Astra, a deaf labrador-Australian cattle dog mix, with Paws For Life program inmates. Photograph: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Lisa Tipton wasn’t too worried for the first two days of the fearsome Sand fire, which was scorching thousands of acres in the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles, filling the summer sky with smoke and ash, destroying homes.
But then the winds changed, blowing toward the hilltop ranch where she and her husband, Mark, run a shelter for deaf dogs. 45 dogs were in their care at Deaf Dog Rescue of America when the fire began, and she couldn’t wait until the last minute to get them to safety.
“One ember would have lit up our hill with no notice”, Tipton said. “I agonized. Should I move them? We put their crates together. I went out and got a U-Haul truck … As it started to get dark out, […]