BOULDER CO. – Hundreds of families were displaced after the Marshall fire in Boulder County, and hundreds of animals lost their homes as well. Today, a local animal care advocate volunteers her time to care for dozens of animals.
The morning after the Marshall Fire started, Ashley Main traveled to Boulder County to care for the displaced animals. She’s a veterinary surgeon from Colorado Springs, and when she arrived in Louisville, she helped with at least 30 horses, 10 chickens, and placed 16 cat shelters around the fire area. She also sorted the animals that were evacuated and helped treat the injuries.
“I really just followed the need. I was able to assess some injuries at the owner’s request and help make sure they didn’t need additional vet care, and I rinsed a lot of it. ‘eyes on the horses to get out the The winds were so strong here, between that and the smoke, there was a lot of damage to their eyes,’ Main said.
She said part of the reason she went to Louisville is because her aunt and uncle live there but they were out of town, and a relative had to come to their house and break a window to save their cats. After checking out the house, she started calling for volunteer opportunities and quickly got to work.
Main says part of the care she provides is helping the animals stay calm and comfort them until they are reunited with their owners.
“They are reassured with love and take an extra five minutes to scratch behind their ears, so that they have that warmth and that reminder of the house they are hopefully going to return to,” Main said.
Today, five days after these animals lost their homes, she sees a great improvement in their temperament and emotional behavior.
“Right after the fire, that first morning, the animals were all very stressed. It is a relief to see them after a few days of stability and love, that they are already doing much better,” Main said. “It’s going to take a long time to heal from this, but I think having stability in places like Luvin ‘Arms Animal Sanctuary has made a really big difference.”
Main is also an animal advocate using her rig as Miss Colorado Springs. She was crowned with this title in 2021 and thanks to this platform, she was able to speak to the city council on legislative issues.
Main says she will continue to volunteer when she can, in the hopes that all the animals will soon be reunited with their owners.
“All my life I’ve just had a heart for animals. Everything I do, I want it to be for animals,” Main said.
If you would like to help with the relief efforts for animals that have been injured or displaced by the Marshall Fire, you can donate to the Humane Society of the Boulder Valley.
At least three of the chickens Main helped were taken to Luvin ‘Arms Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization in Erie, CO. It is approximately 20 minutes from Louisville and 30 minutes from Superior. For more information on this organization, click here.
Colorado Springs’ Westside Animal Hospital will also be collecting donations and monetary donations for the Colorado Pet Pantry to distribute to those in need.