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Volunteers Ready For Large Animal Evacuations in Santa Barbara County

The Equine Evac Team, Inc. in Santa Barbara is ready to respond like a fire or police department if large animals need help in a crisis. They have a coordinated plan to get trailers in and get animals to safety in a fire or flood.

The group is making sure all large animal owners are aware of their services, and have an emergency plan in place now.

At a test run this morning, the McMullen Stables off Foothill road worked with the volunteers to evacuate a horse as if a crisis was looming. It is a safe location most of the time, but it is in a fire zone, and the hills nearby can angle run off rainfall into the soil making any animal or vehicle movement difficult.

“When the mud comes, it is almost scarier than the fire because you get stuck, you can’t move,” said Kathy OConner.

Preparations well in advance is the key to a safe evacuation.

Horse owner Rebecca Clark says her horse Scout is in good hands at the stable and with the Equine volunteers. “Time is definitely of the essence and you have got to be careful when you have mud and horses and slick footing. It is really, really dangerous,” she said.

Some volunteers remember the last El Nino weather pattern, the massive runoff of water, mud and debris and the challenges for large animal owners.

They want to avoid that this time around.

The Earl Warren Showgrounds is a partner in the group and is ready to take in the animals as they are evacuated from area stables and ranches.

For more information or to make a donation go to:

Santa Barbara Equine Assistance

Equine Evac Team Inc.

805 892- 4484

(more details will be posted here along with video later today}

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