Grand Canyon Chapter Works to Protect Pets amid Yarnell Wildfire

Child holds dog
The Red Cross folks make you feel at home, even when you don’t know if you have a home to go back to.

PRESCOTT (Sept. 4, 2013) – When the Carter family evacuated their Peeples Valley home in the face of the Yarnell Hill Fire, they took what was most precious with them – eight dogs and two cats.

The Carters and their pets found refuge this summer at Yavapai College in Prescott, where the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter and Animal Disaster Services ran side-by-side shelters. For more than 10 years, the partnership has been key to convincing pet owners to leave home during disasters, as they know their animals will be cared for right next door to where they’re sheltering.

Wendie Carter experienced comfort in cradling her Shih Tzu puppy, Pikachu. “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, Carter’s three grandsons and her granddaughter made sure Hunter, Poppy and Cadden received plenty of exercise and affection. “People won’t leave their pets behind,” Carter said. “This setup is great. It’s good for the animals, and it’s good for the people.”

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit, like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.