Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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News: 03/15/2016

Rains put focus on large animal emergency preparedness

By Julie Atwood

Trees down, creeks flooding, saturated and unstable hillsides, slippery pastures and dangerous driving conditions: what do these have in common?

All can result in a large animal emergency.

Here in the north valley, we are especially concerned with the safety and welfare of our animals in emergency situations, big or small. Our remote and often hard to access homes and ranches make us vulnerable. It’s a scary place to be when your horse, alpaca, cow, or any domestic or wild creature is in distress.

Julie and Tom Atwood started the HALTER Project to help connect responders and residents with the resources and knowledge needed to save property, pets, livestock, and themselves.

Self-reliance is key, as is having the security of knowing that our local fire departments have the skills and equipment necessary to help rescue large animals in any kind of emergency.

HALTER has already been involved in a number of training sessions locally, helping to increase knowledge as well as the network of experts in the field of large animal emergency response. These include training and team building sessions hosted by the Glen Ellen Fire Department and Atwood Ranch, a two-day session at the Kenwood Fire Department attended by 32 students, including animal service officers, firefighters and local vets, and participation in a large training event in Oroville.

Our local firefighters have stepped up and are learning the skills needed to rescue horses and livestock in any kind of emergency. You can support the Glen Ellen and Kenwood Fire departments’ Large Animal Rescue groups by making a donation to fund training and equipment.

Coming up are more workshops, trainings, and meetings. If you or your group is interested in learning about large animal emergency response and rural preparedness, sponsoring an “Awareness Training,” or would like HALTER participation in an event, get in touch by emailing You can also follow HALTER news by going to

Stay Safe! And until we meet again...Happy Trails!

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