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Emergency Pet Shelter Vans Ready For High Brush Fire Season In Ventura County

Disasters can hit year round on the Central and South Coasts.

We are in earthquake country, this year’s heavy rainfall created some mudslide concerns, and now, especially this time of year, we face the threat of major brush fires. Emergency services officials work year round in coming up for plans on where should go if you need to evacuate, but Ventura County is ready to roll with its new “animal shelters in a trailer" which can provide shelter for pets.

Tara Diller, the Director of Ventura County Animal Services, says they have a pair of special trailers each equipped with everything from enclosures to food for house pets which have to be evacuated from their homes.

Brian Bray is Field Operations Supervisor with Ventura County Animal Services. The new trailers, which arrived earlier this year, have never been deployed in an emergency. Each is equipped with more than 10,000 items. Bray says idea is that the disaster shelters for pets will be deployed in connection with shelters for their owners.

Diller says after seeing the way people refused to leave their pets, and sometime leave their homes because of their pets during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, she became convinced of the value of mobile disaster shelters. The two trailers were funded with more than $40,000 in grants.

County Animal Services officials say there are only a few of them on the West Coast, with the next closest one in Sacramento. They say they hope they won’t need the trailers anytime soon, but as we move into high brush fire season, the reality is they probably will soon be deployed for the first time.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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