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Washington state animal response team deploying to help victims of fires

The wildfires in Washington State continue to blaze a path of destruction, but local support services and animal rescuers are joining the effort to help the victims of these fires. On Friday, July 18, the Wenatchee World provided tips to help the victims of the Washington fires. The Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART) announced today they have deployed to assist with the fire response in Central Washington.

Fires ravage central Washington; people, animals seek help
Fires ravage central Washington; people, animals seek help Chelan County Emergency Management

The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society will be accepting donations, including dog food, cat food, towels, and blankets to help those affected by fires. Money and gift card donations will also be accepted to help pet owners purchase supplies such as food bowls.

WASART's Facebook page stated today: "We are at the Chelan High School (215 W. Webster Ave., Chelan, WA 98816). We'll be taking in companion animals (mostly cats and dogs) starting at noon. Large animals are being housed at a rodeo grounds nearby by non-WASART individuals.

"WASART is in town to set up a shelter for those displaced by the fire...they should be up and running around noon today. What is really great is that they are able to set up by Chelan High School - so if you need to be at the shelter, your small animals will be nearby. So, if you are not evacuating because you don't want to leave your pet, if you come to Chelan, they will be able to accommodate your small pet, and there is a place for you at the shelter. Please do not stay in an area that is unsafe."

According to Chelan County Emergency Management, large animals, including sheep, cattle, and horses, can be taken to the rodeo grounds in Chelan. They advise bringing food if possible, but if people are unable to bring supplies for their animals, food is available at the rodeo grounds. For those who need to bring animals in, they can contact Rod Cool at 509 470 0360. If the Rodeo Grounds runs out of room, the Cashmere Fairgrounds can also take in large animals.

The ASPCA has a checklist for disaster preparedness for pets including rescue alert stickers for your animals, arranging a safe haven, having emergency supplies, and having an evacuation preparation plan. According to the ASPCA, those who live with animals should prepare for the worst. They state: "If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials."