Brave Dog Stays Behind to Guard Goats During California Wildfire

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
October 17, 2017US News
Brave Dog Stays Behind to Guard Goats During California Wildfire
Cassidy ("Great Pyrenees on the coast of Maine" by Dallas Krentzel)

A family dog was found safe after staying behind in a wildfire to look after goats.

Roland Hendel had to leave his family’s Great Pyrenees behind in the fire while the family fled.

“He was determined to stay with the goats and I had to let him do it,” Hendel said.

The dog, Odin, and eight rescue goats survived the fire, only sustaining minor injuries. Although the house burnt down, the animals all survived. Even local wild deer joined the group for protection. When the family came back to the property to see the damage, they brought their other Great Pyrenees, Tessa, to reunite with Odin and the other animals, ABC 7 News reported. Tessa is Odin’s sister.

Tragically, the next day all the animals went missing. Alerts were sent out via media and California residents helped with tips while the family searched. The animals were finally located two days later. The family vowed not to leave the animals alone again until they can find suitable shelter. The family could not keep the deer, but left them with two weeks worth of food and water, according to a blog post by the family on a fundraising website.

After finding the animals for the second time, the family started a fundraising campaign at website YouCaring to help them rebuild a functioning home for the animals. The family exceeded its financial goal, raising over $20,000 more than they were seeking, for a total of $67,392, as of Oct. 17, and it appears that people are still donating. The family wants to use the money to replace their barn, the pumphouse that supplies the animals with fresh water, and repair the fence around the property.

The family stated on the page what they will do with all the money they are receiving over their initial goal.

“[W]e have decided that going forward, for every $1 we receive, 50 cents will go toward a trailer for Odin and the goats, and 50 cents will go to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Center, where we once took downed animals we found on our land. This will provide care for animals affected by this tragedy, that Odin could not care for himself. Once the trailer is covered, all remaining funds will go to SCWRC.”

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