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Central Oregonians come together to help feed evacuated pets

It's what Pet Evacuation Team does, in trying times

REDMOND, Ore (KTVZ) -- At the Super 8 Motel in Redmond on Wednesday, many people were out and about, walking their dogs.

These, however, were not ordinary guests. They were wildfire evacuees, unsure if they would have a home to return to.

Danna Hughes was one of the many fire evacuees staying there.

She, like so many others, had little time to evacuate as flames raced toward her home.

Hughes said she grabbed her dogs and left as fast as she could.

“It was scary getting out of there, because the wind was blowing -- we had no electricity, so it was dark, trees were falling down, so that was kind of nerve-wracking," she recalled. "We got here at three in the morning. We left at, like, 12:30, 1 o'clock."

Hughes' fast effort to get herself and her dogs to safety meant leaving most of what she had behind. And that included food for her two dogs, Mimi and Max.

“Everything I have is what I have on,” she said.

Hughes is like so many dog owners now facing possible homelessness while trying to take care of her pets.

That’s where the Pet Evacuation Team comes in.

Along with helping move animals out of harm's way, the agency helps bring resources to animals during disasters. Its members have been doing all they can to make sure pets are taken care of in one the most traumatizing moments in their life.

Jamie Scanlon-Kanski, the team's director of regional coordination, said, "Volunteers went over yesterday and again today, and they were able to provide disposable bowls, cat litter pans, cat litter scoopers, litter,  dog food and cat food -- all things that we’re badly needed by those evacuees. "

She said it's the team's passion.

"I can’t imagine facing losing your home and everything that you own -- and then to have to worry about the piece of taking care of your animals as well,” she said.

Scanlon-Kanski offered details about how it really is a community effort.

“People are wonderful in our community," she said. "They rally to collect supplies, hay, they do transport -- anything that we need.”

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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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