Livestock Shelters

  • Molalla Buckeroo
    815 Shirley St., Molalla map
    For those with livestock who are under evacuation notices.

Resources for Domestic Pets

Returning Home

Health of Pets and Livestock on Return

Information provided by Melissa A. Robert, D.V.M., Clackamas County Dog Services Staff Veterinarian

Considerations for pets and livestock after wildfires

  • Once you have received official notification that you may return to your property, it’s critical for you to ensure that the property is safe for you, your pets and your livestock.
  • As you travel home, watch for loose/stray animals in the roadway.
  • Dress for safety and do an initial inspection of your property – including your structures and pastures. By identifying unstable trees, power lines, spot fires, smoldering debris and ash pits, you will know where your livestock can be safely housed and what areas to avoid until issue(s) can be remedied.
  • Any animals that could not be evacuated should be checked for injuries. The most common injuries involve wounds from running into fences and barriers. Also watch for burns and the effects of smoke inhalation. Even minor burns can create a significant degree of shock, pain and systemic infections, and should be promptly assessed by your veterinarian.
  • Report missing animals to your local authorities and be sure to provide the last known location, identification and disposition of the animal (aggressive, timid, etc.)

When there is smoke

Inhaling unhealthy air containing smoke and particulates can be extremely irritating to animals as well as people, and can cause health problems.

  • As long as you can see or feel the effects of smoke yourself, closely monitor your pets, horses and livestock and take precautions to keep them safe.
  • Animals with preexisting heart and/or respiratory disease are especially at risk from smoke and should be closely watched during all periods of poor air quality.

Tips for livestock:

  • Limit exercise when smoke is visible. Don’t require animals to perform activities that substantively increase airflow into and out of their lungs.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water near feeding areas. Well hydrated animals will be better able to clear inhaled smoke particulates by keeping their airways moist.
  • Limit dust exposure by feeding low-dust or dust-free feeds and sprinkling or misting the livestock holding area.
  • Provide high-quality forage with a protein and mineral supplement to offset stress. (Recent research indicates that forages affected by wildfire ash are likely safe for consumption.)

Tips for pets:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, and keep your windows closed.
  • Birds are particularly susceptible to smoke and should not be allowed outside when smoke or ash is present.
  • If air quality alerts are in effect, let dogs and cats outside only for brief bathroom breaks.
  • Avoid intense outdoor exercise for your pets when the air quality is poor. Wait to exercise your pets when dust and smoke has settled.

Consult your veterinarian if any of your pets or livestock show any of these signs of smoke or dust irritation:

  • Coughing or gagging
  • Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing and increased noise when breathing
  • Eye irritation and excessive watering
  • Inflammation of throat or mouth
  • Nasal discharge
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Disorientation or stumbling
  • Reduced appetite and/or thirst