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Pets And People Come Together In A Time Of Need

OAKHURST– The Central California Animal Disaster Team (CCADT) has opened emergency animal shelters for small companion animals co-located with Red Cross shelters. Some larger animals are being sheltered at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds while others are at the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds.

“The first fire we did here was in 2013, called the Carstens Fire and we had about 70 to 80 pets,” says Naomi Flam CEO of CCADT. “Here in Mariposa County, the animal control is under the sheriff’s office so what they do is take care of all animal evacuations.”

The CCADT works in coordination with the American Red Cross and Animal Control to get evacuees and pets out of danger and shelter them safely. According to Flam, CCADT has responded to 23 wildfires since 2013.

There are currently three sanctioned Red Cross shelters located in Oakhurst:

  • Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, 39696 CA-41
  • Oakhurst Evangelical Free Church at the end of School Road, 50443 Road 427
  • Mountain Christian Center, 40299 CA-49

Volunteers from EV Free Church say, on the night of July 18, the Red Cross shelter had 70 cots occupied with evacuees, not including individuals who slept in cars or RVs in the parking lot outside.

Yosemite High School opened up its gym for showers and the Madera County Human Services staff transported evacuees so they could freshen up.

“We’ve been doing the best we can under the circumstances and everyone has been doing such a great job with community help and support,” says one volunteer.

EV Free Church hosted on site clinicians while crisis workers and case managers were constantly being rotated through shifts to help accommodate everyone’s needs.

In the event of such a crisis it was a wonderful experience to see community members, Madera County health workers, Red Cross volunteers, and community volunteers step up to help keep things running smoothly.

Donations made to the Red Cross shelter at EV Free Church were said to have “met the needs.” Individuals who would like to help are encouraged to donate personal hygiene kits, water, everyday items like toilet paper, pet food, and sealed food items.

Click here for more information about donations.

Oakhurst businesses including Raley’s, Vons and  Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, along with the Oakhurst Boys and Girls Club, shelter volunteers and Pioneer Market in Mariposa were helpful donors.

Red Cross volunteers remind anyone who would like to make a cash donation go to www.redcross.org. If they would like to donate specifically to the Detwiler Fire make sure to specify in the donation box.

If residents from Mariposa County need assistance with animal evacuation or large animal sheltering, please contact the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office at (209) 966-3614.

 

About Claudia Chavez

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