Saturday, August 15, 2015


Last week I discussed Assistance Dogs, a.k.a. Service Dogs.  They are dogs that are specifically trained to assist a person with a disability, as defined by The Americans with Disabilities Act.  This week's article is about another very special type of dog, known as a Therapy Dog.

Simply stated, a Therapy Dog is a dog which provides comfort to people.  They also receive training, but it has a completely different type of focus.  Their key responsibility is to provide psychological therapy to an individual.  Children typically enjoy hugging animals.  Adults usually prefer to do the calming repetitive motions of petting or stroking. For the people these animals go to visit, the desired outcome is that they feel emotionally supported.

Therapy dogs come in all sizes and shapes, but they all have shared qualities.  They exhibit behavior that is predictable, friendly, and confident, even in new settings.  Since they might have to be lifted onto a person’s lap or bed and lay or sit there contentedly for a set amount of time, they are comfortable with human interaction and are calm in demeanor.  Their body posture is relaxed and they remain tranquil in a variety of situations.  In addition, they enjoy being petted, hugged, and touched, even if during those times the hands doing it are awkward and clumsy.  They display remarkably good manners and do not display extreme nervousness or shyness.

Unlike service dogs, when they are working therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a wide variety of people and be accepting of differences in various people's behavior and reactions.  These animals provide comfort to people in hospitals, hospice environments, convalescent homes, psychotherapy offices, assisted living facilities, disaster areas, etc., and to people with learning difficulties.  They provide companionship and help relieve the feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

While most people are familiar with therapy dogs who visit hospitals to provide emotional therapy, these are not the only environments where they can be beneficial.  In hospice environments, they play a crucial role in reducing anxiety about dying.  They also visit schools, day care centers and rehab centers to assist in the building of self-confidence.  At counseling centers, they provide a comforting presence to victims of domestic violence.  Some universities in the United States bring Therapy Dogs, fondly known as “Therapy Fluffies”, on campus to help students de-stress.  In fact, these “Therapy Fluffies” have visited the UC Davis campus the week before both midterm and finals, since 2010.

If you would like to make a difference in someone’s life by sharing your dog with them, there are opportunities here in Northern California.  There are two local area organizations I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with that can train and certify both you and your dog.  The first organization is Prescription Pets a.k.a. Rx:Pets ( ) located in Redding.  In addition to providing animal assisted therapy, they have expanded their efforts to include the successful R.E.A.D. ® Program (Reading Education Assistance Dogs).  The R.E.A.D. program improves children's reading and communication skills by having them read to a Therapy Dog.  As a side note, not too long ago, a P.E.T.S. volunteer adopted a stray dog from the Tehama County Animal Care Center.  He passed the Canine Good Citizen test and both he and his guardian became certified.  They are now part of the Rx:Pets team.  The other organization is Independent Therapy Dogs, Inc. ( ) whose two local trainer/ evaluators are located in Anderson and can often be found working with the canines at Haven Humane Society. 

Whatever organization you choose, the dogs will be required to meet their standards in order to be certified and insured by them.  Their guardians usually handle the dogs, but in some cases of Animal Assisted Therapy, a qualified professional might manage them.  It is also important to note that, despite training and certification, Therapy Dogs do not have the same legal rights as Service Dogs as outlined under Titles II and III of the 1990 Code of Federal Regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Improving the lives of people, whether it is helping a child who is learning to read or providing comfort to a patient in a hospital, is what Therapy Dogs are all about.


Monday, August 10, 2015


“Dog is man’s best friend” is not an expression that is unfamiliar to us.  Very often that quote bears witness to the diligent work and acts of heroism performed by dogs both here and abroad.  Last week was ‘International Assistance Dog’ week, an event created to recognize, and raise awareness about, assistance dogs.  During the course of this and next week’s articles, I would like to shed some light on the ways many dogs “assist” us.  In addition, offer a bit of clarification between service and therapy dogs.

Service dogs are assistance dogs, therapy dogs are not, even though they help people.  The difference between the two as explained by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) National Network ( is as follows.

Specifically trained, a service dog performs set tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.  The disability may be classified as being physical, sensory, psychiatric, or intellectual.  The work performed by a service dog must directly relate to the individual’s disability.  Those tasks performed can include, among others, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, reminding a person to take medication, etc.  Service dogs are protected under Titles II and III of the 1990 Code of Federal Regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This legislation allows service animals to accompany their person into any public facility that allows the person.  Even if the facility has a “no pets” policy, it may not deny entry to a person and their service animal. Service dogs are not considered pets.

