“Cattle are starving”: Local group asking for hay donations after Okanogan County fires burn through animal feed supplies


Shawn Goggins, iFiberOne (WA)

Sep 14, 2020


CASHMERE - A local animal care organization out of Cashmere is hoping to avert residual animal casualties caused by the deadly fires in Okanogan County. Tom Short is the founder and president of Okandogs, an organization primarily formed to help dogs of Okanogan County find homes; Tom says Okanogan County is without a humane society and has zero resources to help stray dogs and other animals.


“We help dogs by transferring to agencies and market them to people who would be able to provide a good home for them.”


Since starting Okandogs, Tom says he and wife, along with a few volunteers, have taken in over 3,800 dogs, two-thirds of them puppies.


But Tom’s focus shifted when he heard about the cattle death toll caused by the Cold Springs Canyon and Pearl Hill Fires. Tom believes the number of cattle killed by fire up north is in the thousands. The Carlton Complex Fire in Okanogan County in 2014 killed 3,750 cattle. The Cold Springs Canyon and Pearl Hill fires combined are significantly larger than the Carlton Complex Fire.


While Tom’s organization couldn’t do much to help stop the fire from burning cattle, he believes he could help save starving cattle and horses whose food supply has burned up. Tom says one area of Okanogan County lost 370 tons of hay to the fire.


“The winter hay supply is being depleted fast,” Tom told iFIBER ONE News.


After learning about the low hay supply situation, Tom began coordinating hay donations to fire stricken areas. So far, Tom says his group is responsible for the donation of 5,000 bales of hay.


“The goal to help ranchers until their insurance kicks in and helps pay for more hay,” Tom told iFIBER ONE News.


While Tom says he isn’t sure about the approximate amount of hay lost, but anecdotes indicate...