GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — There is light at the end of the tunnel for folks still in the dark in Nevada County, but for those charged with caring for animals, it can't come soon enough. One animal shelter in Grass Valley is now at capacity during the power crisis.
There are two generators fueling operations at Sammie's Friends — one brought by the county and fueled by the county that runs the dog shelter, and one in the cat facility that the shelter pays for and fuels itself.
A line of electrical cords serves as a life line for the shelter. The Christmas storm left the shelter without power for the last two weeks.
"The first thing was getting staff to the shelter because your first panic is these dogs need their medication," shelter director Liz Taylor said. "They need to be fed. They need to be watered."
Taylor and staff scrambled when the calls for service started coming in.
"I gave out my personal cell number for people to say 'That's my dog' and we would send them to the shelter to come pick them up as soon as possible," Taylor said.
Downed trees took out power poles and fences and many people were evacuated.
"Everybody is turning their dogs in and then animal control is finding a lot of dogs that are just wandering around out there," Taylor said. "We are full to capacity, beyond capacity."
Even some cattle are under the shelter's care.
Taylor says she is fortunate to have a volunteer staff of 250, many of whom lost power themselves. They take turns walking dogs, while others clean the inside.
It's a take-charge group in a power outage that's pushed folks and this facility to their limits.
"This year, we're clocking 400K in medical care," Taylor said.
One of the biggest needs at Sammie's Friends is a new washer and dryer. They go through them so quickly and they wear them out with the amount of use they get. Also, dog beds, blankets and wet food are needed. Those are all important donations for this facility.
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