Groups brave freezing temperatures in search of missing pets in Marshall Fire

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – It has been a week since a fire ravaged Boulder County and residents are still desperate for their pets.

However, freezing temperatures and inches of snow did not stop local organizations and volunteers. They still have boots on the ground, searching for any missing animals in the remains of the Marshall fire.

Seven long days have passed since flames roared and ravaged houses now covered in snow. Cats, dogs and other animals are still missing, and pet owners are taking to social media to try and locate their furry friends.

Groups work to find lost animals

Many public Facebook pages have been created, including BLost and found pets, where residents post photos and descriptions of their animals, hoping it will lead to a happy ending.

Organizations like Soul Dog Rescue are mobilizing to help those who need it. Volunteer Betsy Wagner says their priority right now is to find lost cats, and successfully find one already.

“A lot of people just hoped their animals could escape,” Wagner said. “We’ve been on the ground since it’s safe. The animals are really tough, so we keep our fingers crossed. I know all of the owners, but the reality is cold temperatures don’t help.

The freezing temperatures are not, but the snow helps in the search somewhat. Wagner says the white powder allows volunteers to track and visibly see animal tracks. She adds that they saw deer, coyote, rabbit and cat tracks.

How groups search for pets

On Thursday, Wagner showed FOX31 how they search for lost cats in the Spanish Hills neighborhood.

The organization traveled to the burn area to set up hunting cameras and safe animal traps. The traps are covered with blankets to keep cats warm, and small amounts of food line the cage to lure them inside. Wagner says they frequently check traps under these conditions.

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley is the official center for animals missing in the Marshall fire. CEO Jan McHugh-Smith advises those still searching for their pets to file a “lost animal report”To hopefully be reunited.

“We have taken in animals that have been lost or need a place to stay if their family is evacuated,” said McHugh-Smith. “Unfortunately, this fire has been so rapid that people have not had a chance to take their animals out and it is devastating for these families and our hearts go out to them.”

The CEO shared good news with FOX31 that the company has taken in 50 animals since last week and that on Thursday evening 40 of them were reunited with their owners. File a lost animal report here.

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