Volunteers at Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) are always working hard to care for our furry friends, especially during times of crisis. The 2018 wildfire season quickly became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season in California’s history, with a total of 8,527 fires burning between July and November. These fires did not stop VCAS from trying to protect local animals, though. In November 2018, when the Woolsey Fire swept through Ventura County, Animal Services volunteers stepped up and became first responders. They worked alongside firefighters, rushing into affected areas to rescue pets and livestock from the spreading flames. Since they were busy transporting rescued animals to a nearby shelter, the VCAS team often found themselves overlooked or missing out when thankful citizens had food delivered to other first responders.
Surviving on Snacks
We first heard about Ventura County Animal Services responding to wildfires when Random Acts supporter Cynthia Kapp contacted us about sponsoring an act of kindness. Cynthia’s friend Stephanie had been updating Cynthia on all of her adventures as she worked with Ventura County Animal Services to rescue and care for pets and livestock. Cynthia realized that many of the volunteers were surviving off of shelf stable snacks, like candy and jerky, with little access to fresh foods. Stephanie also revealed that some people whose homes were destroyed by the fires preferred to camp out at the animal shelter, instead of the established Red Cross and county shelters, so that they could be closer to their pets. This meant that those evacuees were also experiencing a food shortage.
Breakfast for Animal Services Champions
When Cynthia suggested buying breakfast for the VCAS volunteers and the evacuees staying with them, we were thrilled to be able to help out. Random Acts had a breakfast buffet delivered to the VCAS shelter, including a variety of bagels and cream cheeses, yogurt and mixed berry parfaits, coffee, orange juice, and iced tea. Breakfast was delivered during the morning shift change, so that volunteers could enjoy breakfast during their daily briefing on the animals at the shelter, care needs for the animals, and the fire rescue activities planned for the day.
Random Acts is so glad that Cynthia let us help provide breakfast for Ventura County Animal Services volunteers and evacuees! We are so thankful for all of the first responders who bravely stepped in to rescue humans and their animal friends from the 2018 California wildfires.