Animal shelters up and running for Head Fire evacuations

YREKA, Calif. – Volunteers have set up an animal shelter for livestock and cats at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds.

It provides a safe, cool place for evacuees to drop off their animals so they can focus on taking care of themselves.

That’s the reason volunteer Jennifer Wyatt has sacrificed her time for the past eight years to help those in need in the community.

“Being able to take somebody’s animal and say, ‘your animal is safe, please go take care of yourself,’ whether that is sit in your car and cry or pick up the pieces, go to the store, you don’t have to worry about 100-degree weather with your dog or your cat in your car,” Wyatt said.

It’s been quiet so far at the shelter, but Wyatt said that can change in a hurry with evacuation notices constantly evolving.

“Anything can change with a change of wind, and we can be inundated very easily,” Wyatt said.

The cat shelter, located in the Siskiyou County Armory Building, is a cool space with tons of room for more animals and, most importantly, ensures for evacuees that their animals won’t run away.

But according to Wyatt, a lot of people don’t even know that this resource is available.

“This is not something that you pay for, it is a free service, you can bring your animals that way you don’t have to worry about your animal,” Wyatt explained. “Come as much as you want, but it needs to get out because every year we see people that didn’t know we exist.”

With how unpredictable fire season can be in Siskiyou County, Wyatt said it’s crucial to have a plan in place for caring for your dog or cat in case of an emergency.

“Crate train your dogs, crate train your cats, have those things available, don’t necessarily worry about food, but have extra medications, please be prepared to be able to go on and get out of your house as quickly as possible with your animals,” Wyatt said.

On top of the livestock and cat shelters at the fairgrounds, Rescue Ranch in Yreka is taking in dogs who need to be evacuated.

The dog shelter at Rescue Ranch can be found at 2216 E Oberlin Road, Yreka, CA.

The address for the cat and livestock shelters at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds is 1712 Fairlane Road, Yreka, CA.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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