NorCal Fire Relief – Pay it Forward

horse rescue sign in

NorCal Fire Relief: Pay It Forward

Northern California has been up in flames over the past two weeks. Beginning on October 8th, winds kicked up flames which have since exploded to more than 15 fires that have scorched 220,000 acres, and destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures and as many as 40 deaths.  While thousands of people have lost everything, homes and businesses aren’t the only ones affected: Animals have suffered, too.  In one incredible story, Peter Lang fought the fires with a garden hose all night long to protect the nearly 1,000 animals under his care at Safari West in Sonoma.  Later in the week, large-animal veterinarian Emily Putt and Petaluma horse hauler Hilary Hansen drove past the police barricade to a ranch in Calistoga to do what they could to help rescue stranded horses. They met earlier in the week at the Solano County Fairgrounds, where the Large Animal Evacuation Center has been set up to deal with the hundreds of displaced animals.  The barns at the Fairgounds have been slated for demolition since racing ended there in 2009, but this week they have proved a safe harbor and shelter for hundreds of animals – as many as 500+ horses, goats, donkeys, pigs, alpaca…

Time to Help

Chimacum Tack went to visit today to see how we can help.  Maren and Janie spent a bit of time this afternoon with some of the dozens of volunteers who’ve been tirelessly working at the Solano County Fairgrounds with the large animal evacuation efforts.  We spoke to one woman, Pamela, who’s been there since Tuesday morning with her husband helping as barn managers to organize and coordinate shifts of volunteers and distribution of the literal tons of donations made.  Animals and people from as far north as Ukiah are here.  As of this afternoon, they’ve begun seeking folks hauling home – a relief to be sure.  While others have lost barns and homes — everything they own.

Our home and warehouse was on alert for the Atlas fire several days of this past week. We are so very lucky. Now that we’re in the clear, we know it’s time to push up our sleeves, put on our sturdy boots, and get to work helping our neighbors and friends rebuild their lives.

How to Help:

We know you want to help. We do, too. So here is what we’ve learned.

Here’s the best place for local information on volunteering and helping at the Solano County fairgrounds.  They still need volunteers with horse experience:

Here’s a link to make donations to the official fund set up by the county: 

Here is a great resource for helping animals affected: 

Finally, Chimacum Tack wants to do everything we can to engage our community to help where it’s most directly needed.  Janie is getting to know animal owners at the Fairgrounds, and will be working to find out who needs what.  We’re going to do our best to match up folks in need with donations from our HorseDriver community, through our new Pay It Forward project:

Chimacum Tack’s Pay It Forward Project

Chimacum Tack has two key traits:

  1. We truly care about animals and people.
  2. We supply quality tack and equine equipment.

It seems like the most help we can offer is to bring these two traits together.  So starting today, following the horrific disaster season of hurricanes and fires, you can “Pay It Forward” by purchasing tack for a person in need.  And if you are a person in need, you can simply send us a note, share your story, and tell us what you need.

If you’ve lost your barn to fire or flood, and you need to replace your equipment, simply send us a note and tell us what you most need.  We will send what we can in the short term.  We’ll cover administrative costs, and even shipping. We won’t be able to replace everything for everyone, but we’ll do it on a first-come, first-served basis and make it as fair as possible.

Like the Christmas-time Adopt-a-family, if you’d like to be one of our “Adopt-a-Barn” recipients, just send us a note with your request and a picture or two. If you’d like to be a contributor, click here.  Choose your level, add to cart, and check out.  Contributions will be applied at our cost, to make every dollar stretch as far as possible. And, as a thank you for your generosity, you’ll earn points on your transaction, just like any other purchase.

We aren’t a non-profit, anymore than your favorite local coffee chain is, but we’ll be careful and as transparent as possible in getting the gifts to the people who need them most.  At cost.  Any funds not sent along in the form of tack directly to folks in need will be sent as cash to a registered Northern California animal non-profit.

To Contribute: Choose your level, add to cart, and check out.

To Receive: Simply fill out the form on our contact page or send an email to 


What we can help with tack equipment for: Horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, alpacas, or any other large farm animal. 

ANYTHING at all from the Jacks Catalog or anything from our website.


We can’t do everything, but if we each do what we can, we can accomplish a lot.

Please share this post with friends far and near!  Spread the word so we can all help Pay It Forward.

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