Dogs Come First for Oprah

Winfrey discusses how she would have evacuated her dogs during the California fires.

Posted: November 19, 2008, 5 a.m. EST

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Oprah Winfrey said she wasn’t at home when wildfires crept as near as two miles away from her sprawling 45-acre Montecito, Calif., estate over the weekend.

But had she been there, Winfrey said her first concern would have been to get her dogs to safety.

“I don’t have kids, so the most important thing for me is my dogs,” Winfrey told her studio audience. “And so we already had a plan for getting the dogs out and going to the Four Seasons in Westlake because they take dogs. So that would have been the first thing I would have done, look for my dogs.”

Winfrey said her next concern would have been to safely remove the ashes of her deceased Cocker Spaniel Sophie, who died earlier this year at age 13.

“From now on I’ll have so much more empathy and compassion for people who are going through it,” Winfrey said.

Winfrey also interviewed actor Rob Lowe, who was forced to flee his Montecito home Thursday night. “We just left with the kids,” said Lowe, whose house survived the blaze. “We just got everybody out. This thing came on so fast, you just can’t believe it.”

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Genete   Santa Maria, CA

11/19/2008 10:36:19 PM

I live about 1 & 1/2 hrs. from this area & it was so sad. I also am the pet first aid instructor for Santa Barbara county & so it is VERY important to me for these animals to make it out safely. I am very pleased to be a part of the Am. Red Cross & hope that everyone has a plan of escape in the event of a disaster emergency. Red Cross & the Humane Society of the USA have disaster plans set up under the Pet Disaster Relief Act to help animals large & small get out & to safety for food, water, & shelter. Please check with your local offices to make yourself aware of what to do.

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