VCA opens California hospitals for pets affected by wildfires

VCA Animal Hospitals announced October 28 that it would open all of its California hospitals for pets displaced by fires burning throughout the state. This followed an earlier announcement from the hospital network saying it would open its Northern California hospitals for cats, dogs and other pets.

Millions of California residents have been under red flag warnings from the National Weather Service as firefighters work to contain the blazes, including the Getty and Easy fires in the Los Angeles area, and the Kincade Fire, spanning more than 75,000 acres, in Northern California’s Sonoma County.

Boarding assistance at VCA’s hospitals is offered on a space-available basis for pets affected by the fires. Due to the extent of the evacuation orders, boarding availability may be limited at some hospitals. VCA estimated about 500 pets were boarding at its 165 California hospitals, and while none had reached full capacity, officials recommended families call ahead to confirm space is available.

“In catastrophic emergencies, VCA is here to help pet owners quickly find a safe and comfortable space, and know their pets are well cared for,” Dr. Todd Lavender, president of VCA Animal Hospitals and Petcare Services, said in a news release from the organization.

VCA is monitoring the fires and offers updates on its Facebook page. Organization officials told Veterinary Advantage that hospitals are seeing fewer separated and abandoned pets this year than during last year’s fires.