Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary is getting support from across California after barns with wild animals and some fencing were burned during Peter’s fire near Anderson.
Volunteers rushed to the reserve on Thursday as the area caught fire to rescue the turtles.
The shelter’s Facebook posts asking for donations went viral, and co-founder Katie Hoffman’s phone calls and text messages were flooded with people across the state wanting to know what they could do to help.
Hoffman said the orphanage is accepting donations at its adoption center at 3365 East Street in Anderson and has enough volunteers for the next week.
Volunteers are needed to remove scorched brush, clean pink fire retardants from turtles, and build crates and enclosures for reptiles in the coming months.
One business owner who helps funnel donations to Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary is the owner of Smokin Joe’s Joe Sells.
Sells said he’ll match every donation with a free scoop of ice cream or a free drink. The ice cream flavors served at Smokin Joe’s are chocolate, vanilla, and swirl.
Read more:‘bubble!’ Residents describe the Peter Fire eruption near Anderson
Sales said that donations to Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary compatible with the free ice cream will last through July 23.
“I can’t stand seeing animals get hurt for one second,” Sells said. “I am a big animal lover and these are great friends who come all the time. I will do everything I can to help them get back to normal.”
Sells, 60, said he owned two exotic birds that were rescued by the founders of Tortoise Acres Rescue and Sanctuary, Katie and Ken Hoffman. His birds are Joe, a blue and yellow parrot, and Pirate birds, a green-cheeked conure.
“I have been a contributor to them for a long time and will continue to contribute to them forever,” Sales said. “I never charge them for anything when they come to a restaurant.”
Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary owners Katie and Ken Hoffman donated the green-cheeked conure to Sells after his former bird died.
“They were kind enough to give me this bird after being in their possession for seven years,” Sells said. “No one has ever given me a pet before.”
The sanctuary usually houses more than 100 turtles and half of them had to be evacuated last Thursday and Friday.
Katie Hoffman worked quickly and volunteers showed up at the property to help rescue the turtles. Even California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters helped stir up controversy around some of them.
Read more:‘Just walking here in awe’: Peter Fire damages Anderson’s turtle sanctuary
how can I help
Anyone looking to help feed turtles can bring fruits such as strawberries and watermelon or vegetables such as mustard greens to the adoption center at 3365 East St. in Anderson.
Residents wishing to volunteer can contact Katie Hoffman at 530-941-0544 or her husband Ken Hoffman at 530-941-1870.
Ethan Hanson began working at Redding Record Searchlight after four years with the Los Angeles Daily News as a freelancer. His coverage includes working at the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in South Bend, Indiana, and writing about the St. Louis Rams’ move to Los Angeles with the Ventura County Star Division. He started his career as a theater announcer at LA Pierce College from 2011-2017. Follow him on Twitter at Tweet embed.