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Animals to depart O.C. Fair

The grounds, which served as an evacuation site during the wildfires, are expected to be vacated by Friday.

November 07, 2007|By Michael Miller

The Orange County Fairgrounds, which crawled with farm animals last week during the Southern California wildfires, still had a menagerie of nearly three dozen Tuesday, but officials said they expected the grounds to empty by the weekend.

Janie Walker, the supervisor of the animals and leader of a dedicated volunteer team, said the herd had dwindled from more than 100 animals last week to 35 Tuesday morning. In the days after the wildfires began, the fairgrounds, which served as an animal evacuation site, sheltered horses, cows, donkeys, goats, geese and others.

A number of owners had returned to their homes and taken their pets with them, sometimes rebuilding the stables that were damaged in the fires. Walker expected the grounds to be vacated by Friday, but said some businesses, including PETCO, continued to provide feed and other supplies. A core group of volunteers has stayed at the fairgrounds to care for the animals since they arrived.

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“We have a lady who’s been here the last few days who doesn’t own horses, and she’s been mucking stalls and putting water in buckets,” Walker said. “I’ve just been really amazed at how grateful people are.”


MICHAEL MILLER may be reached at (714) 966-4617 or at michael.miller@latimes.com.

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