Story: The Carter Family

July 4, 2013

When the Carter family of Peeple’s Valley, Ariz., had to abandon their home in the face of the Yarnell Hill wildfire, they took what was most precious with them: eight dogs and two cats.

The entire household has found refuge at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, where the American Red Cross and Animal Disaster Services have teamed up to run side-by-side shelters for humans and pets. For more than 10 years, the partnership has been key to getting pet-lovers to leave home when necessary, because they know their animals will be welcome and well cared for right next door to where they are sheltering.

The Carter family initially went to stay with a friend in Yarnell, but when raging flames threatened that community, they had just half an hour to flee. Sheriff’s deputies directed them to the Red Cross shelter, where there would also be food, water and the compassion of caring volunteers.

Even as she hopes and prays that her home will be spared, Wendie Carter takes comfort in cradling her little furry pup, Pikachu. “He’s my kid,” she says fondly.

“The Red Cross folks make you feel at home,” Carter said, “even when you don’t know if you have a home to go back to.”

Meanwhile, three grandsons and a granddaughter make sure Hunter, Poppy and Cadden get plenty of exercise and affection. Latere, they’ll turn their attention to the four puppies and to the cats.

“People won’t leave their pets behind,” Carter said firmly. “This set-up is great. It’s good for the animals and it’s good for the people.”

VIDEO: Hunkering Down for the Blizzard

February 8, 2013

SC Wildfires: Press Release 4.23.09

April 24, 2009

Red Cross Response to Horry County Wildfire

The American Red Cross continues to assist area residents displaced by the Horry County wildfires with shelter, food and mental health counseling. In addition, Red Cross volunteers are keeping firefighters and other rescue workers hydrated and fed.

“I don’t know what we would do without the Red Cross, they are providing us with water and food and helping us make sure our guys are well taken care of,” said Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Gary Alderman.

The American Red Cross distributed 455 meals this morning and prepared lunch.

Shelters remain open at the following locations:

  • House of Blues, 4640 Highway 17, North Myrtle Beach, 843-272-3000‎ (Note, this information is subject to change at any time. Call 1-800-Red-Cross to verify)

Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters, but the shelter at Barefoot Community Church, 701 Main Street, North Myrtle Beach, has room for 100 people with pets.

Additionally, pets can be brought to the following locations:

  • Altman Animal Clinic, 246 9th Avenue Ext., Aynor, 843-358-6745
  • Animal Supply House 523 Highway 17 N., North Myrtle Beach, 843-280-8471 – dogs less than 40 pounds and other caged animals
  • Meadowlawn Animal Services, 715 Highway 701 S., Loris, 843-756-6560
  • Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital, 3928 Highway 17, Murrells Inlet, 843-651-3355
  • Saint Francis Animal Hospital, Olde Highway 17, Little River, 843-249-1988

Red Cross volunteers and Emergency Response Vehicles are being deployed from across the state to aid in relief efforts.

South Carolina Wildfires: Safety Tips

April 23, 2009

Here are some tips if you are evacuating:

  • Wear protective clothing–sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a handkerchief to protect your face.
  • Take your pets. The American Red Cross cannot accept pets in shelters due to FDA regulations; however the Red Cross has partnered with local animal hospitals and rescue organizations to make arrangement for pets. There is limited space for evacuees’ pets at either the Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital at 843-651-3355 or the Saint Frances Animal Hospital at 843-249-1988.
  • Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Lock your home.
  • Tell someone when you left and where you are going. Also, register on the Red Cross website, Safe and Well.
  • Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.

Red River Floods: Postcard from Courtney Johnson

March 31, 2009

Postcard: Courtney Johnson

Missa (pronounced ME-sha) is not a typical Red Cross shelter resident. The 1-year-old German Shepard mix is Jacky Ogundeji’s service dog. Although pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters, Missa’s status of a service dog allows her to accompany Jacky.

“I’ve had Missa for two months. Right away I was able to tell how much she helps me with my seizures and panic disorder” Jacky said.

Missa and Jacky are training with Service Animals of America and expect to finish their obedience classes soon.

“My life has been a lot easier and a lot less stressful with her in my life” Jacky says of Missa.

The Red Cross has opened 6 shelters in the Fargo Moorhead area and had a total of 286 shelter residents last night.

Preparedness Alert: Flooding along the Red River

March 21, 2009

Preparedness Alert

Over the next several days and weeks, flooding is expected along the Red River in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Please consult the National Weather Service or your local media outlets to learn of flood watches and warnings in your area.

Here are some actions you can take to prepare:

  • Know if your home is at risk for flooding. If unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
  • Plan for your pets. Know where they can go should your family need to evacuate.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
  • Prepare a family disaster plan.

The majority of flood-related deaths occur in cars. Do not attempt to drive through flood waters even if they appear to be shallow.

CA Wildfires: Orange County Press Release 11.16.08

November 16, 2008

California Wildfires – November 2008

Site and Shelter location information is subject to change without notice. Please check with your local chapter or call 1-866-GET-INFO to confirm this information.


Red Cross Maintaining Three Orange County Shelters

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The American Red Cross of Orange County continues to serve and assist victims of the Triange Complex Fire. The shelters are located at:

  • Valencia High School, 500 North Bradford, Placentia, CA 92870, (Located on Bradford between Chapman Ave. and Ruby)
  • Brea Community Center, 695 Madison Avenue, Brea, CA 92821 (Corner of Madison and Randolph)
  • Katella High School, 2200 E Wagner Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806 (on Wagner Ave. east of State College)

Additional American Red Cross shelters nearby:

  • Diamond Bar High School, 2140 E. Pathfinder Rd., Diamond Bar, CA
  • Ayala High School, 14255 Peyton Drive, Chino Hills, CA

Though the Red Cross will provide a safe place to stay, food and clothing, evacuees are encouraged to bring essential items, such as medication, and any items that will assist with their comfort (teddy bears, pictures, special pillows, etc).

Also, the American Red Cross of Orange County has opened its call center to assist residents and those affected by the Triangle Complex Fire. The phone number is 714-384-0884. The hotline will be open from 8:00AM to 8:00 PM. Callers will be given information regarding donations, volunteering, and establishing contact with loved ones affected by the fires.

The American Red Cross has established a Safe and Well list that allows evacuees to let loved ones know their status. All evacuees are encouraged to register as “safe and well” by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting

Animal Information:

  • Small Animals: Orange County Animal Shelter. 561 The City Drive. Orange, CA 92868 (next to 22 freeway)
  • Large Animals: Huntington Beach Equestrian Center at 18381 Goldenwest St. in Huntington Beach.


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