Animal Evacuation Instructions

In the event of a Red Alert for firestorms in San Diego County, the staff of the Del Mar Fairgrounds assists stable owners and managers, trainers and owners of horses with evacuation plans and the probability that your horses will be transported to the Del Mar Fairgrounds or Del Mar Horsepark for shelter.

During the 2007 firestorms, the Fairgrounds housed about 2,200 horses and other large animals. We also sheltered animals during the 2003 Cedar fire and multiple fires, including the Cocos Fire, in 2014. Based on what we learned in meetings with staff from the County’s Office of Emergency Services, Animal Control, volunteers, veterinarians, and evacuees, we would like to provide information as to what to expect once you arrive at the Fairgrounds with your horses.

Before your horses leave your home or stables, please call 211 for the most up to date evacuation information. The Fairgrounds cannot receive animals until it is declared an evacuation center by the Department of Animal Services.

  • Make sure animals have halters, lead ropes and water buckets.
  • Make sure horses are identified. If your horse does not have their name on its halter, put duct tape on it with its name and your phone number.
  • If you have time, please load some hay on your trailers. While the Fairgrounds can order hay while providing shelter, its delivery can be delayed if highways are closed due to fires.
  • Pack general first aid supplies, such as antiseptic ointments and bandaging materials.

When your horses arrive at our facility, the driver of each vehicle hauling horses will be required to fill out an Emergency Evacuation Information package and Animal Care Check List form for each horse. In order to save valuable time we recommend you print these forms and fill in your information before your horses are evacuated. PDFs may be downloaded here. These forms include a map of the Fairgrounds.

Our staff and volunteers will do their best to get the trailers into the barn areas quickly and get the animals unloaded and into stalls. Passenger vehicles may be diverted to park in other areas. This will be done to facilitate the sheltering of your animals so trailers and vans may leave as quickly as possible to pick up more animals.

In the event of an evacuation, please call (858) 755-1161 for additional information.

We hope this information will be helpful to you while you are making your plans in the event of evacuation.