Fire! Fire! The skies are filling up with black smoke everywhere. It was time to get thinking what we would do with our animals in case of emergency. The biggest question was could we deal with our animals in an emergency? It does not matter if you have a pot belly or just a wonderful old dog; the question is what would you do? This mind set was a thought after the last huge fire that ran through the Yorba Linda and Brea area just recently.
I set out to ask some questions. Patty Williams, agriculture teacher for Orange High School, was a wonderful resource. She has assisted in the evacuation and rescue of large livestock with Hurricane Katrina and our local Santiago Fire. Her live stock area at the high school is deemed as an official rescue site for large livestock for the Orange County area and she has trained her students in the assistance for this. Most recently she opened up the live stock area at the high school for the Yorba Linda Fires. Her most practical advice is to create a grab and go bag. It should consist of food, water, health essentials, bedding, and vet info if needed. Next is to practice, practice, and practice the loading of the animals. Have a disaster drill! In this most recent fire they were expecting four potbelly pigs but the pigs did not make it to her shelter because they would not load.
What is your emergency plan? Where will you take the animals? Many people do not have a way to transport them. It is the owner’s responsibility to evacuate them because animal control and other rescue groups most likely will not be able to get to everyone. For example, last year several horses had to be left in the back of Dove Canyon because the owners did not listen to the evacuation warning.
I am new to being a potbelly caregiver. I have to ask questions of everyone. It’s like having a baby and not knowing what to do. I do know this…..I’m planning on taking the dog and the pig for a ride in my truck on a regular basis.