Wildfires have been raging for weeks throughout the Great Smoky Mountains, spreading to several states including Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and North Carolina. Yesterday, emergency officials ordered evacuations in the popular tourist towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Emergency workers are still battling the flames, though a much-needed rainfall helped to reduce the fires overnight. News outlets are reporting that approximately 100 homes in the Gatlinburg area have been damaged or destroyed, and thousands of residents and animals are still displaced.
Early this morning, users on social media expressed concern regarding the welfare of animals inside Ober Gatlinburg (a ski park) and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Thankfully, both of these companies stated today that their structures are intact and the animals inside are safe.
Below is a list of animal organizations in need, with information on how you can help.
Sevier County Humane Society | Sevierville, Tennessee
On Monday night, staff at the Sevier County Humane Society (SCHS) evacuated dozens of cats and dogs from their shelter and transported them to safe locations. The Humane Society of Tennessee Valley, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, and Pets Without Parents are among the many nearby organizations helping to care for these animals or assisting with other emergency needs. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear whether the Sevier County shelter had remained intact overnight.
To continue helping displaced residents and animals, the SCHS has set up a temporary shelter at the Sevier County Fairgrounds. They are in immediate need of dog crates, flea treatment for dogs and cats, and local volunteers.
American Eagle Foundation | Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The American Eagle Foundation rehabilitates Bald Eagles and other birds of prey, operates a breeding and repopulation program, and cares daily for raptors that are non-releasable due to permanent injuries or human imprinting/socialization.
Late Monday night, the AEF staff conducted an unprecedented emergency evacuation, loading 50-60 birds into individual travel kennels and transporting them to staff member homes. On Tuesday morning, a second group of birds were rescued from an aviary at AEF’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary in Dollywood. As of Tuesday afternoon, all 80+ birds had been moved to safe locations.
If you’d like to notify us of other animal organizations endangered by the Smoky Mountain wildfires, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.