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California Soldiers Help Man’s Best Friends

Nov. 21, 2018
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Northern California’s Camp Fire has burned more than 150,000 acres. With 81 deaths confirmed so far, it stands as the deadliest wildfire in California history.

Across the region, people and organizations — including the military — have stepped up to help those caught in the destruction. Soldiers from the California Army National Guard's 870th Military Police Company are supporting a temporary pet shelter at the Chico Municipal Airport in Chico, California.

Staffed by volunteers and running off donations from the surrounding communities, the shelter houses 1,800 pets rescued from the Camp Fire, as well as pets temporarily surrendered by their owners.

A service member unloads boxes from a vehicle.
Wildfire Relief
Spc. Mark Maynard, a military police officer with the 870th Military Police Company, helps unload donations at a temporary animal shelter at the municipal airport in Chico, Calif., Nov. 18, 2018.
Photo By: Spc. Amy Carle
VIRIN: 181118-Z-DM298-0774

Army Spc. Mark Maynard, a military police officer with the 870th, said that he and his company are supporting the shelter’s operations and providing additional security. Maynard says he is spending much of his time helping volunteers and community members who visit the shelter.

“It gives me pride and joy ... to help them with whatever they need," he said.

Soldiers from the MP company provide 24-hour support for the facility. At night, they secure and patrol the shelter so the volunteers get a chance to go home.

"Having the Guard here is really important to help our volunteers get some rest," said Norm Rosene, public information officer for the North Valley Animal Disaster Group. "It's good to have people here with the skills needed to deal with this kind of situation."

Read more here.