Volunteers give animals a temporary home
December 8, 2017
As the Lilac Fire burns near Bonsall, many homes are being evacuated causing families and animals to be left with nowhere to go. Last night, the Del Mar Fairgrounds opened up their facility to larger pets and livestock that had been evacuated or found in the areas where the fire was burning. Volunteers from throughout San Diego County came to help out with the animals and donate supplies.
Multiple students lent a helping hand at the fairgrounds to ensure they were doing all they could to support those in need. Senior Sydney Madison arrived around 11 p.m. at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to help with the many animals being held.
“They were bringing horses in from all over,” Madison said. “Most of the horses were super freaked out so it made it a bit difficult. The people with horse experience helped owners unload their horses out of the trailers and put them in the stables. We made sure they all had food and water, and we were keeping track of which horses were in which stalls.”
While some animals were brought to the shelter by their owners, some were brought by individuals who found the animals alone in evacuated areas. One of the main objectives for the volunteers was identifying the animals and their owners.
“People came with horses, pigs, ponies and goats they just found on the side of the road,” Madison said. “We were trying to identify them so their owners knew they were safe.”
For Madison and her family, volunteering was the obvious choice because it allowed them to utilize their expertise in the area of horses.
“I am a huge animal lover and my family used to have a horse, so I really felt for those who were trying to save their horses,” Madison said. “My mom and I have a lot of horse experience and can handle them well, so we knew that we would be able to help out.”
With many families and animals being left without a place to stay or plan of what to do next, Madison encourages others to join her in volunteering with animals or helping out in other ways.
“Other people should definitely help out because these animals are scared and need us to help them,” Madison said. “Those of us in Carlsbad are lucky enough to not be directly affected by the fires, so we can take time to help those who are. If you are 18 or with someone over 18, you can go to the Del Mar Fairgrounds and help with the horses. If that’s not your thing, you can always donate food or other supplies to the local evacuation centers for the families displaced by the fires.”
For more information on ways to help out in Del Mar call 858-755-1161. If you are interested in helping in other ways, visit Hands On San Diego here, the San Diego Humane Society here or Red Cross here.