We live in the Black Forest area of Colorado that you have probably seen in the news these past few days. Our home is a mile outside the mandatory evacuation area.  We chose to stay at our house, but our car is packed and ready to leave at a moment's notice since Tuesday. Sadly many of our friends and neighbors lost their homes. 482 homes burned completely.  Homes can be rebuilt, but many people had to leave their animals behind, or turn them loose and this was the real heartbreak.

Here are some of the things I learned, which I did not know before.  If a fire breaks out and they evacuate an area, NOBODY is allowed into that area so, if you are out and try to get back to retrieve your pets, it's not happening.  Suggestion, make sure you have friends among your neighbors and that someone would have a way of getting to your pets if necessary or days could pass before the Humane Society would be allowed to do it for you. Some people had no more than 20 minutes to leave, others had a knock on the  door from a deputy telling them to  get out. I especially wondered about dogs who may have been left crated, since the fire broke out in the early afternoon....

Don't underestimate the time it takes to get ready.  If you have the luxury ( as we did ) to be in a voluntary evacuation or in a pre-evacuation area, immediately gather a few days of supplies/meds needed for you and your pets and put them in your car, so all you have to gather is people and pets and you can go.

As you do this, draw water, because chances are you will loose electricity and water is your most needed commodity.  There are plenty of other things I learned ( like keep windows closed, smoke is hard to get  out once it makes  it's way in, etc) but that goes beyond the scope of this post.  BTW, if you don't have a battery operated radio, go out and buy one now, it was our only source of information and helped keep us safe when TV and computers no longer worked.

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We've been hearing the warnings for that area, hope your family stays safe too.

Update: The Pikes Peak Humane Society took in more than 1000 animals form the evacuated area....

So sad but at least they survived...

WOW, so glad they could do this!

It must be tough to lose your home, but to lose your four-legged family too would be heart-breaking.  I'm glad to hear that the Humane Society took in so many.  It is good to know they've got the space to do that.  Let's keep hoping for the best for all in the area.

One small thing to help identify a pet as yours is to have a picture of the pet and you.  It makes it hard to dispute that a pet is yours if a collar comes off (or is taken off).  If the picture is in your phone or backed up online (or on your mycorgi.com page), it is reasonably accessible.

A current picture of you and your pet is great.  Often one golden retriever looks like another golden retriever, but somehow they look different in a close-up with their special person.  Not sure why, but this is what I have observed. Microchipping also provides proof of ownership, if ownership is disputed.

As for space at the Humane Society, I'm sure a lot of the animals ended up in foster care provided by volunteers.  People who volunteer their time and efforts are real heroes in these circumstances, no matter what they volunteer for. Half of what is done could not be done without them.

Anna...that is an excellent idea!  And of course having them chipped, that chip ID number is registered to you.

How are the fires and your area??????

The Black Forest Fire is 100% contained as of this evening.  It is the largest fire  in recorded Colorado history....Unfortunately there are several other fires burning here in Colorado  (I think 8). We remain thankful and vigilant, and looking for ways to support and help all the people, many friends and neighbors, whose homes were completely destroyed. One of my friends, whose house burned to the ground, is Theresa Strader. She is the founder of National Mill Dog Rescue.  She has been instrumental in placing over 7000 dogs ( most puppy mill rescues) since she started her group not too many years ago.  I have no idea where she and her family are and no way, so far, to get in touch... The Rescue Building in nearby Peyton was not affected.

http://www.milldogrescue.org/

Oh my, it just makes me sick when I see such poor animals like this. I would like to lock up the people in the same conditions as they had these animals! I do have to say that the rescues I have seem to know they are in a safe home now and are safe although they still show signs of neglect and some fears. Hopefully you will hear from Theresa soon and that she is safe and I am glad her building is ok...were there animals in it? Please keep us updated!

The rescues  were in nearby Peyton and not affected by  the fire, but Theresa and her family live in Black Forest and they have many pets, cats and dogs of their own. I hope everybody got out OK.

So do I!

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