At the urgent request of the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico (AWC), the ASPCA®(The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), in collaboration with Helping Paws Across Borders (HPAB), mobilized to provide critical support for animals impacted by the recent wildfires spreading dangerously across New Mexico. The ASPCA is assisting AWC with ongoing sheltering needs at a temporary shelter in Santa Fe, including daily care and supply donations for homeless animals, as well as supporting Bernalillo County Animal Services by providing pet food and additional sheltering supplies.
In addition, the ASPCA is facilitating the transport of more than 20 homeless cats from Española Humane to animal welfare organizations in Colorado including Longmont Humane Society, Foothills Animal Shelter and Larimer Humane Society. The unowned cats were all in New Mexico animal shelters prior to the wildfires and will be made available for adoption. The ASPCA continues to communicate with emergency management agencies and animal welfare organizations across New Mexico and stands ready to assist with additional field operations and transports upon request.
“The Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico, Helping Paws Across Borders and many other local agencies have been working tirelessly to provide sheltering and care for animals displaced by these devastating wildfires, and the ASPCA disaster response team is proud to collaborate with these agencies to ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing for animals in impacted communities,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President, ASPCA National Field Response. “As historic winds cause these wildfires to continue spreading, we urge pet owners to create disaster preparedness plans and include pets in all potential evacuations.”
This lifesaving work is made possible thanks to support from The Emergency Fund by Rachael Ray Nutrish and the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust. In addition, FedEx assisted by providing complimentary transportation of pet food donated by Hill’s Pet Nutrition to the emergency shelter operation in Santa Fe.
Last year, the ASPCA announced the results of a nationally representative survey indicating that 21 percent of US pet owners said they faced wildfires in their communities. Pet owners in the Western region of the country, including New Mexico, were most impacted with nearly 60 percent reporting they lived in an area that experienced wildfires.
May is National Wildfire Preparedness Month and the ASPCA recognizes a vital need to support residents in areas impacted by wildfires and other disasters and encourages all pet owners to always include their pets in disaster preparedness plans, especially those involving a potential evacuation.
To learn how to incorporate pets into preparedness plans, visit aspca.org/disasterprep.