Aera Energy partnered with the Humane Society of Ventura County (HSVC) Sept. 28 during United Way of Ventura’s “Day of Caring” aimed at helping the nonprofit prepare for wildfires and other possible emergencies.
Thirty Aera employees and contractors volunteered to clear brush from the facility and tidy up the shelter, located on 4.4 acres in Ojai.
“The Day of Caring was an opportunity for Aera to serve our furry neighbors and the people who love them,” said Michele Newell, public affairs representative for Aera’s Ventura operations.
“Science tells us that animals help improve our lives, and many people view their pets as members of their family,” she noted. “By sprucing up the HSVC shelter, we’ve improved the living arrangements for the animals there and provided a more inviting place for visitors who come to volunteer or adopt a new family member.”
During the devastating Thomas, Hill and Woolsey fires and floods that ripped through Ventura County in 2017 and 2018, the HSVC opened its doors 24/7 to assist families with pets evacuated in the unprecedented natural disasters. The HSVC sheltered hundreds of evacuated animals at its Ojai property until their owners could bring them home.
In other efforts to prepare for this year’s fire season, the HSVC has increased its capacity for animal intake. It’s also outfitted its fleet of trucks, vans and stock trailers with equipment and supplies.
“It’s one of those situations where we plan for the worst but hope for the best,” HSVC Senior Humane Officer Tracy Vail said.
“Our efforts helped HSVC get re-organized before the next disaster, which is central to preparedness for any emergency,” added Newell.