WHOA! responding to animals in need


By Maggie Mah

Special to The Almanac

The toll of losses from the Camp Fire in Butte County continues to climb. Along with the devastation to the human population, thousands of animals have been impacted. To date, hundreds of them have been rescued and are being cared for by the North Valley Animal Disaster Group.

WHOA!, the Woodside area equestrian organization, responded to the situation with a call for donations to assist NVADG in feeding and caring for the animals. Donors were asked to purchase items on a specific list and to bring contributions to the parking area adjacent to Woodside's Town Hall on Nov. 17.

According to Fawni Hill, a member of the WHOA Steering Committee who organized the event, the response was generous. "One woman drove to Half Moon Bay to pick up small-animal feed that the local stores didn't carry," Hill said.

With help from the Redwood City-Canada 4-H Club, The Woodside Pony Club and others, WHOA volunteers collected more than 150 bags of feed and enough equipment and other supplies to fill three trucks and trailers.

Donations were delivered to the Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley currently home to 600 evacuated animals including horses, miniature horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, calves, llamas, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits and chickens and to the North Valley Animal Disaster Group location in Chico.

The animals are being cared for by a team from NVADG, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. The group's Livestock Rescue Unit worked in conjunction with volunteers from another group, Cowboy 911, to collect stranded animals and transport them to shelters.

"There will be an ongoing need for these animals, Hill said. "We plan on another delivery as needed."

Those wishing to foster or provide shelter to animals can send information on animal type and facilities via text to the NVADG coordinator at 530-788-8400.

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