Urgent From PETA: Wildfire Survival Tips to Help Animals, Large and Small

For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Amarillo, Texas – With the Smokehouse Creek fire extending to nearly 1.3 million acres—becoming the largest wildfire in Texas history and the second largest in U.S. history—and conditions expected to worsen this weekend, PETA warns that animals are likely to die if abandoned during an evacuation. This information will undoubtedly save many animals’ lives and avoid much human remorse.

During evacuations, PETA urges ranchers to cut fences and open stalls to allow cows, horses, and other large animals at least a fighting chance to escape. Thousands of cows have already died, as 85% of cows in Texas live in the panhandle where the fires are raging. There is footage online showing cows trying to get away and horses running for their lives. Anyone who sees animals in danger or distress should assist if possible, but if they’re unable to help, they should note their exact location and alert authorities immediately.

Small animals such as cats, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and gerbils should be placed securely in carriers (birds should be covered), and dogs should be kept on a secure harness and leash. Take enough food for your animals to last several days.

Residents in areas affected by smoke and falling ash should keep animals indoors and avoid all outdoor activities, such as running with dogs.

Anyone who evacuates and intentionally abandons animals to fend for themselves may be prosecuted.

Please see PETA’s wildfire-preparedness public service announcement featuring Ali MacGraw.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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