PUEBLO — On Sunday afternoon, a 20-acre fire in Pueblo compelled evacuations together with the evacuation of Paws for Life — a neighborhood animal shelter. The explanation for the fire, which has been named the ‘Paws’ Fire remains to be unknown Monday afternoon.
When the fire started rapidly spreading, the animals have been transported to the State Fairgrounds for security. They have been introduced again to Paws for Life round 7 o’clock Sunday night.
News5 spoke to Paws for Life, who wish to thank the community for their fast response and support. Staff and volunteers mentioned the community wasted no time serving to animals get to security and fed meals, as folks confirmed up by the handfuls to the shelter and the fairgrounds.
Kristina Gil-Perez, a kennel tech at Paws for Life, mentioned Sunday was a busy shift and fast leap to motion after they obtained the information in regards to the evacuation.
“We got word from our manager, Isabel. She told us hey, ‘there’s a fire kind of headed our way.’ Within a couple of minutes after that, it’s get ready for evacuation,” mentioned Gil-Perez. “We ran upstairs and started getting our kennels, loading up dogs, putting on harnesses. There’s people showing up, communities are showing up, we just do what we can, get food ready, blankets ready. Anything we needed, and was handed to us within seconds we had it.”
Gil-Perez says the group has an emergency evacuation plan that they’ve gone over in drills and conferences, and it was by no means put into use till now.
“We had a meeting about it before, we just never knew when it was actually going to happen to us. So we had a plan, and yesterday we just went with our plan,” mentioned Gil-Perez.
Thanks to the plan, all the early 60 animals embody 30 canines and 30 cats, have been safely transported to the State Fairgrounds in about an hour.
“Our staff has been trained and they’ve run drills of getting the animals out, and they just got quickly into position and they did an amazing job getting everybody out, getting everybody in harnesses, getting leashes on them,” mentioned Kim Alfonso, who’s been a volunteer on the group for practically 5 years. “There’s always lessons to be learned, but in the situation in the emergency that it was, it went great.
She says during the evacuation, the animals could sense something was going on, and smell the smoke in the air, but that overall, things went smooth.
“I do feel like that it was traumatic for all of them was traumatic for all of us and the people that volunteered but animals are very resilient,” mentioned Alfonso.
Last evening when the animals have been returned to their kennels, workers mentioned they have been drained and relieved.
“This morning, we walked in and usually the dogs are happy to see us and greet us, and they’re barking and tails are wagging, and we walk in this morning and everybody’s just laying on their bed still and really exhausted like we were,” mentioned Gil-Perez.
The effort was made simpler as a result of the community helped by bringing in water, pet food, crates, and just a little little bit of consolation and love throughout a traumatic time.
“The community came together helped us get done what we needed. And it’s amazing how the love of animals brings people together,” mentioned Alfonso.
The Paws Fire is 100% contained. Crews with the Pueblo Fire Department remained on scene all day Monday to watch scorching spots. There may also be a crew in the night and in a single day to regulate issues.
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