A therapy dog, emotional support, or comfort animal is not a service animal under Titles II and III of the ADA.  They are not limited to working with people with disabilities and therefore are not covered by the federal laws protecting the use of service animals.  These animals provide comfort to people in hospitals, nursing homes, disaster areas, etc., and to people with learning difficulties.  They provide companionship and help relieve the feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, etc., but do not have the specialized training to perform the required tasks that assist people with disabilities.

There are many examples of assistance, a.k.a. service, dogs that fit the ADA definition.  Guide Dogs or Seeing Eye® Dogs assist blind or severely visually impaired people.  In the United States Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds are typically the breeds used as guide dogs. They are chosen because of temperament, versatility, size, intelligence, and availability. Guide dogs must be large enough to guide a person while in harness, and yet small enough to fit easily on both public transportation and in other public venues.  Two excellent resources for additional information are Guide Dogs of America ( and The Guide Dog Foundation ( ).

Another example is Hearing or Signal Dogs.  These dogs alert a person who is deaf, or who has significant hearing loss, when certain household sounds occur like alarms, doorbells, or telephone rings.  They are trained to make physical contact and lead their person to the source of the sound.  Additionally, a person taking their Hearing Dog into public will be more aware of the environment by noticing whatever the dog reacts to.  Hearing Dogs are generally mixed breeds acquired from animal shelters and are small to medium in size.  The Dogs for the Deaf, Inc. ( ) website provides additional information and resources regarding these dogs.

Other Service Dogs assist people with disabilities other than vision or hearing.  They can be trained to work with people who use wheelchairs, have balance issues, autism, need to be alerted to medical issues like seizures and low blood sugar, or who may have psychiatric disabilities like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or schizophrenia.  These dogs help by retrieving objects, opening doors, turning light switches on or off, barking for or locating help, providing balance, and many other individualized tasks. They may be of any breed, however the person’s need typically determines the size of the dog required.  A good service dog is not protective, is people orientated, not overly active, and is confident but not overly dominant or submissive.  Additional information can be found at both Service Dog Central ( ) and the Psychiatric Service Dog Partners website ( ).

Next week, Therapy dogs help too!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

❤❤ Let’s Get Meatball’s Heart Fixed ❤❤

Meatball is an American Bully who has had some rough years, but he keeps smiling!  He is a lovable Goofball who really does need a helping hand.  He has Heartworm, allergies and entropian of his lower eyelids.  This big hunk of a guy just can’t seem to get a decent break!  BUT, with your help we can give Meatball the break this love bug deserves.
Meatball wanted to tell you something… “Just look at me, I’m really a pretty handsome guy, and I have a real loving heart too!  I know that cause they say I’m positive for heartworm.  So, I figure that means that I’ll worm my way into your heart with my cuddling, snuggling and nuzzling.  And do I ever love to give big old sloppy kisses!  I know I need medicines and surgery to make me all better and that it’s expensive.  That’s why the nice people at P.E.T.S. are doing this FundRazr.  They believe if they can get enough money, I can get treated and if I’m all better a really nice family will want to adopt me!  I promise I will be worth every penny!  I’ll really will LOVE you with all my heart,for ever and ever and ever.”
 P.E.T.S. (Providing Essentials for Tehama Shelter)) is a 501(c)(3) all-volunteer non-profit organization in Red Bluff, CA  dedicated to helping abused, homeless, and neglected animals.  We are asking you to please open up your heart so we can help Meatball with his!  We cannot do this alone… If you can’t donate, then please. please share his story to every site you know! 
You can donate directly to the fundraiser via PayPal, or you can mail your donation to
P.O. Box 1174
Red Bluff, CA 96080
Any amount will bring Meatball one step closer to a forever home.  Please let us know that the donation is for Meatball and all donations are tax deductible. 
 THANK YOU !!!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines homeless as ‘having no home or permanent place of residence’.  When we talk about a homeless problem, immediately we think about adult humans.  In his book, No One Sees Me, David Sleppy asked a homeless man, “What’s the worst part about being homeless?”  The reply was, “No one sees me”.  A harsh statement, but one we know internally as true.  Seeing but not actually seeing.  There are also many other “not-seen” victims of homelessness, each one very significant.  One of these victim groups is companion pets.

