Paying it Forward – Mutual Aid

5 people standing near animal evacuation signs

Overused though it may sound, “paying it forward” rings true for NVADG volunteers when we provide mutual aid as we did with the Dixie, Caldor and Mosquito fires. 

Exhausted NVADG volunteers experienced the rush of relief to get mutual aid help during the Camp Fire and North Complex Fire. No surprise that our volunteers have jumped in to give mutual aid help and relieve exhausted animal care workers in other counties.

Mutual aid is a fundamental benefit of standardized training.  Rarely does a county animal control have access to enough people or equipment to deal with a multi-week animal evacuation.  Mutual aid allows others to help. It ensures animals get the care they need and workers get the rest they need. 

In September’s Mosquito Fire, the exceptional Placer County Animal Control department had worked day and night for 11 days, and were housing 500 animals when NVADG volunteers were called in to help.  Our volunteers cheerfully washed mountains of laundry, fed/walked/cleaned kennels, and even braved flood waters to rescue a dozen goats housed at the shelter after a torrential downpour unexpectedly filled their barn.

It was appreciated. This email was sent – unsolicited – by one of the Placer County Command Staff:

“Your group has been such a breath of fresh air. To hear the relief in the voices of our animal services leadership has been one of the highlights of this response.”

Hey, Placer County:  We understand.  We owe a debt of appreciation to the mutual aid that helped us during the Camp and North Complex Fires. We will never be able to pay it back, but we can pay it forward.  You did an awesome job for the animals and we are honored to have helped. We wish you good outcomes in your long-term recovery.