Animal shelters housing Camp Fire animals could close as early as January 4

A dog sits inside a cage at the emergency animal shelter for Camp Fire animals at the small animal shelter on 2279 Del Oro and Mono in Oroville, CA.

The clock is ticking for victims of the Camp Fire who have animals still living in emergency animal shelters.

Butte County Animal Control has announced that as early as January 4, the animal shelters could be closing. The Camp Fire ignited almost two months ago on November 8 in Butte County.

The two Camp Fire emergency animal shelters run by Butte County include:

  • Oroville: Small Animal Shelter | Old County Hospital at 2279 Del Oro, in Oroville, CA
  • Gridley: Large Animal Shelter | Butte County Fairgrounds at 199 E. Hazel Street, in Gridley CA.

"During the fire and at the high point there was approximately 2,000 animals that were being sheltered in emergency shelters so we're down to 600 now," said Callie Lutz, a Public Information Officer for Butte County. "The emergency shelter isn't meant to be a long-term housing place," Lutz added.

Butte County says that the animals have been sheltered in cages for almost two months and the county is working with owners to find more permanent solutions for these animals. Large animals such as livestock are being housed in Gridley at the Butte County Fairgrounds while household pets are at the Old County Hospital in Oroville.

"January 4 is a target date. The teams are working, to make sure that all the owners know their options. They're going to work throughout the next week to ensure that as many animals get transitioned as possible and then later in the week they're going to make an assessment on whether or not the shelter closes," Lutz said.

The shelters are not officially closing on January 4, but since December 25 they say they have been working with owners who dropped the animals off to pick a reunification date or find another solution. Other potential solutions include fostering, boarding or surrendering the animal. Surrendering the animal would mean it would be put up for adoption.

"We want people to know that if they can't pick up their animal that they don't just have to surrender them and that there are other options," Lutz said. "We're trying to ensure that everybody knows all of their options because we know that not everyone may have a place to live right now."

To view a list of Camp Fire rescued animals that are unclaimed, click here. If you see a familiar animal in that list, you are urged to come to the shelter to identify your animal.

To speak to a reunification specialist at the shelter, call 530-895-0000. The hotline is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

They say they are working with each individual animal owner to find solutions.

The animals who are unclaimed could be put up for adoption as soon as early January.

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