Tulare County offering shelter to animals evacuated due to KNP Complex, Windy fires

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- With fires raging in Tulare County, people and even animals are forced to evacuate.

Tulare County Animal Services is offering shelter for both pets and livestock and ensuring they stay safe and healthy as their owners take care of themselves during the KNP Complex and Windy wildfires.

"I can't even imagine what they are going through and what they are having to deal with right now," says Karen Coelho. "We are here to take care of their animals. We are doing a very good job with all of the staff we have trained and caring for animals and that's one less worry that they have to have on their shoulders."

Coelho oversees the animal shelters.

Their location in Visalia is currently housing more than 75 domestic animals -- dogs, cats, chickens, and even a tortoise.

Meanwhile, the International Agri Center is hosting 30 large animals and livestock -- cows, mini donkeys, alpacas and lots of horses.

"I'm sure the longer they are here, they are more anxious to get out," Coelho said. "Most of these animals are used to being on a pasture area. They are not used to being in pins. We try to provide as much enrichment to them as much as possible."

Combined, the staff has many years of experience. They rake out the pins, do spot cleaning, fill water buckets and give the animals much-needed TLC.

If you have special feeding instructions, they will take heed.

Animal Services has received a lot of calls of people panicking because they waited to evacuate.

They encourage animal owners to make arrangements in advance.

"Definitely when it's voluntary and you're under a warning, definitely get those animals somewhere safe so you don't have to rush and worry at the last minute," Coelho said.

Donations help provide care to these animals.

If you are looking to help, the Tulare County Animals Services is accepting monetary donations through the Friends of Tulare website.
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