For Immediate Release:
February 10, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Laguna Beach, Calif. – Because a brush fire continues to threaten Laguna Beach and evacuations are underway, animals are likely to die if abandoned.
During evacuations, small animals such as cats, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and gerbils should be placed securely in carriers (birds should be covered), and dogs should be kept on a secure harness and leash. Take enough food for your animals to last several days. Horses, sheep, cows, llamas, and other animals should never be locked in stalls or otherwise confined, unable to flee the flames. If it’s impossible to remove them, they should be freed to attempt to survive. Anyone who sees animals in danger or distress should assist if possible but, if unable to help, should note their exact locations and alert authorities immediately.
Residents who remain in areas affected by smoke and falling ash should keep animals indoors and avoid all outdoor activities, such as running with dogs.
Animals must never be left behind. Anyone who evacuates and intentionally abandons animals to fend for themselves may be prosecuted.
Remember to make plans to ensure the safety of all animal companions in advance of trouble in order to avoid being caught unprepared:
PETA has released a wildfire-preparedness PSA featuring Dean Winters, and also offers a video about keeping animal companions safe during fires. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.