BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– As flames of the Marshall Fire tore through Boulder County last week, hundreds of animals were among those trying to escape. Dozens of animals were brought to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley for safekeeping, even medical treatment, and many are now happily reuniting with their families.
“Ozzie!” a happy hound’s human exclaimed as she hugged her dog.
In the midst of so much loss are moments of pure joy for what’s been found. People and their pets are reuniting after they were separated by the fire.
“It’s always so exciting when somebody is reunited with their family,” said Jan McHugh-Smith, CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV).
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So far, nearly 50 pets have been reunited with their families at the HSBV. That includes a very smiley pooch named Higgins, whose home was destroyed in the fire.
“Higgins had been out for two nights and was covered in burrs and had some burns on his paws, but our veterinary team took care of him,” McHugh Smith said. “His family was just ecstatic and so relieved to be able to pick him up and bring him home.”
McHugh-Smith has worked with the Humane Society of Boulder Valley for more than two decades. She also helped animals during the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires. While the reunions she witnessed these last few days bring much-needed comfort, the disaster isn’t without heartache.
“It’s hard,” she said, fighting back tears. “I just feel for the families that lost their pets.”
With more pets still missing, McHugh-Smith and her team are doing all they can to help. They’re also holding onto hope that more tail-wagging reunions will happen soon.
“Lost and found services is what we do year-round, but these reunited guardians, it’s so special because I know just how much it means to them and the animal,” said McHugh-Smith.
Many generous people have been coming by the humane society to donate pet food, beds and more. Yet HSBV is kindly asking for such donations to stop as what they really need now is monetary support.