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ASPCA: Alyssa Fleck, alyssa.fleck@aspca.org, 917.575.2343
OC Animal Care: Alexa Pratt, alexa.pratt@occr.ocgov.com, 714.514.2395

Photos (Credit/ASPCA): https://aspca.box.com/s/p0car8jgb53qu4vw1t9fptbxjaayzfkl

ASPCA Partners with Orange County Animal Care to Relocate More Than 100 Shelter Dogs in the Aftermath of the Tustin Hangar Fire

Tustin, Calif.–In response to the ongoing local state of emergency resulting from the North Hangar Fire in Tustin, Calif., the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is partnering with Orange County Animal Care (OCAC) to fly more than 100 shelter dogs to the ASPCA’s recovery center in Columbus, Ohio. Ongoing flare-ups, high winds, and announced deconstruction of the remaining structure, which is in close proximity to the shelter, have prevented staff from safely bringing the dogs in their care outside for walks, exercise, and playtime. To combat this concern and ensure the dogs continue to receive the care they need, they are being flown to a facility operated by the ASPCA that is dedicated to the recovery of some of the country’s most vulnerable animals, including those displaced by emergency situations like this. The dogs will then be placed with partner shelters and made available for adoption in the coming weeks. The ASPCA is continuing to work with OCAC to assist with additional needs during this difficult time, including supporting their kitten nursery by transporting kittens that require specialized care out of the shelter in the coming days, and working with them to develop a comprehensive disaster plan for future emergencies.

Since the onset of the fire, OCAC has responded quickly to put protective measures in place to ensure the continued safety of all staff, animals, and visitors. This includes widespread efforts to partner with local, state, and national agencies to move animals out of the shelter through transport programs and community pleas to help place dogs into foster homes.

“Our team at OC Animal Care has been at modified operations since November 7, when the North Hangar initially caught fire, which includes limiting dogs to the inside portion of their kennels,” said Monica Schmidt, Interim Director. “This partnership with the ASPCA, including their commitment to providing vital resources, is affording over 100 dogs the opportunity to relocate from our shelter as modified operations continue with no definite end date. We are incredibly grateful to our partners at the ASPCA, who like us and our community, care deeply for the dogs in Orange County.”

“The ASPCA is uniquely positioned to support shelter partners across the country during emergency situations by quickly mobilizing and providing critical resources and services that alleviate strain on local animal welfare organizations and keep vulnerable animals out of harm’s way,” said Karen Walsh, senior director of ASPCA Animal Relocation. “We are grateful to Orange County Animal Care for their ongoing efforts to prioritize the wellbeing of the animals in their care and are proud to collaborate with them to move these animals to safety and provide them with a second chance at finding loving homes.”

In addition to providing boots on the ground assistance in response to emergencies and disasters, the ASPCA works closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities. The ASPCA also works with lawmakers to increase access to co-sheltering opportunities to keep people and pets together when they are displaced by natural or manmade disasters.

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About OC Animal Care
OC Animal Care is the largest municipal animal shelter in Orange County, located at 1630 Victory Rd. Tustin, CA 92782. It services 14 cities and takes in over 14,500 animals each year. OC Animal Care provides refuge and care for animals, fosters the human-animal bond, and promotes safety in our community. For more information about OC Animal Care, please visit ocpetinfo.com.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization to be established in North America and today serves as the nation’s leading voice for vulnerable and victimized animals. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA assists animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources. For more information, visit www.ASPCA.org, and follow the ASPCA on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok