Ventura County California

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SP Chemical Fire

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VC Star Letters, Monday, December 8, 2014

On Nov. 18, a volatile chemical mixture exploded near Santa Paula. The resulting event trapped 71 dogs in their kennels at the Canine Adoption and Rescue League’s boarding kennel for 31 hours before evacuation could be accomplished.

Because of incredible community support, we were able to safely evacuate these stressed animals. I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the time, effort, resources and love that was extended.

Laura Abbott, our kennel supervisor, could not have been more attentive or energetic. C.A.R.L.’s kennel staff patiently stayed the course until allowed in to feed and care for “the furries” they love.

Dr. Burner of Anacapa Veterinary Hospital triaged all the dogs that night, determining which ones required immediate care. Dr. Jan, Dr. Kate and Dr. Rogers of Ohana Veterinary Hospital cared for each dog evacuated to Balcom Pet Lodge the next day.

On Nov. 18, volunteers from the rescue community appeared at “command center” determined to help rescue the dogs. There they stayed until after dark when they were denied entry into the kennel. The next day, when told we could evacuate, Jean Marie Webster and her staff and Patrick MaHarry provided horse trailers for the journey to Balcom.

They were accompanied by transportation vehicles provided by Ventura County Animal Services. VCAS officers Chris Abbott and Tony Ochoa drove the trucks and helped rescue and care for the dogs.

Special thanks to very supportive firefighters and sheriff’s personnel who not only promised we’d evacuate our dogs, but made it happen: Gil Zavlodaver, sheriff’s program administrator; Brian Clark, Ventura city fire marshal; Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Wareham and Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Weisenbery.

Thank you, Humane Society, for the volunteers and all the materials you made available without hesitation.

I offer my apologies to those I’ve missed, but please know your generosity is making recovery possible.

– Mary Saputo
Canine Adoption and Rescue League President

Visit our Facebook page for continued updates.


Thank you to Ventura Pet Barn, Petropolis, Petco Westlake, Healthy Pet and Petco Moorpark for being drop off locations for donations.


November 25, 2014

KEYT came to the Pet Care Center today to do a follow up on the dogs returning home after we were evacuated last Wednesday.

Please click here to view.

November 24, 2014

We’re moving the dogs back to the C.A.R.L.’s Pet Care Center today, and finally closing this very strange chapter in Canine Adoption and Rescue League’s story. Although we lost a lot of time and equipment, we have even more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Thank you to SERVPRO for working all day Sunday 11-23 to make our facility sparkle and smell wonderfully so we could move our dogs back and be open for business again!

To Balcom Canyon Pet Lodge: THANK YOU from the bottoms of our hearts. The entire CARL family was on the verge of tears that night in Santa Paula. We had no idea what was going to happen to our beloved animals, or if they would even survive. You welcomed them with open arms to puppy paradise until they could go home again, and for that we can never repay you.

To everyone who donated: THANK YOU! We rely on the generosity of the community even in the best of times, and the outpouring of love and support last week in our hour of need was completely staggering to us.

To the businesses that hosted donation sites: THANK YOU! Opening your doors and hearts to help the CARL dogs was so helpful. Ventura Pet Barn, Healthy Pet, Petco. It takes a village, and we are grateful.

To the veterinarians that made sure our dogs were healthy: THANK YOU! Especially Dr. Burner, VMSG, and Dr. Jan and the vets at Ohana Pet Hospital. They worked tirelessly to help check each and every dog, and thanks to their help, the dogs are recovering well.

To Laura and the CARL staff: THANK YOU! Your tireless strength and dedication to the safety of the animals in the face of such extreme hardship is an inspiration to us all.

To the volunteers: THANK YOU! This organization could not exist without you. The amount of time and energy and effort that continually flows into caring for our dogs and getting them into their forever homes is, to put it mildly, amazing. Big sloppy Cash and Junebug kisses all around!

To everyone who has ever told a friend about us, or shared a Facebook post, or pointed out a flyer, or spread the word any way they can: THANK YOU! The more people who know about us, the more dogs we can save!

And finally, to everyone who has ever adopted a rescue animal, from CARL or any shelter: Thank you. You’re the reason this whole enterprise is worth doing. Opening your heart and home to a rescue animal is a beautiful act, and your pets, our dogs, and all animals love and thank you for it.


UPDATE: Nov 22 – Something to be thankful for! We have the clearance to move back into our kennel! First we are having our kennel professionally cleaned and sanitized, then we will move our dogs back in. We will be open for business on Tuesday! Our kennel will be safe for the dogs that we treasure, and it will most certainly be safe for the dogs you treasure. Hooray!


November 19, 2014
EVENING UPDATE: This evening we are happy to report that the dogs are all fed, watered and in their new kennels at Balcom Canyon Pet Lodge with nice, clean bedding. We know you all have a lot of questions still, as do we. Within the next 24 to 48 hours we will be working on logistics of our next move. Our first task of getting the dogs out and medically treated has been accomplished. These are some of the issues we still face and will need help with in the upcoming days and weeks. We are far from being out of the woods.

1. C.A.R.L. raises a lot of money for it’s organization through its boarding facility. It is uncertain when we will be able to reopen. Financial donations can be made via PayPal on our website at

2. Balcom Canyon is a temporary location. They are booked for the upcoming holiday week. We may need foster families for some of some of our dogs. Most of them are medium to large in size which can make it more difficult to place them. We are exploring all options for temporary housing. Once we have an idea, we will share it with you.

