VANCOUVER, B.C. – The BC SPCA would like to remind British Columbians that emergency help is available for their animals in the case of wildfire evacuations.

“It is hard to imagine how stressful it is for people to have to leave their homes during an evacuation order, not knowing what they will be coming back to,” said Tracy Westmoreland, senior director for provincial animal care services for the BC SPCA.

“It is challenging enough for evacuees to find temporary shelter for themselves, but it can be even more difficult to find places that will accommodate their pets.”

Westmoreland says the BC SPCA offers a range of emergency services for animals and their guardians, such as free emergency boarding, pet food, crates, leashes and other supplies, as well as animal rescue and even the care of animals who are staying behind evacuation lines.

According to a release from the BC SPCA, last year, it cared for hundreds of animals impacted by wildfires, floods and other natural disasters.

“Until very recently, we still had animals in our free emergency boarding program from disasters that took place in 2021,” says Westmoreland.

“It was so wonderful to see them reunited with their families, who were finally able to take them home.”

Westmoreland would also like to remind pet owners to include their pets in their emergency plans before it happens.

“Having a ‘go bag’ and crate ready with a leash, a supply of food, medication, veterinary contact information and other key items can make a big difference if you have to leave with your pet in a hurry,” said Westmoreland.

The SPCA provided a pet emergency checklist and additional information on its website.

Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.