North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), a non-profit Animal Rescue Organization based in Chico, California, announced today it has rescued and sheltered over 250 animals in the wake of the possible spillway failure and breach of the Lake Oroville Dam. More than 180,000 people have been evacuated out of the surrounding areas due to the fear that the water will breach the emergency spillway. With the quick evacuation mandated by the Butte County Sheriff’s Department, many left without their beloved animals. That’s where NVADG stepped in.
In the Oroville Dam incident, almost all of the day-one evacuations were requested by owners who were unable to return home to pack up their animals. In the first 6 hours, over 60 animals were sheltered. That number increased to 248 in less than 24 hours after the evacuations began. NVADG phone operators handled over 450 calls for service in that same time period. Sheltered animals included the usual dogs, cats, and parrots, as well as pigs, cows, goats, lambs and chickens.
“The serious problem with the dam spillway developed so quickly that many residents were unable to evacuate their animals,” said Norm Rosene, Vice President of NVADG. “in an evacuation this large it’s very necessary for people to take care of their families first, and sometimes that means that animals are left at home. That’s where we step in and help,” he added.