No matter how often we expound on the love we have of dogs and cats, pet homelessness is a huge problem.  If you do not think so, then think again.  The statistics are frightening and exceedingly sad.  According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1.  Ninety percent (90%) of all dogs born in the U.S. every year have no permanent home.  This article is not about the statistics, though.  It is about having you see our homeless pet population. 

At present, the Tehama County Animal Care Center is having a difficult time.  As I write this, 13 animals have been there over 60 days, with an additional 24 animals over 30 days.  One of the difficulties faced is that the longer any animal stays, the less room there is for incoming animals, and the amount coming in every day does not diminish.  It is my hope that the stories of some of these long-term residents will allow you to “see” beyond the numbers and begin to understand how tragic pet homelessness is.

John was a stray without a collar, helped to safety by animal control on March 16 and, as of this writing, has been at the Center for 133 days.  We cannot figure out why.  A quiet, well-mannered, easygoing dog who is only a few years old, housetrained, and whose adoption fee (because of sponsorship) would be low, is passed over time after time.  John, however, is black and designated a Rottweiler mix, so because of erroneous public perception, the odds are stacked against him.

Trinity arrived at the Center on March 9 and was adopted June 25.  Unfortunately, she was returned the very next day.  She was returned not because she was a “problem” dog, but because the landlord would not allow her.  As is often the issue, labels and appearances have worked against another outgoing, people oriented, friendly, youngster finding a home.  Trinity has the slight features of a ‘bully-breed’.

Kaden, only a few weeks old, was found on his own by a kind stranger and brought into the Center.  Kaden’s story is similar to the dozens of kittens that have arrived over these past few months.  They come in alone or as part of found litters, all too young to survive on their own and much too young to be adopted.  Many come in sick.  If they manage to thrive, they are put up for adoption only to face another hurdle.  With so many other domestic short hairs, tabbies, etc. available in the county, there is very little to distinguish shelter kittens from the others.  Trying to find a permanent home, even as a cute kitten, can be difficult.

Mop’s only crime is that he is no longer a puppy.  Left outside the Center’s door in a crate, it became apparent Mop’s guardian no longer wished to care for him.  This homeless animal, we believe for a number of years, had been an integral part of a family.  He is used to being around and hanging out with people.  Nevertheless, age and a slight infirmity contributed, in this instance, to him not having a permanent residence.  We all hope that another family will look beyond Mop’s years and see what a loving animal he is.

These are just a few of the stories of the over 2000 animals that arrived at the shelter this past year.  Each of those animals did not want to be homeless or part of a national statistic and yet each one was.  The comfort of a warm bed, steady food to eat, and a loving permanent home to call our own is what most of us desire.  Homeless animals are no exception.

**I am Happy to report both John and Mop have been adopted/rescued... However, there are still many other homeless animals with very similar stories who would like not to be homeless...**

Monday, July 20, 2015


The new movie, ”Max”, has hit the theaters.  Its lead actor just happens to be a Belgian Malinois.  Although it is too early to tell, the anticipated increase in these dogs being surrendered to shelters over the next few years already has the rescue community shuddering. 

Petfinder describes the Belgian Malinois as a smart, high-energy breed with a need for regular mental and physical stimulation.  The AKC agrees and states, “Problems arise, though, when this smart dog is underemployed and neglected.”  When people obtain a dog without carefully researching the breed, its temperament and needs, and do not consider the family’s overall ability to care for the animal, it is a recipe for disaster.  Thus, the crux of everyone’s concern is that, after seeing the movie, without careful consideration, many will flock to obtain a Malinois.  In addition, if past trends continue, we can expect an increase in the backyard breeding of these dogs and the resultant issues that occur because of it. 

Researchers from the University of Bristol, the City University of New York, and Western Carolina University conducted the study, “Dog Movie Stars and Dog Breed Popularity: A Case Study in Media Influence on Choice.”  They confirmed, after researching a number of movies released between 1927 and 2004 featuring dogs and evaluating American Kennel Club (AKC) registration trends during releases, that movies have an impact on breed popularity.  This impact, in some cases, continued for many years afterward.

