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Arizona shelter battles to stretch resources for pets forced to evacuate from wildfires

Wildfire Dog
CNN Newsource

PHOENIX (CNN) - A shelter in Arizona is helping keep family pets safe for evacuees having to leave their homes because of the Backbone Fire.

As crews fight the raging Backbone Fire, there is now a safe haven for people fleeing the area to bring their pets.

"Our response team deployed today to Payson," Bretta Nelson of Arizona Humane Society said.

The Arizona Humane Society set up a temporary animal shelter at Rim Country Middle School in Payson.

A team of six is there taking in cats and dogs.

"Right now we are assisting the Humane Society of Central Arizona because their shelter is full," Nelson said,

Nelson said she wants to get the word out there.

"One of the biggest things with these fires is people are afraid to evacuate without their pets," she said. "And often times, they don't think there is a place for their pets to go."

Nelson wants people to know their pets will be taken care of.

If there is an emergency, a veterinarian and medical animal tech are there.

"We are examining pets," she said. "We will vaccinate them upon intake -- free of charge."

The Backbone Fire, sparking up during a demanding time for the Arizona Humane Society.

"We have deployed 36 team members in the last two weeks," she said.

While it provides resources in Payson, help is still needed here in the Valley as temperatures soar.

"None of the work in Phoenix goes away," Nelson said. "So the number of heat calls we are receiving, our field teams are going out on is extreme as well."

There is another shelter open for people who have livestock.

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