When the horrific Camp Fire broke out in Butte County, your SPCA immediately responded with an offer to help. After rescuing and sheltering thousands of animals during multiple fires, floods, and other disasters in our own community, we knew the needs would be great and the magnitude of the disaster would be unfathomable.
In early November, a team from the SPCA traveled to Butte County to take in cats and dogs who were in shelters before the fire began in order to give their local shelters room for more fire evacuees.
The SPCA took in 21 cats and kittens (including eight feral cats), five dogs, and one puppy. Twenty five of the pets were in the shelter before the fires began, and two were surrendered by their owners who could no longer keep them. Pets who were lost during the fire are still in Butte County to give their owners the chance to be reunited.
These 27 pets will be placed up for adoption after we provide veterinary treatment, vaccinations, and spay or neuter surgeries. You can help by adopting one of the many wonderful animals currently in our shelter looking for homes to help make room for more animals in need.
We also sent a skilled team the week after Thanksgiving to assist with animal rescues and sheltering. The team of five worked from dawn until late into the night, managing one of the multiple animal evacuation shelters, caring for lost and stray pets, providing food and water to pets safe in evacuated areas, taking in animals badly burned by the fire, and more. We remain on call to return, as we know this disaster and the help needed are far from over.
Out of respect and privacy for those who have lost so much, we are limiting the photos we share, but please know that your SPCA team was hard at work at the heart of this disaster.
We can’t thank you enough for making all of this possible.
How You Can Help:
Prepare for a Disaster. Please take a moment to create a disaster plan and kits for your family, including your pets. A fire or other disaster could happen here at any time.
Adopt. Help us make room for more animals in need by adopting today.
Donate to help. We depend on you to make all of this possible!
The SPCA for Monterey County is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of two horses.
On October 17, the SPCA for Monterey County received a report of two deceased horses at a property on Strawberry Road in Royal Oaks, CA. Upon our officer’s arrival that day, she located two badly decomposed horse carcasses inside two separate horse stalls. The caretaker for the two horses was later identified as Benjamin Montano Hernandez.
This week, I’m going back to a familiar topic: our Humane Investigations work. With apologies, I’m going to rant a little.
First, the background. As avid readers of this blog know, The SPCA for Monterey County investigates animal cruelty reports and complaints. We do this by choice because the animals need us and because this work aligns with our nonprofit mission. We do not receive government funding or tax dollars for this work, and it is not required by law. This vital, compassionate, and often heartbreaking work is made entirely possibly by donations.
The SPCA is the only organization or agency in Monterey County which employs officers specifically trained for this work. Last year, we responded to nearly 1,000 calls. Cases that have merit — those with evidence of a crime and a person known to have committed it — are related to California Penal Code 597, the section in our penal code that covers crimes against animals. We encounter far more people who unintentionally harm animals than those who do so maliciously and intentionally. Cases involving unintentional neglect can often be resolved by our officers through education.
Another challenging aspect of this work involves educating the community about what we are and, equally important, what we aren’t. A common misconception is that we are the same as local law enforcement — the police and sheriffs. In one way yes; in most ways, no.
New people bring a fresh pair of eyes, another perspective on programs or services, opportunities others may not have seen or, some things less important. This falls into the latter category.
Most days, I take my shelter dog on a short walk to enjoy some of the SPCA’s magnificent, 200 acres. Our buildings sit on a somewhat flat five-acre bowl and the surrounding land is oak-studded, sloped and rugged, with meandering unpaved access trails. Truly, an amazing gift.
My walk takes me past our oldest structure — a wooden, two-story building which houses programs for kids and an office for our Humane Investigations team.
Last Thursday, SPCA staff attended a hearing for the man charged with lighting on fire and torturing his family’s beloved dog. We prepared media statements for any possible outcome and heard the one we had hoped for but didn’t expect. Devonte Sirwet pled no contest to three felony charges and two strikes. As part of his plea agreement, he’ll be sentenced next month to six years and eight months in state prison.
Is this justice for Kato, the dog brutally tortured? I don’t know — it depends on who’s asked. For the people who cared for and loved Kato, I imagine this gave them some sense of closure. They didn’t address media following the hearing and who could blame them.