LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Wildfires continue to burn across the state, including the Cameron Peak Fire. That fire sparked in August and has now burned more than 208,000 acres, forcing many families out of their homes.
As part of the Larimer County Disaster Response, the Larimer Humane Society is stepping in to help displaced families and their pets. It’s moved their adoptable pets to shelters across the state, to be able to open their doors as a safe place evacuees can temporarily house their pets while they navigate what’s next.
“We would hate to think of anyone choosing not to leave an evacuation zone for fear of not having anywhere to leave their pets,” explained Kara Pappas with the Larimer Humane Society.
On Oct. 14, the Cameron Peak Fire forced Mary Pancheri to evacuate her home on Storm Mountain.
“The mega plumb was right there on top of us,” she said. “It’s been a little bit of hell, that’s what it’s been like.”
Knowing her cat, Chutney, wouldn’t do well bouncing from hotel to hotel, she called the Larimer Humane Society for help.
“It just relieved us that we could take her here. One less stresser for us, because we had enough stressers going on,” Mary said. “I can’t say it enough. This has been the one of the most helpful resources through all this.”
The need for this, during this wildfire season in Larimer County, has been significant. In 2012 during the High Park Fire, the humane society provided around 600 animal stays. This year, they’ve already provided 750 animal stays, and the fires continue to burn and threaten new areas everyday.
“A lot of times they are very overwhelmed by the situation, they’ve had to move very quickly,” Pappas said. “And to be able to come here and have compassionate staff and open doors willing to take the animals in, provides some sense of comfort and if just even for a minute, relieves their anxiety.”
The Larimer County Humane Society takes small animals, from house pets to barnyard animals like chickens and goats. Officers will also go into evacuation areas when it’s safe, and help transport pets for families.
They’re working with area agencies to ensure they have enough room for all displaced pets.
Evacuees looking for the best place to bring their animals, or those looking to help out by donating can get more information from the Larimer Humane Society.