Animal Evacuees Offered Shelter, Food, Support

The victims of the Woolsey Fire also include animals—lost and stressed pets, wildlife patients that had to be relocated to safer areas, cats and dogs at shelters that had to be moved from the fire’s path, and even exotic pets.  

Dr. John Lupo of the Malibu Vet Clinic teamed up with Joey Herrick, president of Lucy Pet Foundation (located in Westlake Village) and co-founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods, to provide free veterinary services, pet food and treats for the pets of Malibu residents affected by the fire for one day, last Wednesday. Fire victims still needing free pet food are invited to stop by the office at 28990 Pacific Coast Hwy, #103, and make a request.

Malibu Vet Clinic’s efforts to help animals are all the more impressive considering that Lupo, his wife Evelien and their five children lost their house in the fire, and so did Herrick. 

“There’s a lot of people and animals that are obviously displaced and don’t have a home to go to. With all the stress, some animals haven’t gotten the care they needed,” Lupo said.

Meanwhile, Malibu Coast Animal Hospital has been caring for four local cats that were burned in the fire, funded by donations to their “Care4Critters Fund.” One cat was reunited with its owner, but the other three still require extensive medical care for severe burns. The hospital is trying to find the owners of these three cats, who have all been given temporary names, and has released the following photos and information about them:  

The first, “Blaze,” is a neutered male cat found Nov. 17 by a firefighter on Harvester Road. The second, “Woolsey,” is a neutered male found on Mulholland. He has a microchip, but it was never registered. The third, “Fuego,” a neutered male approximately five years old, was found on or near Busch Drive.

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If you recognize a cat or are the owner, contact the hospital at 23431 Pacific Coast Hwy. by calling 310.317.4560.

If you have lost or found a dog or cat due to the Woolsey Fire, you can post a photo to the Facebook page “Woolsey Wildfire Lost, Found & Reunited Pets.” In addition, a number of lost and found pets from Malibu who appear to be affected by the Woolsey Fire are featured on the “Malibu Lost and Found Pets” Facebook page. The Malibu Times also features lost and found pets in the Poppy’s Pals section of the classified ads. 

Evacuating other animals

On Nov. 9 at 3 a.m., the California Wildlife Center on Piuma Road began the evacuation process for all of its wildlife patients due to the oncoming Woolsey Fire. According to their account on Facebook, all animals were off the premises by 4:30 a.m. and had arrived safely at off-site locations an hour later.

Raptor patients were taken to the Ojai Raptor Center, and other kinds of animals and birds were taken to other qualified homecare and rehab facilities. After learning that the center’s facilities had escaped the fire, CWC reopened its doors on Nov. 19.

“We have a massive cleanup effort ahead of us due to smoke and ash damage,” the executive director wrote. “We estimate $4,000 of food for animals (formula, fruits, vegetables, fish, etc.) as well as medications kept in the refrigerators and freezers may have been lost due to extended power outages. All exterior enclosures will have to be cleaned, as well as air conditioners and duct systems in the ICU, surgical trailer and Orphan Care Units.”

The county’s Agoura Animal Care Center, which is the closest pet shelter to Malibu, was evacuated on Nov. 8 when the fire started in Agora—sending all of its animals to other county animal shelters. It reopened once the fire danger had passed, and its animal control officers helped rescue all kinds of pets affected by the fire. Local television news showed them rescuing two macaws from an outdoor cage on Mulholland and four horses from a nearby ranch, among other animals. 

The Agoura shelter took in a number of pets found after the Woolsey Fire, and have tried to reunite those animals with their owners, including several cats and a llama. A number of dogs, including at least one that is still in the hospital, have never been claimed by their owners and have been put up for adoption.

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