We wish we had all the answers to everyone’s questions and concerns. As we get more information, we will continue to update all of you in a timely manner. For now all we can do is take things step by step.

We thank each and every one of you for your well wishes and donations. You have no idea how much your support for the dogs means to us. From the bottom of our hearts…thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh, and thank you!


November 19, 2014
UPDATE 2:52 pm. We are a bit behind schedule, but the dogs are getting evacuated. We have had specialists on the scene, testing the dogs and the building and they are NOT CONTAMINATED! HOORAY! So, volunteers, over 18 may help out! Please DO NOT CALL BALCOM CANYON PET LODGE! If you have questions, please email I will respond immediately.


November 19, 2014
UPDATE 1:23 PM. Good news!!!! We are evacuating the dogs at 2 pm!!! Staff are currently prepping to evacuate the dogs. Dogs are showing some signs of eye irritation. Only 2 horse trailers will be allowed on the premise to load the crates with approximately 60 CARL dogs. No one else will be allowed in. The dogs will then be transported to Balcom Canyon Pet Lodge. IMPORTANT!!!: If you are NOT OF CHILD BEARING AGE, we are asking for help! We will need volunteers to prep kennels, unload dogs, bathe the dogs, sanitize crates, etc. at Balcom Canyon Pet Lodge. 7980 Balcom Canyon Rd, Somis, CA 93066. Volunteers can start arriving at 2 pm. If you have these items, please bring: RUBBER GLOVES, FACE MASK, HEAVY DUTY BLACK GARBAGE BAGS so that you will be protected. We do not encourage volunteers of child bearing age since it is still uncertain what types of chemicals the dogs have been exposed to. Please protect yourself. Bring food, drink, and extra clothes. Thank you to the veterinarians, S.P.A.R.C., and Balcom Canyon Pet Lodge for your help. Thank you all for your continued support and patience as we help these dogs to safety.


November 19, 2014
UPDATE 11:47 Several Staff are at the kennel feeding and watering the dogs. They are evacuating 12 boarded dogs, taking them to Ohana Pet Hospital to be detoxed. Then, the dogs will either stay at Ohana or Anacapa for the time being. Boarders can then pick up their dogs at those locations. We are still in discussion to evacuating the other rescue dogs right now. Channel 5 & VC Star are covering this right now, so they will hopefully get some film in there of the condition. We will keep posting updates here as soon as we get them! Thank you for your continued support and prayers for our pooches!

Just a quick update. Several of the dogs are showing symptoms of irritated eyes. We at C.A.R.L have spoken to some of the news outlets who were misinformed and asked that they retract their statements which were untrue.

We are taking out as many dogs as they will allow. Yes all dogs need to be detoxed.

November 19, 2014
UPDATE 10:29 AM: Six people are going in to check on the dogs! 2 Animal Control officers, 2 Vets, and 2 staff Laura and Mike. They are going to make sure the dogs have food and water. We are so glad that we are able to go in and check on the dogs. Thank you for your support everyone. Depending on what they evaluate, we will let you know the next step we have to take. Everyone is doing all that they can to safely help the dogs. Thank you!


November 18, 2014
We know you want to help the dogs like we do!- Here are a few things the C.A.R.L. dogs may need in the next few days. Brandi will have a vet bill we will need to pay. You can help Brandi by going to and click on the donate button. (Note that it is for Brandi!) Thank you! Also, to help clean the dogs, keep the humans safe while doing so, and clean the premises, this is just a rough list until we hear from Poison Control: Heavy Duty Plastic/Rubber gloves, Disposable face masks, Dawn and Palmolive, Large Black Trash Bags, Fleece Blankets, Bleach, Canned Dog Food. You can text Lynne (Ventura area) 805-665-7887 or Tara (Oxnard area) 909-289-6565 for drop off or at Ventura Pet Barn at 3203 E. Main Street. Cross street is Lang. (Just let them know it’s for CARL.) Thank you for your continued support everyone!


November 18, 2014


November 18, 2014

Click to read an article in VC Reporter.


November 18, 2014
UPDATE 12:45 PM: The situation has deteriorated. Chris and Mike were forced to evacuate. All emergency people have left, they are going to let the fire burn, if you have seen the TV there is lots to burn. They will not let us in and we have 71animals in trouble. Please help us get the word out tv/radio/press/social media so we can go in and rescue the animals.

November 18, 2014
10 AM For those who may have heard and are worried there is a fire and hazardous material event on Mission Rock Road. C.A.R.L.’s Pet Care Center is NOT involved. Our caretaker Mike and Kennel Administrator Chris are on site caring for the dogs. The air there is fine, the wind is pushing smoke from the fire toward the freeway, the dogs are staying in their night runs. Everyone had breakfast and their meds. The power is off so the phones are not working, we are in communication with Mike and Chris on their cell phones. We can not accept or discharge dogs or cats today because the roads are closed into the area. If there is any concern for the safety of the animals or people we will put out the word for help evacuating. Balcom Canyon Pet Lodge has offered to house our animals if necessary and has 3 vans to help evacuate. Happily, that is not necessary at this time, everyone is fine.

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