Pet Food Express Donates Funds and Supplies to Pet Owners After California Wildfires
Following the fires in Napa and Sonoma in California, Pet Food Express set up a donation SKU at all its stores and began accepting monetary donations, as well as directly donating supplies to all its rescue partners in the fire zone in Napa and Sonoma counties. The donation of supplies included thousands of crates, dog and cat food, kitty litter, bowls and more. In addition, the California-based chain delivered supplies to its stores in the region impacted by the fires that were given out to customers based on their needs.
In total, the retailer gave away thousands of crates and tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of product. Pet Food Express also raised about $30,000 that will be donated to its pet rescue/shelter partners there.
The company also provided free pet washes at nearly all its stores in the North Bay through Oct. 31. The retailer did this to help people get rid of the soot and smell. The soot and ash from the fires is filled with toxins from the cars/metal that burned (unlike a forest fire), so the retailer felt it was important to get dogs cleaned of the soot.
"Toxins can definitely be concentrated in ash, and the contaminants can be really, really bad, depending on what burned,” said John Tegzes, VMD. “Even pure forest fire ash is harmful alone, but when houses and cars burn with it, it creates a whole slurry of toxins, from heavy metals, to industrial chemicals, hydrocarbons, pesticides, plastics, etc.:
Tegzes recommends that pet owners do dot feed pets outside if you they help it; if pet owners do feed outside, thoroughly clean all bowls immediately after eating and keep them inside until the next feeding. Tegzes adds that pet owner should not allow water bowls to sit outside at all. If that cannot be avoided, owners can provide a cover and walls around the bowl to limit deposition of ash, etc.
“Bathing pets at least once a week is also critical since they groom by licking whatever is on their fur,” Tegzes said. “If ash seems particularly bad, it is not a bad idea for a quick bath once a day. Even when the fires are over, the ash persists for a bit, especially when the winds blow harder than usual. Really need some good rains for it to be less of a threat, and that could be a while yet."