With eyes swollen shut and burns covering her face, Feather the goat listened to the familiar sound of her owner’s voice as he guided her from the trailer into the veterinary clinic.
Feather isn't your ordinary milk goat, but rather a member of the family, Jim, her owner, told Trina Wood, a spokeswoman for the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Feather was more like a dog, Wood recalled Jim as saying. But the days where the pair would go on their daily walk to the mailbox are gone: Jim lost everything he owned in the Camp Fire that continues to tear through Butte County -- but he didn’t lose Feather.
Feather arrived at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where a team of veterinarians, technicians and students worked over the holiday weekend to care for dozens of animals injured in the fire.
Vets were treating a few dozen cats, four pigs, three goats and a sheep. People were bringing koi and fancy goldfish to the university's Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture.
Most animals were being treated for burns, said Dr. Steve Epstein, chief of the veterinary hospital's emergency and critical care service.
A donkey — nicknamed “Pancho” by one of the veterinarians — was admitted Monday and discharged Tuesday. The school’s Veterinary Emergency Response Team brought in Pancho; the animal did not suffer from burns but was collapsing and in need of more critical care.
VERT also was treating animals at the Butte County Fairgrounds evacuation center for various flight-related injuries, which include stress, dehydration and burns.
All of the injured animals are being treated at no cost, thanks to the Veterinary Catastrophic Need Fund, a fund for animals hurt in wildfires or other natural disasters or accidents.
While the hospital has identified owners for most of the animals being treated, some remain unknown, including a group of cats. On its Facebook page, the school shares photos of such unclaimed animals who will be treated until they're healthy enough to be released to foster homes or adoption.
As for Feather, she appeared perkier by Tuesday morning after receiving care for her burns. Her face was less swollen and she could peer over the top of her enclosure at passers-by, Wood said.
“She still faces a long recovery,” Wood said. “But the veterinarians are optimistic that she will in time.”