The last few weeks have been filled with multiple stories about the wildfires spreading across Northern California and how residents are being affected. Some were heroic, while others tragic, many were about pets. We heard the story about the junior college student who carried her 70lbs. dog in a duffel bag as she rode her bike to safety and watched her entire neighborhood burn down. We read stories stories about cats with singed whiskers and burned paws and horses without barns left to sleep in —and after hearing so many stories, we knew it was time to step in and offer help.
In September, when various parts of the country were being ravaged by hurricanes, Adopt-a-Pet.com launched fosterahurricanepet.org to aid people who needed help finding temporary foster care for their pets as a result of the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In the wake of the massive wildfires that are sweeping The Golden State, we have expanded our emergency pet foster program to assist pet owners in California.
Displaced Paws (www.displacedpaws.org) —renamed to include all types of natural disasters— matches pet owners affected by the fires with local animal lovers who can care for their pets while their families get back on their feet. Whether it’s a need for placement for a few days or a few weeks, Displaced Paws is the first peer-to-peer platform that connects victims of natural disasters with temporary housing for their companion animals as they recover and rebuild their lives.
“The days leading up to and weeks following horrific events, such as the wildfires we are currently experiencing in northern California, can be some of the most traumatic a family will ever encounter,” said David Meyer, Adopt-a-Pet.com CEO and co-founder. “By giving pet owners the ability to find safe and local temporary care for their pets, Displaced Paws gives these victims one less thing to worry about while ensuring beloved family pets aren’t left behind or surrendered to animal shelters.”
Only people local to the areas affected by devastation are being asked to open their homes to foster a pet. Pet lovers in other parts of the country who want to help are encouraged to visit Adopt-a-Pet.com or Petfinder.com to adopt a pet from their local shelter and help make room for homeless pets being moved out of disaster affected areas. Those who can’t adopt but still want to lend support can make a tax-deductible donation that will entirely be used to cover the costs of foster care for pets affected by natural disaster.