Wildfire Evacuation Complete

Well, somehow we did it… with the diligence of our staff, Board members, and a host of volunteers, in just a little over two days we managed to relocate all 60 of Sanctuary One’s animals into wonderful foster homes. For several years, we have planned for this day: we’ve had fire drills, staff safety training, maintained lists of potential foster homes and transporters, and practiced for the worst. I’m not sure if any of us really ever saw this day coming, but it did, and all the preparation paid off. Sixty animals were moved from the property in an orderly, calm fashion, with no injuries or incidents, despite heavy traffic on our little country road and insufferable heat and smoke.

It’s hard to express in words how thankful we are to the Rogue and Applegate Valley communities for rising to the challenge. We have met some amazing people in the last few days–some are new friends, and some are old friends who have come to our aid yet again. These folks all share a bond: a deep commitment to the values that Sanctuary One represents. The last week has reassured this author’s faith in the human spirit and the amazing determination of people who want to help a neighbor in need.

So many acknowledgements are due. We thank all those who have offered foster lodging. If you called or e-mailed to offer support, we may not have replied; please be assured that our lack of response was not intended as callousness, but just a sheer lack of manpower to answer all calls or e-mails. Your offers did not go unnoticed.

We thank those who did take in Sanctuary animals. We pledge to work with you to make sure each critter’s needs are met. Please reach out to us if there is anything you need, whether it be feed, medical care for an animal, advice, you-name-it. Your commitment is something we do not take lightly, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

We appreciate our sister agencies and businesses who have lent a helping hand. This includes Equamore Foundation in Ashland, OR, which is taking care of our horses; Southern Oregon Humane Society in Medford, OR which is taking care of our dogs; and Jacksonville Veterinary Clinic  in Jacksonville, OR, which is taking care of some of our cats. If I’ve missed anyone, it’s not due to a lack of appreciation; it’s due to exhaustion.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the firefighters who have travelled to southern Oregon to help us through tough times. It’s hard to imagine the difficulty of the job you guys and gals do on the front-line each and every day. Thank you. Just thank you. Words are lacking.

And last, but certainly not least, thanks to all the local agencies participating in wildfire efforts. Applegate Valley Fire District #9, you all rock! Folks at the Star Ranger Station, likewise. And a special mention for the crews of the Oregon Department of Forestry, who have been at the farm to offer suggestions (and some manual labor!) to help minimize our combustion risk.

And what non-profit blog post would be complete without a plea for donations? Seriously? Visit our donation page to give what you can. Your donation will help defray our evacuation costs and provide food and medical care for the animals in foster care.

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