Evacuated Animals

Today there were a lot of volunteers at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, Calif., helping take care of the animals that were evacuated during the wildfires, including these three donkeys. At right is Skip, the man who owns these donkeys; he and his wife live in Capell Valley, Napa County, and had to evacuate last week. Heather, the lady in the middle, flew down from St. Helens, Oregon to help out at the animal-evacuation center. I was at home this morning and I turned on KCRA Channel 3 News and learned that volunteers were needed at the fairgrounds, including people who have experience with large animals. Heeding the call of duty, I grabbed all the horse halters and lead ropes that we have, took the kids to school and drove about 40 miles to the fairgrounds. When I arrived, I was one of several dozen volunteers who cleaned stalls and walked the horses around so they could get some exercise. In addition to equines, there were cows, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, rabbits and chickens. Several companies and individuals donated animal feed and shavings for the stalls; other people generously brought food and drinks for the volunteers. There were veterinarians treating animals that had been injured, a construction company working on the animal shelters, and waste-management personnel keeping the livestock facility clean. It was an amazing experience to see so many people helping out those in need.