SAN DIEGO–County Animal Services released the number of animals rescued during the December 7 Lilac fire in Bonsall.
According to Animal Services, 850 horses safely evacuated to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, over 200 horses returned to owners December 12, approximately 170 requests for help received since the start of the fire, 33 animals safely evacuated by County Animal Services and volunteers, including horses, dogs, cats, two pygmy goats, five adult rabbits, three baby rabbits, one chicken, a pig, and an Amazon parrot, 263 animals in the burn area given food and water when owners couldn’t get to them, 1 disaster supply trailer sent to Palomar College to provide crates for pets of evacuees, 1 box of kittens rescued by the Sheriff’s Department and given to Animal Services for care. The kittens were transferred to the Humane Society and have been placed with a foster family.
As the Lilac fire recovery begins, County Animal Services is taking stock of its response to the incident. In addition to keeping its three shelters running, the department sent out teams of animal control officers and volunteers from the County Animal Response Team and Valley Center Disaster Animal Response Team.
They responded to calls for help from firefighters and law enforcement on the scene, and through County Animal Services’ phone center and dispatch.
Shortly after the fire broke out, director Dan DeSousa asked the Del Mar Fairgrounds to open for evacuated horses and large livestock, and it immediately opened its stables. Animal Services sent a liaison to the fairgrounds to help owners reunite with their horses.