May 8th, 2009
Submitted by Janell Matthies, UAN Emergency Services Manager
Yesterday, the fire jumped a major break, which has warranted additional evacuations. We are finding room for the animals as best we can, but pretty much every room in every building in the shelter is filled to overflowing. Somehow, all the cages are very clean and the animals seem unphased by all that’s going on. The staff here at the Santa Barbara Humane Society (SBHS) has been amazing in their dedication to the animals and to their community.
It is hard to see all the people bringing in their animals; their stress is obvious. But after talking with the SBHS shelter staff and EARS volunteers they seem to relax. Helping to get their pet situated in their temporary spot, and witnessing the comfort of the other animals in our care must be a relief. They know that their pet is safe and well cared for — one less worry during this time of crisis. I think it really helps them to be able to spend some time with their pet’s new caretaker.
The compassion everyone here at the shelter has for these people and their pets is amazing. Most of the SBHS staff has been working, literally, non-stop for the past three days. They are working on little or no sleep and are still able to help their community and care for the animals. They are very much looking forward to the additional help UAN will be providing. Hopefully they will be able to sit down for a minute or go home to sleep.
Last night we assisted the staff with intaking another 50 animals. I would estimate the shelter population to be around 400. We’ll see what today brings.