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Kern County Animal Services steps behind North Complex Fire lines to rescue animals

Posted at 9:30 AM, Sep 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-19 12:30:46-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In light of the recent wildfires ravaging through the state of California, Oregon and Washington, 23ABC News wanted to dive deeper into the issues surrounding our pets during this time.

Saturday morning we headed up to Northern California to speak with the Director of Kern County animal services Nick Cullen about his efforts to help locate animals and get them to safety.

Cullen said that during this time Kern County Animal Service crews have been working around the clock responding to calls of owners who have lost their pet after they were impacted by the blaze.

Cullen said that on average for the last several days his Kern County Animal Service crews have responded to an average of 40 to 50 calls for service per day in the area of the North Complex Fire that has burned more than 200,000 acres of land but is more than half way contained.

According to Cullen, the devastation is impacting animals and their owners and our local crews are just doing their best to reunite lost animals with their owners.

"When they were evacuated they we're able to take their pets with them so it's a lot of pet owners calling in, asking for our crews to check the welfare of their animals. These are folks that just don't know what condition their home is in. They don't know if their pet is alive or deceased and that is sort of our teams job, is to go in behind the fire lines, see if we could find their pets or any evidence of their pets, deliver any for or water and support them if they are there on property. We often have had to break some really difficult news to some of these owners, but there are some really great moments where we have gotten to reunite some pets with their owners."

Cullen and the Kern County Animal Service crews are now back in Bakersfield.