A photo of a dog named Madison is seen as her owner returns to her burned-out home in Paradise, Calif.
Photo courtesy Andrea Gaylord/K9 Paw Prints Rescue/Facebook
Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Rescue groups in California say they are overwhelmed with pets after the Camp Fire destroyed thousands of homes and separated many dogs and cats from their owners.
Officials say there are about 1,500 animals living in tents outside the old county hospital in Oroville. They've been homeless since the Camp Fire burned more than 150,000 acres in Butte County last month. Some, they say, were abandoned by owners fleeing the fire and others were picked up as strays.
"Fourteen-thousand homes were destroyed and these are pretty much the animals from those 14,000 homes," Norm Rosene of the North Valley Animal Disaster Group told KOVR-TV "Every animal has a daily care sheet, so we take care of the animal, dogs are fed twice a day, they're walked twice a day."
Officials said the long-term hope is the animals will be reunited with their owners. If not, they will be taken in by foster owners who could get them ready for adoption.
One Paradise, Calif., resident, however, has already been reunited with their dog. The canine, named Madison, was found by its owner after about a month -- waiting at its burned-out home. An animal rescue volunteer had rescued Miguel, Madison's sibling, but hadn't seen any sign of Madison.
"You could never ask for a better animal," owner Andrea Gaylord told USA Today. "Imagine the loyalty of hanging in through the worst of circumstances and being here waiting.
"It was so emotional."
The Camp Fire killed 85 people, many of them in Paradise. Last week, a San Francisco law firm filed a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric, blaming it for starting the blaze.