Four Paws Food Bank volunteers Suzanne Flukinger (left) and Alisa Watts are just two of multiple volunteers helping look after displaced pets at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops were thousands of evacuees have been registered over the past week and a half. (Greg Sabatino photo)

UNDER EVACUATION: Dogs and cats get love from volunteers in Kamloops

“The donations of food has been incredible.”

This is part of a ten-part series showcasing the volunteerism, community and resilience surrounding those evacuated due to the wildfires engulfing parts of the B.C. Interior.

Four Paws Food Bank volunteer Suzanne Flukinger describes the efforts to care for displaced animals due to the wildfire crisis in the province as nothing short of incredible.

A shelter located at the evacuation centre at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops is currently housing roughly 200 animals including cats, dogs and other small animals, however, Flukinger noted over the course of the past week and a half roughly 1,000 animals have been cared for.

“The people helping out here are amazing,” she told the Tribune. “We have hundreds of volunteers from dog walkers, to people cleaning kennels, and others keeping track of all the animals, making sure they’re fed and watered and everything else.”

She said efforts are being made to provide everything a pet could need. The area is sheltered with large tents, fans are set up, damp, cooling blankets are covering dog and cat cages and, for the cats, lavender cloths are being hung on the doors to calm the pets.

As the shelter fills up, Flukinger said they are also taking registration for families who would like to foster animals while evacuees are displaced from their homes. Anyone interested can sign up at the shelter.

Additionally, thousands upon thousands of dollars of pet food has been donated by multiple businesses, pet stores and pet suppliers and is being handed out free of charge to evacuees.

“The donations of food has been incredible,” she said.

“Businesses, pet food suppliers are coming in with trucks full of it.”

Veterinarians and animal technicians are also on site to make sure animals are safe, along with animal whisperers whose job is to calm pets down should they become stressed.

She added the donations from the public have also been overwhelming.

“We’ve had little children giving their allowances, kids setting up lemonade stands to raise money,” she said.

More than 200 pets are currently being cared for at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops where Four Paws Food Bank members have been busy watering, feeding and walking dogs while evacuees continue to pour into the Sandman Centre.

Flukinger said the main goal is to help people, and they will do whatever they can to make sure the animals can be provided food and water in a safe environment.

“There’s enough to worry about right now and to know you can just come here and pickup what you need for your pet whether it be food or leashes or little boxes, we want to be able to take care of that for you for a while,” she said.

“People just care. For all you people are going through if we can help ease part of that we want to be able to do that.”

Outside the Sandman Centre, animals are also being cared for at the Kamloops Exhibition Grounds (KXA), said Four Paws co-ordinator Bonnie McBride.

“We have goats and sheep and chickens here,” she said. “Anything else we are ill-equipped to handle, but we’re working collaboratively with the people at the KXA to make sure we help people get their horses or livestock out and make sure they’re being fed and watered regularly in their absence.”

She said currently volunteer fire departments are doing the best they can throughout the Cariboo Regional District to ensure reported animals are being fed and provided water.

“We’re urging people to report animals that have been left behind,” she said.

If anyone has animals they were forced to leave behind, including livestock, they are asked to call the Emergency Operations Centre at 1-866-759-4977.

 

Just Posted

Rumble In The Rockies brings live boxing back to Fernie

Local boxer, Dylan Mitchell takes first career win at home

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Lumby supports the vote for Fernie Hockeyville idea

Okanagan village that won the 2016 crown backs Saskatchewan call to vote for Fernie, B.C.

Heli-skiing operation “very concerned” by new caribou protection regs

Habitat protection is important, but ‘at what cost?’, asks Nakusp tourism operator.

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Video: B.C. documentary features Okanagan ice climbing

First documentary for Penticton filmmaker captures elusive Okanagan ice climbing

David Emerson quits lumber talks as legal action begins

Former federal minister served as B.C. softwood trade point man

Singer of the Cranberries dead at 46

Her publicist says Dolores O’Riordan died suddenly Monday in London. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available.

Most Read