Penny, a 5-year-old dog from Kamloops SPCA. (Miranda Fatur/THE NEWS)

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

  • Aug. 21, 2018 7:00 a.m.

Pets like Penny, a five-year-old, mixed-breed pit bull terrier, have made the long trip to Maple Ridge from B.C.’s Interior to free up space in other SPCA branches that are taking in animals displaced by wildfire evacuations.

Penny, along with two other dogs, two more puppies and a rabbit, are currently enjoying the hospitality of the SPCA’s Maple Ridge Community Animal Centre.

“We’re transferring them down to make room for peoples’ own pets,” said Krista Shaw, Maple Ridge branch manager.

SPCAs in the Interior are working to take in residents’ own pets from those areas during evacuation orders.

The main pet evacuation emergency centre is located in Prince George.

The SPCA has staff and volunteers on the ground to support the emergency centre and is bringing evacuation supplies to areas as they receive requests.

“The Maple Ridge SPCA is in need of people to come adopt our animals. You’ll help out the animals up north by bringing an animal into your home, and you’ll be helping the animal currently looking for a home. It opens up space to bring down more animals,” said Shaw.

Penny’s own journey with the SPCA began when her owner could no longer care for her. She was originally placed in the Kamloops SPCA and was recently transferred to Maple Ridge.

The SPCA said Penny’s friendly and sociable personality will make her a great partner for outdoor activities and lots of exercise.

Penny already knows basic commands such as “sit,” and would benefit from attending more obedience classes.

If adopting a new family member isn’t on the horizon, the Maple Ridge SPCA also accepts donations.

“You can give donations of supplies such as large and extra-large wired dog crates. That’s what we’re in desperate need for, and of course monetary donations are greatly appreciated,” added Shaw.

While Maple Ridge is not in an evacuation zone, smoke inhalation poses another concern for animals. The Lower Mainland currently has an air quality advisory due to the province’s wildfires.

The SPCA wrote on its website that warnings for humans generally apply to cats, dogs and other animals. Some warnings include avoiding vigorous exercise, and to stay cool and hydrated.

The SPCA also recommends bringing your dog outside during hours where the sun isn’t as high, such as early morning or late evening, and giving your pet access to fresh water and plenty of shade.

If interested in adopting Penny, her animal ID number is 466452 and the SPCA Maple Ridge branch can be reached at 604-463-9511.

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Penny is a 5-year-old mixed pit bull terrier that’s looking for a forever home. (Miranda Fatur/THE NEWS)

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