San Diego County, CA — A chihuahua and her pup, a pet rabbit, a dog with four burnt paws.
These were just a few examples of 145 animals rescued from the Border Fire this week in rural southeastern San Diego County.
While local law enforcement personnel and firefighters focused on evacuating human residents, the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services was busy removing pets and livestock from harm's way.
"The County of San Diego Animal Control, at the request of Cal OES and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, responded immediately to the fast moving fire," according to a Cal Fire statement. "Animal Control launched a herculean effort to assist homeowners in moving their animals to safety."
A dog's paws are bandaged after he was rescued from the Border Fire.
"From sheep to chickens, dogs to horses — even 25 mini donkeys — the department’s officers have been working non-stop to make sure animals are safe and sound during this emergency," said Melissa Phy, with the county communications office.
A Chihuahua and her puppy are shown after they were rescued from the Border Fire.
In the case of the mini donkeys, the owner had a property owner willing to house the animals but no way to get them there. That's when the county came to the rescue and provided transportation.
San Diego County Animal Services personnel rescue mini donkey from the Border Fire.
Other agencies who helped in the Border Fire animal rescue effort included Border Patrol Horse Detail and the San Diego Humane Society. The agencies together evacuated 145 animals, including domestic animals along with small and large livestock, according to Cal Fire.
Additionally, animal services employees along with personnel from other agencies made sure at least 600 pets left behind in safe areas of the evacuation zone had food, water and care.
First responders as well as San Diego County Fire Authority Damage Assessment Teams and Local San Diego Rural Community Emergency Team are conducting regular site visits, according to Cal Fire. They are providing and making sure, that the animals are left with food and water and assisting the residences with necessary supplies that they may need, officials said.
"They continue to check individual residences for pets and livestock," according to Cal Fire. "Animal Control is also assisting the families and their animals which have been displaced at the Red Cross shelter."
Anyone still looking for animals they were forced to separate from during the fire can also check the county's website at Sddac.com.
"The fire storm that occurred during the Border 3 Fire has left devastation behind in its path," Cal Fire officials said. "The impact on the community of Potrero and the surrounding areas is great. It has not only displaced the residences but the animals as well."
(Photos courtesy of County of San Diego)