Volunteers Help Rescue Animals

The Southern Oregon Emergency Aid volunteer team helps move animals out of wildfire evacuation zones.

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 6:41 PM

WILDERVILLE, Ore. -- The Southern Oregon Emergency Aid volunteer team all started from an emergency situation.

"A friend of mine has an animal sanctuary and a few years back she called me panicking. There was a fire coming and she didn’t know how to get her animals out, " group Founder and Director Linda Bacon said. "So I put a post on local Facebook pages asking if anybody had a trailer that could help her. The first volunteer arrived in about a half an hour and then it just kept multiply and multiplying."

That was four years ago. Now, there are about 400 volunteers, and 14 area coordinators. 

Mary Anne Morrison is just one of the farms that helps host animal evacuees.

She says she's helped host chickens, ducks, goats, horses, and an emu.

She says people need to make sure their horses know how to load a trailer, in case they need to be evacuated. This helps lessen what can be a chaotic situation, in the midst of an evacuation.

She and Bacon say people should consider moving their animals before they are put in a Level 3 evacuation.

"It’s extremely difficult to pick them up, say for instance, if the road is already closed," Morrison said. "We had people trying to get special permission to get down River Banks Road and Galice Road to go pick up animals."

If you want to get involved, visit their Facebook page.

If you need help moving animals, call Bacon at 541-226-1124.

There is no fee to have them move the animals, but Bacon adds it helps if you send some food along with your animals. Any vet costs that come from fire injuries to your animals, must be covered by the owner.

Here's how it works: if you need help moving animals, call Bacon. She reaches out to her area coordinators, who then reach out to their volunteers. They find out who has the equipment to move the specific animal, and who has the space to house them.

"It’s very satisfying to know that you did something that may be a little bit beyond what your normal day would be, but you did something to help the good of humanity," Moorison said.

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