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    Posted May 23, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    California wildfires

    WANews and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Southern California wildfires
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    Pets and Wildlife Devestated by Southern California Fires


    Fires throughout Southern California have left both people and animals devastated and without homes. Both domestic and wild animals have suffered from the blazing flames of these San Diego fires. Police making active efforts to rescue residents as quickly as possible have been unable evacuate many pets. Dogs have been set loose throughout communities some of which Animal Services have been able to collect and send to surrounding shelters. The “Find Rover” app has allowed many owners to reconnect with pets, while others continue to look.


    Meanwhile, over 1,000 horses have been evacuated in San Diego County from the Del Mar Fairgrounds alone, and horse owners throughout the surrounding communities are on high watch. Authorities are advising owners to have trailers prepared for quick evacuation if necessary.


    It is difficult to determine the severity of the damage done to wildlife at this time, but native animals such as mountain lions, deer, opossum, and other birds and smaller rodents have certainly been placed in a vulnerable position from this loss of habitat. While the mountain lion is not classified as endangered, the Mountain Lion Foundation of California states that this is simply because they are difficult to research. It is unknown at this time how many are left in California due to habitat loss and hunting that is done purely as brutal recreation. Since their primary food source comes from deer, it can be certain that the mountain lion will suffer as a result of the fires.


    For those who are in the surrounding area but are not at risk for evacuation, it is important to remember to protect pets from smoke from the fires. Horses, dogs, cats and birds can all become sick from excessive exposure to smoke. Symptoms of lung problems include coughing, nasal dripping, low energy and irritation in the eyes. Safety preparedness will be exceptionally important for animals over the next few summer months as the dry season continues.

    By Kelley Moody

    Photo by Inquistr

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