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Partner Assists San Bruno Fire Residents with Their Pets Following Evacuation
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By Santral Lusin, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
 
September 14, 2010
Dog in Local Assistance Center Following San Bruno Fire
Pets were among those who were evacuated along with their families following the San Bruno Fire on Sept. 9. (Credit: Travis Lavin, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter)
Most families have a plan for their loved ones in case of an emergency, but not everyone takes their pets welfare into account as well. That wasn’t the case on Sept. 9, when a pipe line exploded igniting a San Bruno neighborhood. People were prepared. They saw the fireball, felt the heat, and ran, taking their loved ones including their pets with them.
 
“It seems like a lot of residents had already made arrangements for their pets,” confirmed Scott Delucchi of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. Thankfully, the number of injured and or trapped animals was considerably lower than the SPCA initially expected. “Even so, we took in two to three dozen pets for temporary care from Friday to Sunday,” said Delucchi.  
 
The SPCA has a strong partnership with the Red Cross, which was activated on the night of the fire to ensure the pets of all evacuated residents had a safe place to stay.
 
The SPCA was inundated with calls from their own volunteers and was contacted by outside shelters and individuals from the general public looking to assist in any way. “We had 50 of our own volunteers call in and offer their houses for pets,” said Delucchi. Other shelters offered to take in a portion of the 1,000 pets the SPCA shelters at any given time. There was also a large outpouring of pet food in addition to the numerous housing offers received by the SPCA.
 
Having a plan for your family members, which for many includes beloved pets, is paramount to being prepared, said Delucchi. The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA focuses on three things when educating the public. They inform people who have pets to make sure to have proper identification for their animal and efficient transportation. For example, a cat would need a carrier and a dog a leash. In addition any temporary and or long-term housing following a disaster should be one that allows pets, as was experienced by many of the residents who evacuated in advance of the San Bruno Fire last week.

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