KNEELAND, Calif. (KIEM) Yesterday the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office joined forces with Cal Fire and the U.S. Coast Guard to deliver hay to snow-stranded cattle ranchers. This comes as another winter storm gears up to pass through Northern California.
“We’ve received multiple reports of cattle dying off because ranchers cannot get to their cows due to impassable roadways,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said in a video released yesterday.
The operation was inspired by a similar effort in the eighties. The Sheriff’s Office said it was suggested by ranchers who thought it might work just as well today.
Karuna Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Kneeland is one of the many residents stranded. Paula Ray, the founder of Karuna Rescue, and her 30 animals have been snowed in for over a week now. Slowly, their supplies are diminishing…
“We ran out of pretty much everything,” Ray said on a Zoom call with Redwood News.
“It’s hard to get any chores done, like feeding the horses, feeding the cow, the pigs. everything takes at least three times as long. it’s the whole day… It’s been pretty horrendous”.
Weather conditions yesterday hindered officials’ hay delivery operation, and Karuna Rescue didn’t receive the drop. They did however get a late-night hay delivery from deputies on a vehicle. Ray hopes that the new day will bring more hay and less snow.
“We were hopefully going to get a helicopter drop yesterday, but I know they couldn’t fly because the weather was so bad,” Ray said. “I think I got a message, but it was very clear to say that it would come today. so, you know, we have our fingers crossed.”
Today Sheriff William Honsal declared a local emergency because of the recent severe weather. They also posted on their Facebook page that more helicopters were in the air delivering hay. Ray hopes they are able to reach her today.
“I think I hear a helicopter,” Ray said on our zoom call. “Hopefully it’s coming this way”.
Ray later confirmed that three barrels of hay were delivered by helicopter.
To make a donation to the Karuna Animal Rescue and Sanctuary you can visit their website or Facebook page.
Karuna Rescue Facebook