Holy Fire dogs arrive at Rancho Coastal Humane Society


The latest refugees-on-four-paws have been transferred to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas as a result of the Holy Fire that has devastated parts of Riverside County and Orange Counties. RCHS has long been known as the San Diego area animal shelter that greeted pets from disaster areas across the country with “open paws.” The first of the dogs, now named Ash, Ember, Flame, Smokey, Kona, Hook, and Ladder, will be available for adoption starting Thursday, August 16th.

“These are indirect victims of the Holy Fire,” says Kathy Zerkle, RCHS Vice President of Adoption Services. “They were already being cared for by our rescue partners at Animal Friends of the Valley in Wildomar. They had more fire victims pouring in with no place to care for them. They asked if we could take some of their animals to create space for the new victims.”

Zerkle points out that these are fire victims, even though they weren’t evacuated from their homes. “With the smell and the sense of urgency in the shelter, they knew that something was wrong. We got them out of there as soon as possible, before any permanent damage could take place.”

The new arrivals at RCHS include:

  • Ash: 1-and-a-half-year-old, 73-pound, male, Siberian Husky
  • Ember: 4-year-old, 63-pound, female, Shepherd mix
  • Flame: 4-year-old, 56-pound, male, Chow Chow mix
  • Smokey: 6-year-old, 73-pound, male, Akita mix
  • Kona: 2-year-old, 52-pound, female, Labrador mix
  • Hook and Ladder: 2-month-old, 21-pound, Shepherd mix puppies

“The first of these dogs is scheduled to become available for adoption this Thursday, August 16th. The public can come to the shelter to view them in their kennels and fill out adoption applications now. The puppies will be isolated until they’ve had their medical and behavioral examinations.”
Zerkle adds that RCHS is accepting donations to cover the costs associated with the Holy Fire dogs and other arriving at RCHS each week.

For more information call 760-753-6413, visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, or log on to

Kennels and Cattery open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Tuesday.

— Submitted news release