Since 1969, Larimer Humane Society has brought together families and pets, creating forever homes for animals. For much of this time, we have also partnered with the community to assist families and pets who are caught in the middle of an emergency or a crisis, as we work to keep them safe and together during difficult times.
We had a stark reminder of this in 2020 as Larimer County dealt with the Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, and Lewstone Fires. All three of these disasters had Larimer Humane Society on-call and ready to provide assistance where it was needed. Today we wanted to share the impact our organization and your support has during times like these.
Larimer Humane Society is the designated lead agency during disasters for companion animals in Larimer County. Services that we provide include (but are not limited to):
- Assisting in the evacuation of companion animals
- Providing water and food to companion animals on properties owners can’t access due to closures or evacuations
- Sheltering temporarily displaced animals at Larimer Humane Society or assisting in arranging other temporary housing at no cost to the pet owner
The 2020 wildfire season was a testament to the assistance and impact that our services can provide communities. Over the three-month period that families were affected, Larimer Humane Society cared for 739 animals who had been evacuated. During these evacuations, our staff was also dealing with the effects of the pandemic, meaning assistance from volunteers was minimized due to social distancing guidelines.
“The team of individuals here is professional and dedicated to providing the best care to animals and owners throughout the entirety of an emergency. This is evident by the number of animals that were treated and cared for at our facilities during the fires of 2020, with limited personnel,” said Larimer Humane Society Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Jacob Schoenhofer. “Short and long-term planning efforts for future events will continue to be a top priority of the emergency preparedness office and staff here at Larimer Humane Society. We will continue to provide services that will benefit the community before, during, and after a disaster or crisis situation.”
The numbers say one story, but hearing from those affected by emergencies like this shows how important these services are. As one Cameron Peak Fire evacuee stated, “Thank you so much for being so kind and professional with us and taking such good care of our large pack during the evacuations! We can’t tell you how good it makes us feel for us to know our pets are safe while we were evacuated.”
Some of you may also remember the story we shared with you about Flint, a male working cat who was found in the Cameron Peak Fire burn area by our Animal Protection & Control team. Here is his story as told by the staff who worked with him on a daily basis:
We are happy to update you that Flint continues to thrive with his new family at Friendly Critters Farm! “Flint LOVES his barn mates! Our three barn kitties did great accepting him and he is now the favorite barn cat! He knows when goat milking time is and comes over and asks for milk. We were worried he wouldn’t be friendly but he lets us pet him and is happy to let us know when he wants attention,” said owner Nicole Sizemore.
When emergencies arise, whether it is a tornado, wildfire, the COVID-19 pandemic, or other life-threatening situations, Larimer Humane Society will continue to be at the forefront to help keep our families and pets together.
If you’d like to be part of our Larimer Humane Society family and are interested in providing a monetary donation to help provide our animals a second chance while supporting our staff in these efforts, please follow this link to our donations page.
You can help our community stay safe this season by following these tips and resources as you travel through areas susceptible to wildfires.