As of Sunday afternoon, several major California wildfires were still threatening horses and other livestock across the state. Here is a roundup of the latest news at publication time, including funding efforts established by polo clubs and other organizations.
The Santa Barbara Polo Club was one of the first facilities to offer housing and care for horses and other livestock evacuated from Ventura County in the Thomas Fire. By Saturday they had taken in 93 displaced horses, 4 minis, 37 alpacas, 9 mules, 4 goats, 4 bunnies and 3 cows. But Sunday morning they had to evacuate all of them from the club, including their own polo horses and private horses boarded there, when the fire encroached on Carpinteria, where the Santa Barbara suburb where the club is located. When portions of the surrounding area came under mandatory evacuation Sunday, the horses were transported to Earl Warren Showgrounds, which is in a more distant part of Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara club’s polo manager, Melanja Jones, reported Sunday morning that 90 percent of the horses had been moved to safety. People who had horses at the club can contact Jones at 970-231-7426 or volunteer coordinator Shannon McGraw at 805-455-2400.
Another devastating fire far south near the Mexican border called the Lilac Fire, killed approximately 50 horses stabled at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center. More than 800 horses from San Luis Rey and other facilities, as well as their trainers and owners, were taken in and sheltered at Del Mar Fairgrounds. Sunday some horses were transported back to their homes, which were no longer in the fire’s path. Horses with serious burns, respiratory problems or colic, and those requiring surgery were transported to nearby equine hospitals for treatment.
Here are some of the major gofundme sites on Facebook for financial donations for those affected in the fires:
https://www.gofundme.com/dogblessyou Any donations to this fund made by today, December 10th, will be doubled.
Here is a comprehensive list of additional ways you can donate or help. The list was compiled by CANTER California.