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Pets: SPCA amps up efforts to assist animals affected by wildfires

Staff, volunteers help evacuate 60 animals to Lower Mainland shelters.
(Contributed) Buttons, one of the evacuated animals.

The B.C. SPCA is on high alert, bracing for the need to assist animals affected by the province’s raging wildfires.

This past Friday, an evacuation order was issued for areas that included the SPCA’s Quesnel branch.

It’s also taken the precautionary measure of evacuating animals from the Williams Lake branch.

Staff and volunteers worked quickly to evacuate a total of 60 animals to shelters throughout the Lower Mainland.

“Evacuations are a stressful time for everyone. This most certainly includes the animals we love and care for – they are no doubt feeling it,” says Mark Takhar, B.C. SPCA’s chief operations officer.

“As there are a number of other areas are under evacuation alert, we continue our preparations, as many expect to see warm, dry weather over the next while. Although we’re hoping we don’t see a repeat of last summer’s devastating wildfires, our staff, volunteers and officers are ready, willing and able to feed and comfort any animals in need of our help.”

In 2017, more than 1,000 wildfires swept across the province, forcing hundreds of residents to flee their homes. This included cats, dogs, ferrets, birds, fish – and, in one instance, a snake.

In some cases, evacuees had to leave animals behind – like pigs, cows, chickens and horses.

Others were in dire need of emergency shelter for their pets until they could claim them.

“It was thanks to our generous donors that the B.C. SPCA was able to set up and run a B.C. SPCA emergency shelter in Prince George for animals who were forced to flee, and in need of temporary housing until their owners could come home.”

Constables also spent nearly 2,000 hours assisting animals behind evacuation lines.

• The B.C. SPCA is asking for donations to support efforts to rescue and care for animals during the wildfires emergency at

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