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Sep 20 2020

Ginger Bryk has made a career out of rescuing cats and dogs at Yucaipa Animal Placement Society (YAPS). However, during the El Dorado Fire her rescue efforts expanded to farm animals of all types. When news of the evacuation order for the Oak Glen area came through, Ginger knew people and animals were going to need help. She immediately hooked up her horse trailer to her truck and was one of the few vehicles headed into Oak Glen.

Her first stop was Apple Annie’s in Oak Glen, where she met local dog trainer, Steve Bechtold. She directed Steve to another resident needing help. She then drove into the pasture where the farm animals are housed at Apple Annie’s, which was difficult to reach with a truck and trailer. She maneuvered her truck to a near jack knife position to be able to reach the animals. She was able to get 15 potbellied pigs, 5 sheep, 6 llamas, 12 goats, 1 bull and 3 ducks transported down to her sister’s property in Wildwood. Kenny and Amber Rice of American Eagle Construction welcomed all the animals to their horse barn and pasture.

Unfortunately, the next day the Bryk and Rice Families received a mandatory evacuation notice and all the animals needed to be transported to a safer location. Ginger reached out to her friends that own local ranches, who are also supporters of YAPS, because she knew they would help with the evacuation effort. Nancy Hannah and the Haman Family of Noble Ranch in Cherry Valley took in the pigs and ducks. Horseshoe Ranch and Eastside Ranch helped transport all the other animals to Horseshoe Ranch. Ginger also had her personal horses transported to a ranch in Hemet, as to not overload the other local ranches with more horses.

As word got around of Ginger’s efforts to save so many animals, her colleagues at YAPS, her friends and neighbors sent her thank you messages most of which can be viewed on the YAPS Facebook Page. Her neighbor, Councilman Dick Riddell, called Ginger over on Saturday to hand her a donation to YAPS in her honor.

“I am not comfortable taking all the credit for helping these animals during the evacuations. I helped because it is in my nature to save animals and I love my community. It was wonderful to see many other “horse people” evacuating the North Bench, while I focused on Oak Glen,” said Ginger Bryk.

Ginger has a history of stepping forward to help people and their pets. In 2017, she traveled to Texas with pet supplies and her horse trailer ready to aid people affected by Hurricane Harvey. In 2019, during the Sandalwood Fire, Ginger created a Facebook Page dedicated to local animal evacuations: Animal Evacuations – Yucaipa/Calimesa/Cherry Valley/Beaumont. This page served as a resource to help victims of the fire with supplies and reunite them with their pets. To date this Facebook Page continues to be a resource to the local community.

Ginger is thankful that she had help evacuating the animals both times. “I didn’t do this all alone. Every person that helped is connected to YAPS in some way and being able to rely on those connections made the difference,” said Bryk.

Ginger Bryk became the Accounting Manager at YAPS in 2014. Her role evolved into Operations Manager in 2015 to present. The YAPS Team is always ready to support the community in any way they can. “We are grateful and proud to have Ginger be part of YAPS,” said Annette Florez, YAPS Director.


Pets Placed in 2019


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