Wildfire Leads to Arizona Animal Shelter Emergency Grant

As the wildfire near Flagstaff, Ariz., continued to grow and the Second Chance Center for Animals was forced to evacuate with 180 animals and set up a temporary outdoor shelter beyond the fires' range at Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff, the American Humane Association gave Second Chance Center for Animals a $5,000 emergency grant on June 21 for necessary supplies at the temporary shelter. The temporary shelter is also taking in pets of people who are evacuating their homes and have not been able to make other arrangements for their pets.

The Coconino Humane Society in Flagstaff was first evacuated due to the fire last Friday, and Second Chance Center for Animals took its animals. Now that both shelters have been evacuated, the temporary shelter is caring for all of the shelter animals in the area. The shelter continues to need supplies and volunteers during this emergency sheltering effort, which is expected to last for days or weeks.

"Emergency situations like this require a lot of resources in a short amount of time, and we hope that our grant will help the shelter acquire the items they desperately need to care for the animals," said Debrah Schnackenberg, vice president of American Humane's Animal Protection Programs. "These types of events often bring communities together, and it is our hope that people will unite to help these animals."

The horse community is also lending a hand to animals in need. Countless horse trailers lined the side of U.S. Route 89 at the roadblock at the beginning of the evacuation, according to Michelle Ryan, office manager of the Coconino Humane Association.

"People showed up with their horse trailers ready to help," she said. "It's wonderful that we live in such a wonderful, helpful community. . . . For (the wildfires), everybody has worked together and done amazing teamwork."

No horses have been brought to either shelter and there have been no negative reports regarding horses or livestock, according to Ryan.

"They've been moved out; they've been evacuated," said Ryan. "If they haven't been evacuated, the deputies are actually taking the homeowners in to feed and water (their animals)."

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