SANTA CRUZ (KPIX 5) — For animal owners in the path of the fast-moving Loma Fire, volunteers at the horse show grounds in Santa Cruz have provided a place of refuge for displaced pets, and with it, much-needed peace of mind.
Jordan Fox evacuated his fifteen rescue horses in the dead of night as a wall of flames, still a few miles away, moved ever closer to his home.
“Finally seeing that last truck and trailer come in, getting all of the horses situated, knowing that they’re safe and cared for and that there’s not a fire right over the ridge was such a good feeling,” Fox said.
He said loading horses in the dark could have been a very difficult situation but that all the horses loaded easily.
Volunteers at the horse show grounds are caring for more than two dozen displaced horses.
Across the county, in Watsonville, they’re currently housing four alpacas, but are bracing for many more animals.
Debra Means on the Santa Cruz County Equine Evacuation Team said, “every animal owner should plan ahead of time. How are they going to get them out? Can they be moved? Are they used to being loaded into trailers.”
In the meantime, Fox says he’s planning to camp out near his horses, which have been rescued once by him and a second time by an entire community.
“They’ve been through a lot of rough situations,” Fox said. “We’re very fortunate to have such a great group of horses.”