one message: Start early, don't get trapped
If in doubt, take them
out. What you may find, and suggestions as to what to do:
Horses locked in
- Bolt cutters, wire cutters, hammers,
Horses not trained
- Do what you know. Bring ropes,
whips, flags, extra people.
- Do not tranquilize unless you are
- If you can?t get them in a
reasonable length of time, leave them. It has to be like triage.
Get the ones you can.
- Send stock trailers if possible for
horses not trained to load, then load through a gate from a pen,
stall, panels, or in a corner.
- Make a note of time, place, anything
else pertinent and keep moving.
indecisive about going
- Hugs, reassurance, leave your phone
number and get the horses out. ?Better safe than sorry?
- Discuss danger/consequences of road
closures, trees across roads.
halters/leads, no extra ropes
- Bring as many as you can, different
Cell phones, land
- Try to stay off phones. Get all info
in first call. Write everything down.
People away from
- Make a whole plan, share all contact
info when you first talk to them.
- Take maps even if you know the area.
It?s going to look very different, and usual routes may not be
- DON?T go in if you aren?t sure
you can get out. Fire engines won?t even do that.
- It?s probably worse than you
think. Take particle masks, inhalers if you?ve ever used one,
and just don?t go if you asthma or any other breathing problems.
- Take LOTS of water, snacks, toilet
paper, first aid supplies, flashlights, good boots and gloves,
extra glasses, fully gassed vehicles. You may need to be out there
a lot longer than anticipated. Emergency mode makes us ignore our
own needs, but this could go on for many days. We need to take
care of ourselves to be able to be of service
- Don?t go to haul horses unless you
know exactly where you are going. TAKE MAPS.
- Tell looky loos to go home.
- Drive slowly and carefully no matter
what is going on.
- Don?t go alone.
- Take flashlights, sharp knife,
twitch, animal first aid supplies, pillow cases or burlap bags for
small animals, extra collars and leashes for dogs, animal marking
crayons, polaroid or disposable camera, notebook and pens, MAPS.
- There may be animals that end up in
big groups, or to places with many, even hundreds of animals. Don?t
think you?ll recognize them for sure. They should be marked with
livestock crayon, like for endurance rides, available at many feed
- You can attach tags to halters
(shouldn?t be left on if at all possible), or braid tags into
forelocks, top part of mane, or top part of tail.
- Spray paint can be used in an
emergency, maybe a phone number.
- Keep a notebook with where the
animal came from, a thorough description (look under lips and
manes for tatoos and freeze brands), any notations about injuries,
or special care needs, and where the animals went.
- Take digital or disposable camera
pictures from the front and both sides if possible.
- Many people here who went to haul
livestock ended up moving small animals, too. Take sturdy crates
if possible, pillow cases or burlap bags are fine.
- Cats especially need to stay very
carefully confined; many were lost here. Better to be
uncomfortable for a few days than lost forever! They will need to
be kept somewhere cool and shaded, and offered water
- Kennels at homes are great for dogs.
Stalls work well, too, if they definitely can?t get out.
- ID small animals carefully
- Take muzzles if you have them, or use gauze
if necessary to make a figure eight around the muzzle, crossing
under the jaw and tie at the top of the head behind the ears. Remove
as soon as possible and keep dogs cool.
- People housing animals may need
stall cleaning help, supplies, buckets, feed, etc.
- Try to examine and temp anything
that looks sick, isolate if possible.
- There may be many helpful groups of
volunteers - be sure they are supervised properly to prevent
accidents and escapes.
- As early as possible, make things
clear between owners and people housing animals. Unfortunately
there were big board bills presented by some barn owners to
evacuees after it was all over. Make sure expectations are clear
and upfront. The great majority of people here were extremely
generous and helpful during the emergency.
Bless you all and take good care. These
thoughts and ideas came from many people who helped with animal
evacuations in southern Oregon during the Biscuit fire. Rebecca