SHAVER LAKE, California (KGPE) – Two rescue groups with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office have come together to ensure animals left behind in the Creek Fire make it through the disaster.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s office Jeep rescue units – or “jeepers” – and the mounted posse started a program five years ago to help animals left behind by wildfires or other disasters. They take food to abandoned animals who might otherwise starve to death.
“We started this feeding program, started going into…we had about 40 different stops all around the mountain and we’d go in and feed and water every other day or every day depending on where they’re at,” said Jim Dixon, the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse Vice Commander.
So far, hundreds of animals have been saved. The teams actually help out in their spare time to make sure the animals survive.
“You know, you can’t think of a better thing to do with any of your spare time than to do this,” said Randy Ray, the Jeep Unit Commander for Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. “It’s rewarding. We’re volunteers, we don’t get paid for this. Helping doesn’t really stop at a person or a car or a house, it’s about everything in its road.”
The volunteer deputies believe their work makes a huge difference to victims returning to homes devastated by wildfire.
“Brings them hope. When you have a devastated area just something simple like your animals can give you hope that there’s a future and it’s gonna be a long road to recovery for many of them,” said Dixon.