*With 150,000 acres scorched and almost 12,000 homes in ruins, the touching animal stories from the Camp Fire in northern California, remind us of gratitude especially for the many intrepid animal rescuers.
Our pets are remarkable friends. Their unconditional love is indeed a treasure trove. Animals are unstinting companions. For some people, pets are their closest family members.
Hundreds of animal rescuers in both the north and the south of the state (which simultaneously experienced the Woolsey Fire) worked ceaselessly to help both domesticated and wild animals affected by the hellacious firestorms.
There are many heartwarming stories arising from California’s most devastating conflagration, the Camp Fire. Allow me to share just a few of them with you.
While checking on a home in Paradise, CA, resident Jeff Hill discovered a distressed horse that had fallen into a covered pool.
The horse was shivering uncontrollably and trapped. Hill said, “the girl had given up and had a look of defeat in her eyes.”
Although she was stuck, the pool cover likely prevented her from drowning. With the help of another animal-lover, Hill unhooked the pool cover and pulled the horse into the shallow end where they guided her up the steps. The chestnut-colored magnificent beauty shook off, loved on Hill and friend before she assuredly sauntered off into the woods.
The Camp Fire occurred so quickly that the Copsey family fled their home with only the clothes on their backs. In their blind panic, they left behind Ella the Border Collie.
Miraculously Ella survived. The Copsey’s house did not. When the state authorities arrived a couple days later to inspect the damage, they found Ella. She was standing guard over the only surviving residence on the street.
This Thanksgiving please support Wags and Whiskers Pet Rescue, Chico, CA, because they desperately need your support contending with all the displaced animals from the Camp Fire.”
Scott Lotter lost his family home. He was, however, able to carefully rescue Charlie, George and Goldie his piscine Koi friends as well as 50 goldfish.
“It’s a little miracle,” remarked an emotional Lotter. “You need something to hold onto at a time like this. At least we could save the fish. They are like our babies.”
A cat named Charlie was rescued by a Paradise firefighter. Charlie was injured and separated from his family.
Animal rescuers began the daunting challenge of searching for Charlie’s family. With thousands of homeless domesticated animals, the odds of reuniting were slim.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. A stroke of good fortune enabled one rescuer to serendipitously located Charlie’s family – a “purr-fect” and joyful reunion.
Two brave California Highway Patrolmen saved Pauli the Potbelly pig from the hideous ravage of the Camp firestorm. They safely transported the grateful potbellied one to the Butte County Animal Services.
These rescues and so many other inspirational animal stories remind us that working together, in the midst of the climate in crisis, we are an unstoppable force for goodness!
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.