The more popular a film, the stronger the effect as evidenced by the following examples.  “Lassie Come Home” was associated with a 40 percent increase in Collie registrations during the two years following its release in 1943.  The 1959 Walt Disney film “The Shaggy Dog” resulted in a 3,600 percent increase in sheepdog registrations over ten years. 

After the 1996 release of Disney’s remake of ''101 Dalmatians”, animal shelters reported a 35 percent increase in the number of Dalmatians surrendered.  The reasons given were that the dogs were high-strung, stubborn, and sometimes aggressive.  In addition, the relinquishing owners said they required lots of exercise and, in some cases, special care because of health problems like deafness.

Chihuahuas at many California shelters comprise almost 30-45 percent of their population.  Even though they are cute and small, they do have a nervous personality which can make them unpredictable.  For those who wanted to have a dog like the one in “Legally Blonde” or “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”, or to mimic a celebrity like Paris Hilton, the reality of it not being what was envisioned undoubtedly contributes to its high relinquishment.

Purebred dogs from an accredited responsible breeders can cost upwards to thousands of dollars.  Responsible breeders have the dogs’ best interests in mind. They test for genetic and common diseases for their particular breed, minimize inbreeding, and typically only have a few litters of puppies per year to insure that the pups have a good environment and appropriate health care.  In order to meet the demand for the popular “dog of the moment” backyard breeders and puppy mills come into play.  Not caring about the animal’s temperament, or present and future health, they sell puppies for substantially less.  Unfortunately, these animals then become the true victims of fad and fashion, ending up in shelters across the country.

Another perfect example of the above is Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd who appeared in 27 films.  Being an immediate box office success caused such a demand, that many took advantage of the breed’s popularity and essentially created a breed that today is susceptible to a number of serious health issues including hip dysplasia, heart problems, bloat and cancer.  In 2012 Shepherds were declared the second most popular breed.  Unfortunately, they are also the third most abandoned due to the guardian being unprepared to care for the breed.

Getting a dog because you saw it in a movie and thought “I want one just like that” does not do you or the animal any good.  In order for man’s best friend to actually be his best friend, seriously think about choosing your pet.  Research the breed and ask yourself if the dog’s temperament, size, energy level, etc. would be a good fit with you and your family and your lifestyle.  Realize also, that the dogs in movies have had years of specific training and the cute puppy you get, will not be what you saw on the screen. 

Enjoy “Max”, but let’s keep the Belgian Malinois from becoming another victim of movie popularity.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Animal Preparedness During A Disaster - SMALL ANIMALS

Prepare a Disaster Plan:

  • If you must evacuate, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND 
Unfortunately, emergency public shelters will only permit service animals and will not accept family pets inside their facilities for health and safety reasons.  Therefore, it is important that you make other arrangements for your pet’s protection and safety. 

      • Call motels away from known hazard areas.  Make sure they allow pets, and ask if there are any restrictions on size and number allowed.  Many will waive, in cases of severe emergencies, “no pet” policies. 
      • Ask dependable friends or relatives who live away from a the area, if your pets could stay with them during an emergency.  Also, ask if they would possibly care for them for an extended period if you should lose your residence. 
      • Contact veterinary clinics and ask if they during an emergency can board your pet. 
      • Locate boarding kennels, again preferably away from hazard areas, to determine what is available.  Inquire as to who stays on the premises with the animals and what provisions are made if they need to evacuate. 
      • Contact local animal shelters and rescues and ask if in the event of disaster, they provide any emergency shelter. 
      • Be sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date.  If you plan to board your pet, most facilities will require proof of current rabies, distemper, parvo and Bordatella vaccinations.
      • When a warning of an impending evacuation occurs, call and confirm any arrangements made.
    • If you live in an apartment, make sure your animals are on record with management and they are able to be evacuated using the stairs. Teach dogs how to go up and down stairs to better assist rescue personnel.
    • Keep written directions to your home near your telephone. This will help you and others explain to emergency responders exactly how to get to your home. 
  • If You Must Leave Your Pet,  bring them indoors.  
      • Never leave pets chained outdoors! 
      • Do not tie pets up!
      • Put them in a room with no windows and adequate ventilation, such as a utility room, garage or bathroom.
·         Leave only dry foods and fresh water in non-spill containers. If possible open a faucet to let water drip into a large container or partially fill a bathtub with water. 

