The Northwest wildfires have not only displaced people – they’ve displaced animals too.
A non-profit group from Colorado is helping people in disaster area reunite with their pets. They post photos of missing animals to a Facebook group. It reads a lot like a lost-and-found bulletin board.
“This dog was found on Highway 97 on the bridge in Oroville, WA.”
“Lost: Female short haired all black cat. She is skinny because she has hyperthyroidism and needs special food.”
“This dog was found roaming around the Okanagan fairgrounds. It looks like he had a collar at one time, but now is gone.”
The page is part of the National Disaster Animal Rescue and Recovery teams. NDARRT founder Cindy McKeon said she started the social media effort in 2013 during the Black Forest Fire in her state.
Since then, there have been nearly 100 similar pages created across the country. They’re often administered and maintained by volunteers.
In McKeon’s experience, cats are often reported missing more often than dogs.
“Because cats are independent animals,” she said. “They’ll hide for sometimes weeks.”
By her estimates, Washington’s wildfires have displaced about 50 cats and dogs. McKeon said that if you find an animal that might be lost, post a picture, with details – but not all the details.
“Always leave one detail out, so you know you’re connecting with proper owner,” she said.
And if you’re an owner trying to be reunited with your pet, but lost your home, McKeon said to contact the finder or shelter and explain your situation. Most of the time, they’ll try to find a foster home for the pet.
A scan of the Facebook photos on Thursday showed that several pets have been reunited with their owners.
As one person commented, finally, some good news.