Dear members of the Canine Companions community,
I’m writing to update you on the effects that the wildfires in Northern California are having on Canine Companions and our Northwest Region Training Center. To begin, it is important to note that the Schulz campus remains safe and is in an area of Santa Rosa that is not currently threatened by the fires. However, due to the deterioration in the air quality to unhealthy levels, a forecast calling for higher winds, and an increasing number of staff who have been personally affected by the fire and subject to evacuation, we made the decision to evacuate the dogs and puppies to areas further from the fire and suspended a Team Training placement class. All of the students have been able to travel safely home and the dogs (and campus cat) are currently being fostered by Canine Companions volunteers and staff. The dogs will return to campus as soon as it is safe to do so, and the interrupted Team Training will be rescheduled as soon as feasible.
All Canine Companions staff and area volunteers are accounted for and safe. Sadly, several have lost their homes and more have had relatives whose homes have been destroyed. While a separate email has gone out with instructions for any puppy raisers, breeder caretakers or graduates who need assistance, I’ll repeat that information for anyone affected who may not have gotten that message: The graduate department may be reached at 707-577-1755; the vet clinic for all concerns relating to puppies and breeders at 707-577-1745 and the emergency line at 1-800-833-5388. The emergency line is monitored around the clock. If we can be of assistance, please let us know.
The Canine Companions community is a generous one. We have received numerous offers for help of all kinds, and your generosity is as remarkable as it is unsurprising to all of us who know you. I’d like to express my gratitude to the many volunteers, chapter members and staff who have pitched in to ensure the safety and well-being of our Team Training participants and dogs. Because we are receiving so many offers of help, and because the situation remains fluid, I encourage anyone interested in offering assistance to go to cci.org/nwrfirehelp and register there. This will allow us to better track offers of help.
Over the remainder of this week, the Schulz campus will be closed for regular business, and only those staff who can travel safely to campus will be here. Of course, this has impaired normal business operations and the next week or two will certainly be spent catching up. However, the campus is safe and operational, and essential business is being conducted. Again, if anyone in the fire zone requires assistance, please let us know via the numbers above.
Updates about the campus can be accessed at cci.org/nwrfire, and this site is updated regularly.
Thank you for your support of Canine Companions and our mission, we remain grateful to you. Our thoughts are with all of those from our community and beyond whose lives have been affected by the fires.
Canine Companions for Independence