Assemble an Animal EVACUATION KIT (Store in an easily accessed location)

  • It should include a minimum of three (3) days food and water (two weeks is best) for all pets.  Do not forget to add feeding dishes, a can opener and a spoon (for canned food).
  • First aid kit
A veterinarian can tell you what to include. These items below serve only as examples of what you might include:
    • Anti-diarrheal liquid or tablets
    • Antibiotic ointment (for wounds)
    • Antibiotic eye ointment
    • Bandage scissors
    • Bandage tape
    • Betadine® (povidone-iodine) solution
    • Cotton bandage rolls
    • Cotton-tipped swabs
    • Elastic bandage rolls
    • Eye rinse (sterile)
    • Flea and tick prevention and treatment
    • Gauze pads and rolls
    • Isopropyl alcohol
    • Liquid dish detergent (mild wound and body cleanser)
    • Styptic powder (clotting agent)
    • Thermometer (digital)
    • Tweezers
    • Be sure to include a two-week supply of any medications the pet requires (include drug name, dosage, and frequency of dosing) Be sure to incorporate a sheet that lists dietary restrictions, feeding schedules, etc. and photocopies of medical records, with proof of all vaccinations 
  • Separate pet records which list: The type and breed  of pet; the pet’s name; a contact name with address, phone number and area code; sex; distinguishing characteristics; whether the pet is spayed/neutered and if the pet is micro-chipped.
  • Pet carrier or crate.  Cat carriers should be large enough to hold a small litter pan and two small dishes and still allow your cat enough room to lie down comfortably or stand to use the litter pan. Dog kennels or collapsible cages should be large enough to hold two no-spill bowls and still allow your dog enough room to stand and turn around.
  • Leashes, muzzle, collars, or harnesses which have a personal ID and license tag attached.
  • A current photo of the pet, in case you are separated and need to create "Lost" notices.
  • Blankets and towels (paper and cloth), plastic trash bags, flashlight with extra batteries, and cleaning products.Maps of local area and alternate evacuation routes in addition to GPS (in case of road closures)
  • Pet beds and toys, if easily taken can help reduce stress.If cats are involved, a litter pan, scoop litter, plastic bags and scooper
  • Transport in a secure travel cage or carrier. 
  • Have a cover accessible to put over the cage for both warmth and to help reduce the stress. 
  • If the weather is warm, have a spray bottle available to periodically moisten the bird's feathers. 
  • Band the leg for identification purposes. 
  • A timed feeder will ensure the uninterrupted daily feeding schedule of the bird. 
Reptile or amphibian (herptile) pets
  • Bring heating pads or other warming devices, like heating packs or hot water bottles. 
  • Styrofoam insulated boxes can be utilized as temporary housing for the animal. 
  • Since you may not be able to obtain fresh vegetables or fruits during a disaster, keep frozen items ready for emergencies. If your herptile feeds on live food, remember to consider this for evacuation as well.  
  • Spray bottles help maintain the higher humidity some herptiles require.
  • Many reptiles may be marked with a permanent felt-tipped marker

Hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs
  • Transportation of most small mammals is best accomplished using a secure, covered carrier or cage to reduce stress.
  • In addition to food and water, include: necessary dietary supplements, extra bedding materials and appropriate exercise equipment 
Backyard poultry
  • Leg bands with an emergency telephone number and photos of birds can help you identify them if they escape or get lost.
  • Plastic poultry transport crates/coops work well for transporting chickens. Transfer birds to more suitable housing as soon as possible to facilitate feeding and watering.
  • At the evacuation site, house birds away from noisy areas and other flocks and protect them from the weather and predators.
  • Vehicle interiors should be warmed in winter or cooled in summer before transporting birds.
  • Line crates or cages with shavings or other absorbent material for ease of cleaning. Newspapers can work temporarily) to line cages.
  • Feed and water for 7 -10 days. Vitamin and electrolyte packs (Stress packs) may help ease the stress.
  • Sufficient feeders and waterers for the number of birds.
  • Detergent, disinfectant, gloves and other cleaning supplies for cleaning cages, feeders and drinkers.
  • If evacuating chicks, consider their special needs (heat, food, equipment) 
Emergency Information : Emergency Alert System (EAS) announcements for Tehama County will be on
Local radio stations:  KFBK 1530 (AM) and KTHU 100.7 (FM)
TV - KHSL Channel 12 and  KNVN Channel 24  (

