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Looking for the Helpers: SBC Animal Services providing aid during Northern California wildfires

As our area is faced with ongoing changes due to a growing pandemic, we are bringing stories of people doing good in the community during a time of uncertainty.

Help us look for the helpers!

Local Animal Rescuers Lend a Hand

Staff members from Santa Barbara County Animal Services are feeding and rescuing animals affected by fires burning in Northern California.

Animal Services Disaster Coordinator Jessica Wiebe and Animal Control Officer J. Bixby traveled to Butte County in Oroville where the North Complex Fire is burning.

It has burned approximately 300,000 acres and killed at least 15 people. Animals in the area have also been gravely impacted.

Wiebe and Bixby spent six days in the fire zone working 12 hour shifts.

They cared for animals sheltered in place after their owners had to evacuate and rescued animals that were injured or burned.

The pair has helped cattle, peacocks, parrots, wildlife and companion animals.

Sadly, Wiebe and Bixby had to recover the bodies of animals that died in the fire.

This week they celebrated a small victory when they rescued an injured cat that had been trapped for several days.

"Julia and I came up with a plan to trap the cat in the culvert and we looked around and got some drainage pipe and good old duct tape," Wiebe said.

"He was able to get out and get medical care. He really needed it. He had burnt feet and was singed," Bixby said.

Injured animals are taken to veterinarians in the area while other animals go to animal care services or emergency shelters.

Wiebe and Bixby said the real heroes belong to the North County Animal Disaster Group which badly needs donations to continue their mission to help animals impacted by the fires.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services wants to remind local residents to have an evacuation plan in place for their families and animals in case of a fire.


Know of any other helpers making a difference during these trying times? Send Alys an email and let her know!

California / Events / Lifestyle / Safe at Home / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Ventura County / What's Right
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Alys Martinez

Alys Martinez is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Alys, click here.

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