Families and their pets receive help after being displaced by Nakia Creek Fire

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 5:18 AM PDT
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CAMAS, Wash. (KPTV) - At least 29 people forced from their homes due to the Nakia Creek Fire were staying at a Red Cross evacuation site, but they weren’t allowed to bring their pets inside the shelter overnight so some local organizations stepped up to help.

The American Red Cross, Humane Society of Western Washington, and members of the community in Clark County helped the four-legged evacuees Monday night at the Camas Church of The Nazarene.

When dozens of evacuees arrived on Sunday after getting the Level 3 “Go Now” notice to evacuate many had no time to plan for their pets.

SEE ALSO: Evacuation zones for Nakia Creek Fire shrink, wildfire now estimated at 1,565 acres

Unfortunately, the church couldn’t accommodate the animals.

“We saw people sleeping in their cars, because they couldn’t bring them in, and there was no place for them, and they needed kennels.” Kimberly Romero, the owner of Mudpuppies Grooming, said.

Romero was one of the community members who stopped by to help the Red Cross and the Humane Society of SW Washington.

“I was like ‘I got kennels!’ From the salon, I could bring. So, we got together a few things. We brought kennels, blankets, toys, treats, food, leashes, and poop bags.” said Romero.

The workers transformed the basement of the Camas Church of the Nazarene into a fully-functioning pet evacuation site able to accommodate up to 40 dogs, cats, chickens and, according to the Humane Society, even a goose.

After many evacuated people chose to spend the night in their car, with their pets, they could come inside and share a space with their animals.

“What we’re planning to do, is folks can come in, they can choose a crate that fits their pet, and if they choose to, they can bring the crate closer to their cot so they can sleep together and be able to benefit from their companionship.” said Laura Jean Skiles, the Community Solutions Manager for the Humane Society of Southwest Washington.

SEE ALSO: Fire marshal asks for help identifying vehicle of interest in Nakia Creek Fire

“Especially in disaster situations, knowing that your pet, who is a vital part of your family, is safe, is so important. It allows you to take that stress and just focus on your safety, on being ok, on your family, and not having to worry, ‘is my pet going to be ok in this kind of situation,’” said Skiles.

The Camas Church of The Nazarene is open to the public and their pets. Located at: 2204 NE Birch St, Camas, WA 98607

The Humane Society of Southwest Washington is taking pets into their “Safe Haven” program if you evacuated and have nowhere for your pet to go, they will house them for free.