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Santa Maria shelter helps Ventura County shelters take in pets displaced by SoCal Wildfires

The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society welcomed dogs from Ventura County shelters on Wednesday.

Ventura County shelters need to free up space to take in pets displaced by the wildfires raging in Southern California.

“Last night we accepted about twenty cats that were divided between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society,” explained SMVHS executive director Sean Hawkins. “Today we’re waiting for thirty-six dogs to arrive.”

The cats they took in on Tuesday are adjusting to their new home.

“They are doing remarkably well,” said Danielle Smalley, medical director at SMVHS. “They are definitely pretty stressed. They’ve been through a lot in the last 24 hours –the transport and everything. Some of them are kinda sick.”

Smalley said some felines are experiencing respiratory problems as a result of the wildfires. Some of the symptoms include:

“Breathing rapidly, you might see some snot on their nose, or they start to sneeze, their eyes will be blinky,” she said.

The Ventura County animals in Santa Maria are up for adoption; details about rates and available animals can be found on the SMVHS website.

Information about emergency preparedness for pets is also listed on the shelter’s site.

Hawkins said having a plan is imperative.

“Make sure that your dogs and cats have a collar with two tags –a tag that has your name and number, and a tag that has the name and phone number of a family member or friend who’s not traveling with you.”

Hawkins said having pictures of your four-legged babies on your phone is also important. Pet owners might need to pull up photographs when looking for a displaced pet at local shelters.

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