BC wildfires: Here's how to help displaced animals
The wildfires burning across British Columbia aren’t just forcing people out of their homes.
Thousands of family pets, horses, cattle, livestock and other animals are being displaced because of the blazes across the province.
Here’s a roundup of the groups across the province working to help animals, and how you can assist them.
The provincial BC SPCA office has launched an emergency appeal to help animals evacuated from the areas endangered by northern BC wildfires. It has set up an evacuation pet centre in Prince George. Currently there are 35 dogs in care, but more are expected.
Donated funds will help the agency respond to the emergency and support community organizations helping animals in affected areas.
The group is also assisting the Prince George Humane Society with its large influx of displaced animals.
Prince George Humane Society
The PGHS is operating an animal evacuation centre with support from the BC SPCA, and the facility is at full capacity.
The facility is looking for donations of clean, soft bedding for the animals in its care, including blankets and towels, as well as bags of dog and cat food.
Donations can be made in person at 1839 1 Avenue 12 A, Prince George, BC.
You can also donate online through its website.
Horse Council BC
The non-profit group Horse Council BC (HCBC) has started an Animal Disaster Relief Fund to alleviate the financial strain on volunteers hauling and housing displaced horses, livestock and other pets.
All money collected online will be used to provide resources like hay, supplies and gas to emergency centres and groups helping the wildfire effort.
You can also mail a cheque to:
Horse Council BC
27336 Fraser Highway
Aldergrove, BC V4W 3N5
Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART)
CDART has set up a 24-hour shelter horses, dogs, cats and other pets and is in need of volunteers to help. If you’re able to help please call: 250-938-2211 or 1-778-855-3264.
The agency has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to help the evacuated animals and transfer them to safety. It is also accepting e-transfers to [email protected].
In-person donations: Earths Options Pet Food
This Surrey pet food company is offering its location as a hub for donation for BC wildfire evacuees and their pets. It is also accepting cash, credit card and e-transfer donations, which it will match and turn into pet food donations.
For pets, it is looking for:
- Dog and cat crates
- Blankets and towels
- Leashes and collars
Donations can be dropped off weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm to 104-19130 24th Avenue, Surrey.
If you live in BC and Alberta you can purchase and donate pet food and other supplies at your local PetSmart location. These items will be donated to the BC SPCA and its surrounding chapters, as well as additional animal welfare agencies across BC helping animals affected by the wildfires.
Donation bins will also be set up at select stores – Guildford, Strawberry Hill, South Surrey, Langley, Kamloops, Coquitlam, Prince George, Tsawwassen. If pet parents can’t make it to one of these locations, all of the Lower Mainland stores will accept donated items.
Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS)
The shelter is collecting pet supply donations that will be driven to the evacuees in the BC Interior.
What they’re looking for:
- Unopened animal feed (for horses, dogs, cats)
- Animal beds, blankets, leashes and collars
- For humans: toiletries, gas cards, gift cards, or non-perishable food
Donations can be dropped off at the shelter between 9 am to 5:30 pm. at 26220 56 Avenue, Langley.
Victoria Humane Society
The VHS is looking for foster homes to help with animals coming in from fire-ravaged areas across the province. It can’t say yes to accepting more animals until people agree to open their homes temporarily to help. If you’re on Vancouver Island you can register to be a foster through its website.
Cat Therapy and Rescue Society
This group is rescuing cats from forest fire-ravaged regions and helping them find new homes through PetSmart adoption centres in the Lower Mainland.
They are currently looking for people who can foster cats and kittens temporarily. Donations of pet food and supplies can be dropped off for them at PetSmart Cambie or PetSmart Coquitlam.
You can apply to foster by filling out an application form on their website, or send a monetary donation here.
But be careful…
The Better Business Bureau warns that natural disasters are the perfect opportunity for scammers to cash in on people’s charity. Only donate to groups you trust.
Drop me a line at [email protected] if you know of any other groups contributing to the rescue effort.