Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Casper Mountain: Sheepherders Hill Fire

We apologize for the delay in posting on the blog as we have been focusing our efforts in coordinating the skills and volunteers of all of the animal welfare groups in Casper on Facebook. An amazing outpouring of offers of financial donations, supplies of food, kennels, medical aid, trailers, property and fostering, and donations of hay and other pet products from local individuals and businesses.

Several properties and ranches, including a well-known museum called Crimson Dawn, on Casper Mountain were threatened by the fast moving front fire line, as early as 4:00 p.m. Sunday, September 9, 2012. By the evening Paws2Help Foundation understood that the fire was not going to be contained easily and sent out messages asking other animal welfare groups like The Pet Ring Foundation, Tempest Critter Rescue, and The Hector Foundation, for help. Many of their members were already responding to calls for help and the page helped us relay information throughout that first night - dozens of volunteers raced up the mountain in horse trailers working until 11:00 a.m. (a full 12 hours) until those animals most in danger were moved. Rescue efforts continued by phone, text, but especially through the social media site Facebook.

While the Red Cross helps humans, it does not help pets or other animals nor does it allow beloved family pets in evacuation shelters. This was felt deeply during Hurricane Katrina during city-wide evacuations occurred and pet owners had to decide on leaving their pets or staying risking all. This has not occurred in Casper, nor will it thanks to the compassionate residents offering their homes and property up to displaced family pets from hermit crabs, fish, snakes, hamsters, bunnies, and of course, dogs and cats, and livestock, including llamas, alpacas, horses, mini-horses, goats, and cattle.

The first step to responding to the emergency situation was to obtain horse trailers to help transport large critters down the mountain. Over the last 3 days our 3 phone numbers (our main business line, Lisa's house and cell phone) received well over 1000 calls from neighbor after neighbor offering time, money and supplies. We used our cell phones plugged into every outlet to return calls as quickly as possible while scrolling through the Facebook Page that had been set up Sunday night to coordinate efforts receiving thousands of comments offering the same.

On Monday, September 10, 2012, our own Lisa Craft was interviewed begging residents not to leave their pets behind, help was available for Displaced Animals Seek Shelter Following Casper Mountain Fire. Heavy smoke and ash were causing alarm in Rolling Hills and Glenrock, the nearest towns approximately 19 miles away. The fear was extremely dry brush would alight at Hat Six Road and progress all the way to those towns with the whipping winds accelerating the hotspots faster than could be put out.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the Red Cross opened it's evacuation center at the Army National Guard Amory on C Y Avenue, past Paradise Valley suburb, just before Coates Road. An informational meeting for helping humans will occur tomorrow at Noon to coordinate volunteers. Amongst those volunteers will be our own attending to help ensure evacuees know there is a place to go with their animals instead of being turned away because they have their dogs and cats with them.

This is the information known as of 09/11/12 at 6:00 p.m.  Gaining Ground on Sheepherder Hill Fire.

Paws2Help Foundation put together this flyer to be handed out at the shelter:


Please do not leave your pets behind! Your Casper area neighbors have offered to temporarily foster your pets and livestock. We are also prepared to provide help loading/unloading, transport, and volunteers to help feed, water, groom and exercise large animals.

If you are in need of a foster homes or donations of pet food/supplies due to being displaced please contact us so that we can provide your pets with supplies in this emergency situation. All of the area animal welfare organizations are working together to help your animals as other agencies help you.

We will require you to sign a release of liability/hold harmless agreement, provide your veterinary clinic, and where you are staying as well as your emergency contact. If you have collars, tags and papers on your animals please advise us so that we can make copies. We may provide your animals with a health check to ensure their welfare as well as that of the other animals they may come in contact with during this time.  We will maintain a list of your information, your animals information, and with whom they have been placed and will provide you with that information when a match is made.

Please contact us at:
Paws2Help Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
P.O. Box 4312
Casper, WY 82604
(307) 215-3034 or (307) 265-0387

You can also keep up to date on what we are doing on Facebook: Paws2Help Casper Mtn Fire Rescue Relay page for further information.

Financial donations will given to Paws2Help Foundation to be distributed to foster homes and buy supplies, pay for vets, etc. Make checks payable to Paws2Help or to The Pet Ring Foundation (both qualify for tax deduction).

Donations of pet food/supplies are also being accepted at the following locations:

Jim & Lisa Craft (307) 265-0387
Paws2Help Foundation
3711 W. 46th Street, Casper

Preston Pilant (307) 315-0799
The Smoke Shop (The Pet Ring Foundation)
855 C Y Ave. (corner of 15th St. & C Y  Ave)

Sonya Smiley (307) 234-9633
PetCo (place in bin outside store)
4140 East 2nd Street  Casper, WY 82609

You may make monetary donations via PayPal to help benefit 
displaced animals of the Sheepherder's Hill Fire on Casper Mountain.

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