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San Diego County Helps Dozens Of Animals Displaced By Border Fire

As of Wednesday, more than 200 people had been evacuated from their homes due to the 6,500-acre Border fire near Campo. The area is also home to many pets and livestock, and the San Diego County Department of Animal Services is working with the San Diego Humane Society to ensure animal residents also have a safe place to go.

Whether your pet is a dog, cat, chicken or even an emu, teams are working to rescue animals from a fire burning in east San Diego County.

Department of Animal Services

Emergency line: 619-236-2341

Non-emergency line: 619-767-2675


Dan DeSousa with the Department of Animal Services said its employees, alongside the firefighters who were battling the flames, have rescued several small and large animals.

"Fire department's there to protect the structure, we are there to protect the animals. And we will enter the property if we need to and remove those animals just for their safety and get them to a shelter out of the fire area," he said.

So far, DeSousa said the county has helped relocate or care for 29 miniature donkeys, 22 dogs, 22 chickens, 13 rabbits, eight horses, six goats, five donkeys, an emu and a cat. Six dogs and the cat have been reunited with their owners, but at least one injured canine is still unclaimed. If a pet goes missing during a fire, owners have 14 days to contact the department before the animal will be put up for adoption, the agency said in a Facebook post.

Because the fire started on Father's Day, DeSousa said many residents in the area could be out of town. He said people can call the department to check on their pets. The county will retrieve animals at risk or bring food and water to those that are safe but in an area the owner can't access.

The department encourages residents to locate an evacuation site for pets on their own, such as the Red Cross shelter at Los Coches Creek Middle School or a hotel, which may accommodate pets in times of need, DeSousa added.

If owners cannot find a place to take their animals, they can take livestock to the Boulevard Customs and Border Protection Station or household pets to one of the county's three animal shelters.

Department of Animal Services Facebook

A dog injured during the Border fire near Campo was rescued and treated by the San Diego County Department of Animal Services.


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Tarryn Mento
Health Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksThe health beat is about more than just illness, medicine and hospitals. I examine what impacts the wellness of humans and their communities.

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