Relief Fund

Fire damage

Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team

Following the devastating fires and subsequent floods which occurred in Southern California in 2017, the Woodside Community Foundation reached out to the Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team, Inc. to determine whether they needed financial assistance in their ongoing large animal evacuation and disaster relief efforts.

SB Equine Evac got it's start more than 25 years ago after the Painted Cave Fire, and has been active during almost every Fire in the area since. The group assists all Santa Barbara County emergency responding agencies and large animal owners in the evacuation, temporary care and sheltering of large animals in time of fire, flood, earthquake and other disasters or accidents. Their volunteers are trained and registered Disaster Service Workers under the Office of Emergency Services in California. They also provide disaster preparedness and emergency response education and demonstrations for many local public events, agencies and organizations.

SB Equine Evac

Recently, SB Equine Evac stated that it is looking for funding to purchase a large storage container which would be permanently located on the Earl Warren Fairgrounds. This storage container would be used to house the hundreds of buckets, carts, hoses, tools and other equipment needed for immediate access during any evacuation/disaster relief event. Given the enormity of the Fairgrounds, with over 600 stalls and turn out area’s, the group also wanted to purchase a utility vehicle (ATV) or farm type vehicle which would be used for feedings, and delivering hay and supplies where needed throughout the expansive Fairgrounds.

SB Equine Evac

As SB Equine Evac's spokeswoman Ronda Hathaway says, "Our goal is to be prepared and ready to go at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds whenever and for whatever the community needs. We never know when that will be but we have been super busy in past years. A container onsite will help us be ready quicker for incoming animals rather than a storage unit offsite. At this point, the ATV would be for our use only, and the container would be a permanent staging."

In January of 2018, the Woodside Community Foundation was pleased to award $15,000 from the North Bay Horse and Livestock Disaster Relief Fund to this important emergency preparedness project. The Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team now has both its permanent storage container and ATV in place at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds in anticipation of the next large-scale disaster.

Learn more about the Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team.

Donate

 

Fire damage

Charity receives much needed help

goatBefore the deadly fire in November 2017, Charity Armstrong and her four year old daughter lived in Redwood Valley, a rural area of Mendocino County.

They lived there along with three goats, two bunnies, guinea pigs and dogs. Most of these animals were 4-H projects which became pets after their stints in the show ring! The bunnies had a wonderful outdoor playground with tunnels and dens to hide in. The other animals lived in their six-stall barn. They used to have horses there but they went to new homes a while ago.

The night of the fire, Charity and her  daughter had four minutes to evacuate from their house.

Thankfully, they were able to get ALL the animals out along with a school bag and a work bag. They were wearing nothing but flip flops and their jammies. Left behind was a safe with lots of their money and important papers. Everything burned, both house and barn. They were underinsured and are struggling now to find a road forward. The animals are with them at Charity’s mom’s house.

before

A portion of the funds which the Woodside Community Foundation allocated to Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue (SAFER) for disaster relief following the North Bay fires has been used to help Charity and her daughter. They were given $300 vouchers to Tractor Supply and Rainbow Ag to help with the long-term clean-up and restoration of their barn and fences.

after

The Woodside Community Foundation is honored to partner with SAFER to provide assistance to people struggling to care for their animals and rebuild their properties after the devastating North Bay fires.

Donate

 

Fire damage

Patti is helped by our donation to S.A.F.E.R.

Here's another person's tragic story from the North Bay Fires. A woman named Patti owned this ranch where she bred her Bernese Mountain Show Dogs. At the time of the fire she had eight dogs and a litter of four three-week old pups. She had to leave with the firemen who woke her up — with no time at all. The dogs all perished along with her turkeys, chickens and other animals.

Fire damageFire3 500x400

Miraculously, the fire jumped the pasture and her three horses and her steer survived, although they could not get to them for a week. These pictures show the ranch and her horses when they returned. The property was still smoking. There was NO INSURANCE. She was unaware her ex-husband had let the policy lapse.

Fire remains

The bodies of her beloved Bernese Mountain Dogs were found under these roof tiles — one of the disaster relief workers dug them out and Patti cremated their remains. You can see how very hot the fire was here.

The Woodside Community Foundation is proud to work with Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue to help people like Patti rebuild their lives in the wake of the disastrous North Bay Fires.

Stay tuned for more updates both on additional assistance to horse and livestock owners in the aftermath of the North Bay Fires, and in the more recent Southern California Fires. The Woodside Community Foundation is committed to helping fellow equestrians, ranchers and farmers affected by the recent devastating fires in California.

Donate

 

Fire damage

More relief allocated through S.A.F.E.R.

Woodside Community Foundation recently allocated another $6,000 to Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue for disaster relief following the North Bay Fires. These funds will again be used to provide vouchers to Tractor Supply and Rainbow Ag for people in the process of rebuilding their barns and corrals.

Mandi, one of the recent fire victims helped by these vouchers provided us with some pictures and a bit of her family's story.

The photo above shows our property right after the fire. You can even see some of it is still smoking. The big melted metal shed held over 20 years worth of tack that I had accumulated, including my favorite saddle. We barely escaped with our lives, almost having to release the horses to run free. With a turn of luck, we were able to get everyone out that night except the cat (who we found later and is 100% healed now) and the chickens (who are now safe at their new home with a friend). All that is left standing was our well pump house and the chicken coop.

Post clean-up

This photo is post clean up which just finally happened December 30, about three months after the fire! You can see remnants of the fence which we will have to tear out and rebuild. The chicken coop was amazingly untouched! You can also see my husband's motorcycle frame, sacrificed to save my horses — what a man!!

Night of the fireHorses ride

Here are our two horses, Kaylee and Blue. The first photo is the night of the fire with them crammed into a stall at the fairgrounds. The next day a cousin was able to pick them up and give them a lovely pasture for the next several months. They have since been moved back to my in-laws in Potter Valley until we can move home and rebuild fencing. The second shot is of my girls ready for a ride just a month ago, thanks to some donated tack and new grooming supplies I purchased.

Stay tuned for more updates both on additional assistance to horse and livestock owners in the aftermath of the North Bay Fires, and in the more recent Southern California Fires. The Woodside Community Foundation is committed to helping fellow equestrians, ranchers and farmers affected by the recent devastating fires in California.

Donate

Contribute to the Recovery

Help support large animal disaster relief in the North Bay through the Woodside Community Foundation.

For more information, contact Rick DeBenedetti, (650) 303-2661.

Donation Page

You may also send a check payable to:

Woodside Community Foundation
2995 Woodside Rd., Suite 350
Woodside, CA  94062

Thank you for your help and support.