Fueled by prolonged drought conditions in the Southeast, 80,000 acres in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky are burning. There’s no end in sight for these fires and this tragedy is threatening not only human lives but the lives of dogs and cats out in these dangerous conditions.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory told reporters Monday “we have California fires in North Carolina” as he spoke near the Party Rock fire close to Lake Luke, which has already burned more than 2,400 acres and is only 15 percent contained and could burn for months.
There are so many animal rescuers who are out there risking their lives to save both pets and feral cats that it would be impossible to commend them all in only a few paragraphs. Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Rutherford County, NC Humane Society based in Rutherfordton, North Carolina are two who are documenting their rescues on Facebook.
Eric with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue was on the scene earlier this week in Chimney Rock assisting with animal rescue during the ongoing wildfires. He’s asking for anyone in the fire-affected areas who knows of animals in need (particularly community cats, aka feral/strays who may have been left behind) to please call 828-748-2236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The kitties pictured below were the last two of a colony of 10 cats they successfully trapped in an area close to the fire.
The Rutherford County, NC Humane Society credits the Lake Lure Police Department officers with being so accommodating to their rescuers. They’ve been allowed into the fire scene, escorted and assisted by the officers. They along with all the other law enforcement agencies, and especially the over 400 firefighters are animal lovers and appreciate the assistance of the Humane Society.
Thanks to Rutherford County, NC Humane Society rescuer Debbie Anderson, a little lost dog named Winnie was recovered Wednesday in the Young Mountain area and is now back in the arms of her owner. And a beautiful black cat named Salem is now back with Scout, a grateful owner who was worried he’d never see his cat again.
Not only are people and pets in danger from the actual wildfires, there are reports that bears and coyotes are emerging from the burned areas in search of food. Residents who choose to remain in the area are cautioned to keep pets inside, remove all food sources such as bird feeders and to dispose of trash on a daily basis.
Thank you to all who are giving their time and energy to save those in danger, both two-legged and four-legged. Your efforts are truly appreciated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in the path of the fires and to those trying to contain them.
To those not honored in this article, please leave a comment if you know of an individual or group out there on the front lines to ensure the animals get to a safe place.