As I look out of my window today at the beautiful Rocky Mountains and the crisp Colorado blue sky, it brings me great appreciation for all of the hard work that firefighters and first responders have done this year to protect our state. Unfortunately, a lot of these fast spreading wildfires hit close to home, which caused sudden mandatory evacuations along the Colorado front range.
Two of our amazing veterinarians, Dr. Megan and Dr. Tara, have been assisting GCART (Gilpin County Animal Response Team) in caring for animals evacuated from their homes to the Gilpin County Fairgrounds from the number in wildfires in the mountain area. Dr. Megan spoke about her time volunteering, “Through out the fire evacuations, GCART safely kept 134 chickens, ducks and turkeys along with many alpacas, horses, sheep, dogs, cats, and one pig.”
“Although a welcomed relief to the fire suppression efforts, the subzero temperatures posed us a different set of challenges. The community center has been closed for most of the year due to lack of funds with the pandemic shut downs. So as a result, the big first challenges were having water trucked in and getting the heaters working for all the animals. We had to keep trough heaters going for the livestock outside and make sure they were staying warm. We created back up plans for the smaller animals in case the barn wasn’t warm enough.”
“The entire community donated blankets, food, shavings, hay and kept the volunteers fed. It was a great show of support from the mountain neighbors.”
“GCART members have had extensive training in FEMAs emergency management operations as well as animal evacuation procedures, handling, and husbandry. Consider volunteering or donating to your county’s emergency animal response team.”
To volunteer with GCART, click here.
To donate to the AKC Pet Disaster Relief efforts, click here.
Meet the Authors:
Dr. Tara Poyer
Dr.Tara was introduced to in-home end of life care as a general practitioner in the Chicago suburbs. It was through these experiences of supporting owners and helping their beloved companions transition that she discovered her passion for serving in this niche of veterinary medicine. Soon after, Dr.Tara relocated to Colorado to join the Caring Pathways team.
Dr. Megan Coveyou
Dr. Megan grew up in Wisconsin where she earned her DVM at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007. She spent many years in the Chicago area practicing sport horse medicine. Megan moved to Colorado in 2015 and found her calling with Caring Pathways. She is in love with the sacred bond we form with our furry soulmates and cherishes their lives from the exciting hello to the bitter-sweet goodbye.