victims. Here’s how you can donate:
- Online: www.vcunitedway.org
- By phone. Call (805) 485-6288 or text UWVC to 4144.
- Check. Send by mail to United Way, 702 County Square Dr., Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003. Write “Thomas Fire Fund” in the memo.
Go Fund Me:
- Individuals have started fundraising campaigns for those affected by the fires. Go Fund Me has highlighted several.
The Salvation Army Ventura Corps:
- For those looking to give directly or donate supplies, the Salvation Army Ventura Corps posted on their Facebook page that they are at the Ventura County Fairgrounds to assist those displaced by the fire. They are asking for donations of food and water for evacuees. They are also accepting toy and clothing donations as the fires have devastated thousands during the Christmas season.
- Additional Southern California chapters are assisting residents affected by other fires and donations can be made by visiting salvationarmy-socal.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
- Sherman Oaks East Valley: An L.A.-based donation collection center has been set up to gather donations for fire victims. They’re asking for sealed water bottles, food items, new and unused clothing, blankets, and new and unused toiletries. The center is at 5056 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403. They will be accepting donations until 5 p.m. Friday. After that, call L.A. County at 2-1-1 to find out which agencies are accepting donations.
- Catholic Charities: The organization is accepting donations of gently used clothes, as well as new clothes and toys that will be distributed as Christmas gifts. Donations may be dropped off at 303 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, CA 93001.
- Humane Society of Ventura County: More than 100 animals are being housed at the Humane Society location. They’re in need of alfalfa hay, Timothy hay, cat food, rabbit food, flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, water troughs, bottled water, fruit, snacks, hoses and power generators, as well as snacks for their volunteers. Donations may be dropped off at the shelter at 402 Bryant St. in Ojai.
- L.A. Kitchen: The nonprofit organization is preparing meals for firefighters and displaced victims. For shift times, check its Facebook page.
- The American Red Cross is accepting applications for volunteers who would like to help with similar disaster relief for the wildfires burning in Southern California. You can find out about donating in-kind items here.