For emergency services in Tehama County: Please do not call local Fire Stations to report an emergency or to ask for fire information.  If you have an emergency, contact 9-1-1

For any emergency information contact the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office at 530-529-7900.
Cal Fire Tehama Glen Unit (530) 528-5199 ( or (
The California Highway Patrol (530) 527-2034 

Incident information can be found at:

Other resources: (will post updated news to their websites.)
The Red Bluff Daily News ( )
The Redding Record Searchlight (
The Chico Enterprise Record ( )

Providing Help and Getting Help in Tehama County

In an emergency situation, would you be willing to open up your home or ranch to house displaced animals on a temporary basis?  Assist in transporting animals?  Loan equipment?  Help gather food and supplies that would be necessary during the temporary housing of animals?  Donate time and/or money to care for the animals at an animal evacuation site?

Everyone is gearing up for this year’s fire season, and P.E.T.S. is definitely no exception.  As you know, in past years when Northern California was struck by large wild fires, volunteer groups and private individuals pulled together and did what they could for the citizens and animals affected.  In Tehama County, if disaster strikes, P.E.T.S. will be one of the resources available for our residents.  In anticipation of the worst-case scenario, we are asking in advance if you can assist in any way.  If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions, please email us at or message us on Facebook or call us at 530-527-8702.  If we hear from you, we will forward a simple form which, when filled out, will allow us to build an effective Volunteer Response Team.  The team will work with P.E.T.S., a volunteer non-profit organization, who will provide assistance, as needed, to Tehama County’s public agencies of Animal Services, and the Sheriff’s office to save and help as many animals that we possibly can in our county!  Your help is important!

The motto “Be Prepared and Be Aware”, of this fire season, cannot be said enough.  With regard to it, I highly recommend that you cut and save the following information to a location that is easily viewed and accessible in event of an emergency.

In the event of a wildfire, the Cal Fire Tehama Glen Unit (530) 528-5199 ( Fire Department and the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, 530-529-7900, will notify and assist with any evacuation of residents.

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Reverse 9-1-1 automatically calls a resident’s non-cellular telephone number to notify them of emergencies.  If you wish notification via a cellular number instead, download the appropriate form at and return it to the Tehama County Sheriff’s office.

Emergency Alert System (EAS) announcements will be on local radio stations KFBK 1530 (AM) and KTHU 100.7 (FM).  Television stations, KRCR Channel 7 (, KHSL Channel 12 and KNVN Channel 24 ( will also have EAS announcements and will provide news updates.  The Red Bluff Daily News ( ), The Redding Record Searchlight (, and The Chico Enterprise Record ( ) will post updated news to their websites.  In addition, current fire incident information will be found at CAL Fire ( and Yuba Net ( ). 

The American Red Cross of Northeastern California (530-673-1460 or 1-855-891-7325 ) will establish shelters for short-term housing and care of evacuees.  They will only allow service animals and not family pets inside their shelters.  Be sure to arrange other housing for your pets’ safety prior to a disaster.  If you choose not to go to the Red Cross shelter, still contact them to provide information about your location, in the event anyone is attempting to locate you.

For any emergency information contact the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office at 530-529-7900.  Please do not call local Fire Stations to report an emergency or to ask for fire information.  If you have an emergency, contact 9-1-1 to report it.

Please remember, if a major disaster happens, the whole community may be affected, and help may not come immediately.  If a wildfire is approaching, be proactive.  Listen to Emergency Alert System announcements and get ready to leave.

In addition, all of us at P.E.T.S. hope to hear from you.  We also want to be ready and without your tremendous assistance, we will not be able to do what needs to be done, should disaster strike.  Please contact us, as soon as possible, and let us know how you can help.  Thank you.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Animal Preparedness During A Disaster - LIVESTOCK

If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to include them in your disaster preparations.  The following information provided is aimed towards horses; however, many of the basic principles can be applied to other animals as well. 

