BOULDER, Colo. — It’s hard to describe the bond between people and their pets until a disaster, like a fire, threatens to take it all away.
“This is really the best place if somebody is missing their pet for them to call us,” said Jan McHugh-Smith, CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
Over the past several days, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley has seen the separation firsthand.
“We've taken in almost 50 animals from either stray animals brought in by our partners with Boulder County Animal Control, City of Boulder, Broomfield Animal Control,” McHugh-Smith said.
So far, all but nine animals have been reunited with their families after the Marshall Fire. When the families see their beloved pets again, it's a moment of pure joy.
“These reunifications have been so touching. People are just so grateful to have their animal back," McHugh-Smith said. "They've lost everything, and to have your animal your, your pet with you is such a comfort for people."
For the other nine animals, their owners have been found, and the humane society is helping to board their pets while families find a new home.
Veterinarians have also helped several animals exposed to smoke during the fire.
“We actually had a family that brought in three cats, a tortoise, a bird, and we've had a number of other dogs and cats that folks asked us to take a look at because they were worried about smoke inhalation,” McHugh-Smith said.
The humane society says the first step people should take if their pet is missing is to call and file a report. Donated items from the community are also available to anyone in need.
“The human society’s main goal is to keep people and pets together,” McHugh-Smith said.
It's a goal that's made even more critical after many people have lost so much.
The Humane Society has all the pet food and supplies they need, but the best way you can still help is a donation to its Emergency Safety Net Fund, which will provide emergency boarding and free pet food and supplies for families in need.
Ivan Rodriguez at KMGH first reported this story.