The Santa Barbara Tea Fire that ignited Nov. 13 and destroyed 100 homes also left more than a dozen companion animals severely burned. Resident Tammy Bowers was not home when the fire broke out, and she feared the worst for her pets.
The family dog, two cats, and a horse were all trapped in the blaze. Their home burned to the ground.
“Nobody was home at the time to get any of them out of harm’s way,” Bowers said. “The animals were on their own while the kids cried over the probable loss of their pets and I prayed fervently that these much-loved pets would be miraculously saved.”
Somehow, the animals were able to run to safety, and with help from Santa Barbara County Animal Services, the animals were found, one by one, according to Nicole Forsyth, president and CEO of United Animal Nations. The nonprofit group that assists animals in crisis has been working to ensure that Bowers and other fire victims are able to seek immediate, lifesaving care for their injured pets.
Bowers turned to UAN seeking financial assistance through the LifeLine program, which provides grants after fires and other life-threatening emergencies. Her dog Kristy, a 7-year-old Border Collie mix, suffered severe burns on her feet, stomach, and face, along with smoke inhalation, and requires thousands of dollars in veterinary care.
Forsyth said the grant program provides up to $500 to qualified applicants. For Bowers, this will help cover the cost of wound care, burn ointments, and related medication for her pets. The animals were expected to make a full recovery.