All the animals should have some form of identification
  • Tattoos, brands, and microchips cannot be lost.  They can help you prove ownership if you are separated from your livestock. 
  • Keep photos that highlight identifying marks and copies of registration papers and ownership records with you at all times in a waterproof bag.  List each one of your animals and their species, breed, age, sex, color, and distinguishing characteristics.
  • In addition, provide a temporary ID on the animal that is easy to spot and includes a contact phone number with area code.  It will allow anyone to contact you.  Some options for temporary identification are:
    • use an animal livestock marking crayon, non-toxic, non-water soluble spray paint, or non-water-soluble markers to write on the animal’s side.  Use permanent marker to mark hooves and write your name, and phone number.
    • use clippers to shave the same information in its coat
    • attach a band or tag with the necessary information written in waterproof ink to either its halter or by braiding it into tail or mane. 
  • Be sure to post emergency contact numbers at your barn and/or on your pasture fence.

Ensure that whether you stay or go that there is adequate food and water available
  • Have enough feed and hay to last at least three (3) days.  7-10 days is best. 
  • Store food in dry, protected areas. 
  • Dehydration is a major cause of death for animals in any disaster.  For horses, calculate a minimum of 12 gallons per horse per day and again, store enough for a minimum of three (3) days.  If necessary, add chlorine bleach at two drops per quart of water to purify if necessary.

Prepare an emergency/ first aid kit
  • Non-nylon halters and leads (leather/cotton), Bandannas (to use as as blindfolds), flashlights with extra batteries, Duct tape, Knife (sharp, all-purpose) , heavy gloves, rope, shovel, wire cutters, extra buckets, extra blankets, towels (cloth and paper). 
  • First-aid supplies. Check with your veterinarian to find out what he/she recommends .If any animal is on long-term medication, keep at least a two (2) week supply available.  Possible items to include are:
    • Antibiotic ointment (for wounds)
    • Antibiotic eye ointment
    • Bandage scissors
    • Bandage tape
    • Betadine® (povidone-iodine) solution
    • Cotton bandage rolls
    • Elastic bandage rolls
    • Eye rinse (sterile)
    • Isopropyl alcohol
    • Saline solution (for rinsing wounds)
    • Thermometer (digital)
  • Keep copies of medical records including history of vaccinations with the kit.

Evacuate your animals whenever possible
  • Advance planning designates where they will go.  Do not wait until the last minute to start evacuating!
  • Create a list of friends, relatives, etc. who would be willing to board them.(make sure they have your contact numbers)  Familiarize yourself with organizations in the area that are prepared to rescue and shelter during a disaster.  Temporary housing might include:
    • boarding stables
    • veterinarians
    • fairgrounds.
    • Pastures
    • equestrian centers
    • livestock corrals
  • Map out alternate evacuation routes in advance. In addition, access roads may be blocked and you might have to meet at a central collection point that trailers can reach, therefore, plan alternative ways to get the animals off the property.  
  • Have sufficient vehicles and trailers available for transporting your animals or know where to obtain them quickly.  If you don’t have your own truck and trailer, make arrangements with local companies or neighbors before disaster strikes.
  • Train to load.  A panic situation is not the time to teach or learn this skill.  In emergencies, animals that load easily are evacuated first. Unfortunately those that do not are left behind. 

If evacuation is not possible

  • Livestock will be safer in a pasture than in a barn that could collapse or burn. 
  • Make sure that there is easy access to clean water and forage.  Do not rely on automatic watering systems. Power may be lost.  It may be days before you return.
  •  In the case of horses, if you leave the halter on to facilitate catching them later; be sure to use a breakaway style.  Other types can snag on branches, etc. and trap the horse.
  • If time permits, secure or remove all outdoor objects that could turn into dangerous flying debris.

As a final note, catastrophes affect both humans and animals.  Animals can become fearful and, as a result, difficult to control and highly unpredictable during a disaster.  Therefore, whether you own one small animal or a herd of large horses, your safety is paramount.  You cannot help them survive if you are injured.

Emergency Information

In the event that evacuations are ordered during an emergency:
Information for Tehama County will be on local radio stations KFBK 1530 (AM) and KTHU 100.7 (FM). 

For emergency services in Tehama County:
Do not call 9-1-1 for fire or evacuation information. Use it only for immediate threat emergencies
The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office (530) 529-7900
Cal Fire Tehama Glen Unit (530) 528-5199 ( or (
The Emergency Services Office (OES) (530) 529-0409
The California Highway Patrol (530) 527-2034 

Incident information can be found at:

Other resources:

KHSL Channel 12 and  KNVN Channel 24  (