BOULDER CO. – Hundreds of families were displaced after the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, and hundreds of animals lost their homes. Now, a local animal welfare advocate is volunteering her time to care for dozens of animals.
The morning after the Marshall Fire started, Ashley Maine headed to Boulder County to care for displaced animals. She’s a veterinary surgeon from Colorado Springs, and when she arrived in Louisville, she helped at least 30 horses and 10 chickens and placed 16 cat shelters around the fire area. She also sorted evacuated animals and helped treat wounds.
“I’ve been really just following up on the need. I was able to assess some of the wounds as requested by the owner and help make sure they didn’t need more vet care, and I had a lot of eyes on the horses to get out of the wreck. The wind was pretty strong here, in between. And among the smoke, there was a lot of damage to their eyes,” Min said.
Part of the reason she went to Louisville, she said, was because her aunt and uncle lived there but were out of town, and a relative had to go to their house and break the window to save their cats. After checking home, I started calling for volunteer opportunities and went to work quickly.
Maine says that part of the care she provides is helping the animals stay calm and providing comfort until they are reunited with their owners.
“They get that lovable reassurance and take an extra five minutes to scratch behind the ears, so they have that warmth and reminder of the home they hope to come back to,” Maine said.
Now five days after these animals have lost their homes, you are seeing a huge improvement in their moods and how they behave emotionally.
“Immediately after the fire, that first morning, all the animals were very nervous. It is a relief to see them after two days of settling down and loving, because they are already doing so much better,” Main said. “It’s going to take a really long time to recover from this, but I think settling into places like Luvin’ Arms Animal Sanctuary has made a really big difference.”
Maine is also an advocate for animals who use her podium as Miss Colorado Springs. I crowned that title in 2021 and through that podium, I was able to speak before City Council on legislative items.
Maine says she will continue to volunteer her time when she can, hoping that all the animals will be reunited with their owners soon.
“All my life, I’ve had a heart for animals,” Main said. “Everything I do, I want it to be for the animals.”
If you would like to help with relief efforts for animals injured or homeless by the Marshall Fire, you can make a donation to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
At least three of the chickens Maine helped, have been transferred to Luvin’ Arms Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization in Erie, Colorado. It’s about 20 minutes from Louisville and 30 minutes from Superior. For more information about that organization, click here.
Westside Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs will also be collecting donations and financial donations to give to the Colorado Pet Pantry for distribution to those in need.