For Mountain fire evacuees, pet shelter morphs into 'Noah's Ark'

An animal shelter set up for the massive Mountain fire has morphed into a "Noah's Ark" as people fleeing the flames have dropped off a colorful collection of pets, officials said Thursday evening.

The animals at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus include two pygmy goats, a tree frog, an African Grey Parrot, two show horses and about 60 cats and dogs. There are also chickens that laid two blue eggs, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

"It's kind of like a Noah's Ark," department spokesman John Welsh told The Times. 

The shelter, at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto, has been operating around the clock since evacuation orders were issued.

"It's been kind of cool that we were able to serve these folks," Welsh said.

By Thursday evening, the wildfire was just a few miles from Palm Springs and had charred 22,800 acres in the San Jacinto Mountains, the U.S. Forest Service said.

More than 3,300 firefighters were battling the blaze that was raging across timer and dry chaparral in steep, rugged terrain. The blaze was 15% contained, fire officials said. 


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