TFS Animal Reunification

This was written for previous disasters, but the core of this advise applies anywhere.  We don’t know who the most active aid groups are, but the wisdom below should help.

Pets are family. Many people want to help you find your family.  Also animals in shelters prior to the fires will be pushed out of the originating geographic area to make room for fire animals.  They need fostering too.

If you see a request below for a volunteer to provide information, we would be grateful for your contribution to this effort.  By providing any requested information below you are helping recovery / reunification efforts for EVERYONE!  Thank you!

Below you will find the following:

  1. How to search for a LOST animal
  2. How to re-unite a FOUND animal
  3. How to FOSTER an animal
  4. Social media posting instructions
  5. Caring for animals with smoke and burn injuries
  6. Wildlife Fire Assistance
  7. Deceased animal removal

How to search for a LOST animal

THEN we recommend you do the following to continue your search;
  1. Around your home we suggest you do the following:
    1. Make a flyer with your contact information, description of the animal and location last seen. We made a LOST OR FOUND ANIMAL FLYER that you can edit, if you wish. Make tear off tabs on the bottom of your flyer with contact info. (name, number, animal type/color) ALSO please reserve one unique identifier as private information (origin or scar) so you can positively match when an animal fitting your description is located. Remember, if your pet needs medication put that on the flyer too.
    2. Post the flyer to alert people within a 1 mile radius, especially near high-traffic streets, grocery stores, libraries, coffee shops, gas stations, schools and drugstores are great places to hang flyers.
    3. Talk to your neighbors. Give them a copy of your flyer.
    4. Give flyers to delivery people in your area. Postal people, UPS and Fed Ex Drivers and other delivery people can be very helpful.
    5. Talk to the children who play in the neighborhood because they are outside more than the adults. Show them your flyer and/or ask them to give it to their parents.
    6. Search on evenings and weekends when it’s quiet. Call your pet’s name or whistle. Drive slowly in your neighborhood. Your animal may recognize the sound of your car. Also, leave a piece of clothing with your scent on it near your home.
    7. If all the buildings in the area have been destroyed, the animal may migrate:
      • Remember that if your pet is injured or frightened it will hide.
      • Even if your home is burned to the ground, leave food and water. Also leave an article of clothing with your scent on it. The animal may return, if it is not captured.
      • Check nearby buildings. Cats in particular, will tend to seek refuge at a building closest to their original home or where people are gathering.
      • If all the houses burned, it is highly likely that the animal left thru a creek or other wildlife corridor in search of food and people. Head downhill.
    8. Remember, please don’t get discouraged. It may take several weeks, months or sometimes years to find your animal. And once your animal is found, if you are unable to care for it due to loss of housing, ask the Facebook community for assistance. There is help out there.
    9. If you find your animal, make sure your microchip for your pet is updated with your current contact information. It’s about $15 at the local shelter, plus a yearly fee.
    10. Please spay/neuter your pet (especially if it is a cat). The shelter may have low cost options for those on a budget.
    11. If you find your animal, please make sure you remove flyers and let everyone know your pet was found.

How to re-unite a FOUND animal

Please give the gift to be re-united or say goodbye. If you fostered an animal that you would like to see returned to the original owner, you will be providing an AMAZING service.

For those that lost everything they had, reuniting with the animals they loved or giving them a chance to say good bye could be the KINDEST thing you could EVER do for someone.

We promise there are many other animals needing your love, if you end up saying goodbye to your foster furries!

  1. Remember to ask for all records of the animal, including place of origin.
  2. Check the list of animals reported lost by owner at your local shelter, then report the animal here with a picture.
  3. Several volunteers are still looking to match lost and found animals. In order to successfully do this
    • Email or text the following about your lost pet
    • a picture of your lost pet
    • detailed description
    • last known location (area only, not exact addresses)
    • your contact information
  4. If someone contacts you about an animal you are holding: Try to get positive identification from the caller for getting a match. Usually animal services reserves telling owners about the location the animal originated from. From past experience, they found this helpful. Other details may include a scar or other identifier that makes this animal unique. Or ask for their pet’s previous pictures or vet records.

