H-SANTA MARGARITA

Jul 17, 2012 2:54 AM by Andrew Masuda

Volunteers step up to rescue animals affected by Calf Fire

Animal rescue volunteers responded to the Calf Fire as well on Monday to tend to pets left behind in the evacuation zone.

Volunteers with Foxy Doxy Dachsund and Dog Rescue out of Atascadero and the San Luis Obispo County Horse Emergency Evacuation Team reported to the command center with trailers to enter the evacuation zone.

"I experienced the Jesusita Fire down in Santa Barbara and as soon as I heard this fire had gotten out of control and where it was located, I knew there'd be animals," said Stacey Wideman of Foxy Doxy. "I loaded up the trucks, started calling people I knew and said be ready. If it saves one animal it was completely worth standing here waiting."

It turned out to be worth it because H.E.E.T. volunteers rescued an Appaloosa gelding from the evacuation zone. They dropped him off at the animal evacuation center at the Templeton Livestock Yard where more volunteers were standing by to tend to animals.

H.E.E.T. started in 2003 after the Parkhill Fire. "Because there was no evacuation plan in place for the animals then we made sure there is an evacuation plan in place now," said Julie Munster, the coordinator for South County H.E.E.T. operations.

Volunteers urged all horse owners to register their animals with H.E.E.T. so if a fire breaks out in their neighborhood, they can contact the non-profit agency to help.

Volunteers were manning the Templeton Livestock Yard overnight in case more evacuees dropped off animals.

The Atascadero Pet Hospital and Emergency Center offered free boarding of small animals to people, who live in the evacuation zone.

For more information on Foxy Doxy click here or to read up on H.E.E.T. click here.

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