Yesterday morning I was watching the morning news. There was a report about the California wildfires, which are just horrifying. It seems that California has a lot of these fires, but it never is any less tragic every time they happen. It’s terrifying and sad to see these fires come into populated areas and know that people’s lives and homes could be lost. But something struck me as I watched this particular news report.
The video showed a blazing fire closing in on a ranch. Silhouetted against the backdrop of the fire were horses running out of their fenced enclosure. It seems to me that it is likely that these horses will die in the fire. I don’t see how they can outrun it. I don’t see how they can protect themselves. I am willing to bet that the people who lived on and worked on that ranch evacuated. This infuriates me. I can’t wrap my brain around how people can flee a disaster to save their lives yet leave animals behind to perish in some pretty horrific ways. We sadly see this in too many natural disasters — wildfires, floods, hurricanes. But in the case of this ranch, I am sure some will say that it would be a massive effort to try to evacuate so many large animals. And they would be right — it would be incredibly challenging. Buy I guess my counter would be that maybe you should not maintain all those animals if you cannot properly care for them, which includes finding them adequate shelter in the face of disaster. If they cannot commit to this, then maybe they should not be allowed to have those animals.
Maybe this is a business opportunity for some people who are animal activists who know netter than I what to do. Maybe there should be a rescue or shelter service that people who own animals — especially a large number of animals or large animals like livestock — can partner with to help get animals to a safe place. If organizations like this already exist, then maybe they should be more visible or there should be more because it is just awful that animals can so easily be left behind to perish.
Maybe I am a complete moron about this. I know people who live in California, so maybe if I am completely off base on this, they will set me straight. All I know is that as I watched that news report, I felt just horrible for all the people who were having to face these fires, but I also felt pretty lousy about the animals I saw, too.