It’s been more than seven months since the Jesusita Fire ripped through Nancy Callahan’s home and animal rehabilitation center, and she’s looking for a few more helping hands and resources this holiday season to finish restoring her outreach.

Callahan is the founder of La Cumbre Canyon Wildlife Rescue and Wildlife Educational Services, or W.I.L.D.E.S., and she brings animals into school settings so children can learn about them. The animal shelter where the animals lived, which was located just behind Callahan’s home, was left in a pile of rubble after the May 5 wildfire.

She’s been clearing and rebuilding her property on North Ontare Road since the fire broke out, and said she’s grateful for all of those who already have given time and resources to help the group rebuild.

“It has been a hard and dirty job, but everyday, things get a little better,” Callahan said in an e-mail to supporters Wednesday.

“We have been able to bring our education animals back home and have begun taking in orphaned and injured animals again,” she said, adding that the group continues to take its education animals to schools and community groups throughout Santa Barbara County.

Callahan said the group still must replace three large, damaged cages and pour cement slabs and construct roofs over them. A new laundry and dishwashing station needs to be equipped and built, a new computer, printer and other office supplies are needed, as well as replacements for brochures and posters lost in the fire.

Medical supplies lost in the fire are also needed, including medical manuals, medications, instruments and an anesthetic machine. She could also use help landscaping the area.

Callahan said the recent closing of C.A.R.E. Hospital in Santa Barbara has left a gap for people needing a place to take injured and orphaned wildlife in the evenings. The public can still call animal control when they find an animal in distress, but animal control will only be able to take the animal and hold it until the veterinary hospital opens in the morning.

“Unfortunately, many animals will need more immediate care,” Callahan said. “My hope is that someone else will quickly reopen C.A.R.E. and we will once again have the help both the domestic animals and wildlife need.”

Anyone interested in helping Callahan with donations or time can e-mail her at

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at

— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.