If the animal you have found is deceased, please contact your local animal shelter. Cremation services for all fire animals offered at a significant discount, if a fee applies to the situation.

How to FOSTER an animal

The shelters need to make room for displaced fire animals. They are asking volunteers to take in adoptable pets.  Unfortunately, many of these shelters had taken in pets from Hurricane Harvey, so your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Listings are given approximately from South to North: (Ventura… tell us who has foster shelters and we will add you to this list.)

To find a location to board your animal in Oakland or Dublin, visit or call their emergency boarding number at 925-479-9670. And because some pets aren’t always furry, the East Bay Vivarium in Berkeley is offering two months of free boarding for reptile, amphibian and arachnids. Rattie Ratz in Clayton is taking in rats displaced by the fire.

Social media posting instructions

Hashtags in all postings to make it searchable.  Here’s some that I’m seeing being used:  (Ventura.. what are your hashtags?)

#napastrong #sonomastrong #thomasfire #lostpets #foundpets
#LOSTPETSsonomacountyfire2017 #FOUNDPETSSonomaCountyFire2017

There are a TON of hashtags and I want to make sure I’m sharing the best information.  Volunteers, please contact us and tell us which hashtags are most used, so we can share that with others.  =)

Authorities are cautioning people not to give out personal information, such as your address and to withhold one positive identifying mark to confirm a match.

Thank you for doing what you can to help.

Caring for Animals with Smoke and Burn Injuries

This was written for livestock, but some of the same logic applies for small domestic animals. Click here for the downloadable flyer on Caring for Animals with Smoke and Burn Injuries.

Wildlife Fire Assistance

(Ventura,  who handles wildlife in your area?)

Deceased Animal Removal

(Ventura,  who handles deceased animals in your area?)

For the county of Sonoma visit the county’s website.

For the County of Napa, the following is information from Napa Planning, Building and Environmental Services:


  • Small animals: Call Animal Control at 707-253-4451
  • Large Animals: Call central dispatch at 707-257-9223


  • Small animals: Call Devlin Road Transfer Station 707-258-9005 or Clover Flat Landfill 707-963-7988
  • Large animals: Call Clover Flat Landfill ahead of time to make arrangements for drop off 707-963-7988


  • Please contact Greg Pirie at Planning, Building and Environmental Services at 707-253-4417 for guidance

About and (as featured The Press Democrat) provided a regional database that transcends all geographic and contractual barriers to reunification.

The main reason for it’s existence was because during the Valley Fire of 2015, Lake County Animal Care and Control had no way for lost and found animals pictures to be submitted and shared. That is the primary means of animal identification. With animals spread across more than 5 counties, this was a HUGE problem. was purely run by volunteers with no intent to create a “business”. We cooperated with all individuals and agencies, including local shelters, to assist in animal welfare during this incredibly difficult recovery effort. is intended to compliment the finding and care services provided by agencies, vets and Good Samaritans. No system will be perfect in getting pets and their humans reunited.

Volunteers worked very hard to help this happen…. Including TipsFromSurvivors that invested $1,600 into a direct mailing to inform people about the best search and recovery options after the Valley Fire Storm.

This was an example of one of our postings from that fire.

This kitty, Mr. Burns, had many offers for a new forever home. Some still need one. Maybe yours?

Disclaimer: This website contains hypertext links to external websites. is not responsible for the subject matter or accessibility of these external websites, and does not endorse any entity or product for which a link may be provided. External links are provided as a convenience for users of this site. The people offering this website to the public are acting as Good Samaritans to respond to the state of emergency declared by the state of California.

By using this site or its content or services or ideas in any way, you agree to now and forever waive and release any claims whatsoever against anyone involved with this volunteer initiative, arising from any cause or event, or any action or non-action, real or imagined.

~*~ updated 10/20/17 ~*~

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