Boulder, Colorado. It is difficult to describe the bond between people and their pets until a catastrophe, like a fire, threatens to take everything away.
“This really is the best place if someone loses their pet to get in touch with us,” said Jan McHugh Smith, CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
Over the past several days, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley has seen the separation up close.
“We have taken approximately 50 animals from any of the stray animals brought in by our partners at Boulder County Animal Control, Boulder City, Broomfield Animal Control,” McHugh Smith said.
So far, all but nine of the animals have been reunited with their families after the Marshall Fire. When families see their beloved pets again, it is a moment of pure joy.
“These reunions have been so touching. People are so grateful to have their animals back,” McHugh Smith said. “They have lost everything, and having your pet with you, your pet with you is a relief to people.”
For the other nine animals, owners have been found and the humane community helps take care of their pets while families find a new home.
more: Marshall Fire: Resources for victims, ways to help, places to donate and more
The vets also assisted a number of animals exposed to smoke during the fire.
“We already have a family that brought in three cats, a tortoise, a bird, and we have a number of other dogs and cats that people have asked us to look at because they were worried about smoke inhalation,” McHugh-Smith said.
The humane community says the first step people should take if their pet is missing is to call and file a report. Items donated from the community are also available to anyone in need.
“The main goal of human society is to keep people and pets together,” McHugh Smith said.
It’s a goal that has become even more important after so many people have lost so much.
The Humane Society has all the pet food and supplies you need, but the best way you can help is to donate to the Emergency Safety Net Fund, which will provide emergency accommodations and free pet food and supplies to families in need. For free pet food or supplies, visit 2323 55th Street in Boulder.