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Coconino Humane Association cares for dozens of animals evacuated in Tunnel Fire

Coconino Humane Association

The Coconino Humane Association in Flagstaff has taken in more than a hundred animals evacuated from the Tunnel Fire. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the facilities are full but animal foster families have stepped up to help.

Shelter staff were able to send animals already in the facility to foster families to make room for newcomers during the evacuation. They estimate the pet shelter at 4th Street and Butler currently has fifty dogs and cats.

Cameron Bonito, a dog trainer of the shelter, says more animals are expected. "The animals are in just as much stress as people. Walking back into the kennels they’re confused, they don’t know what’s going on, they think their owners turned them into the shelter and it’s scary."

Bonito says some staff members are spending the night at the Ft. Tuthill stables, where dozens of larger animals like horses and goats are housed. Coconino Humane Association has received community donations of food, hay and cash, but Bonito says the shelter could use more volunteers.

Meanwhile, animal shelters set up for the Crooks Fire south of Prescott are seeing much less demand. Staff at Animal Disaster Services in Prescott Valley invite evacuated pet owners who need to run errands to drop off their pets for brief periods. 24-hour care is also available.

Tunnel Fire evacuees can take their pets to Coconino Humane Association: 3501 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, and large animals to the Fort Tuthill County Stables.

Crooks Fire evacuees can take their pets to Animal Disaster Services, and large animals to the LASER Shelter.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.