A West Kelowna veterinary hospital has opened its doors to the pets of residents fleeing their homes due to the fast-moving Mount Law wildfire.
Even though the building is overflowing with evacuees’ pets, Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital’s Dr. Moshe Oz is still encouraging evacuees in need of shelter for their pets to come in.
The clinic has been helping evacuees and their furry friends for the last 11 years, providing shelter, food, and medication for animals who have been displaced.
When the evacuation alerts and orders were issued for several properties in the city’s Glenrosa neighbourhood due to the Mount Law wildfire, owner and veterinarian at the clinic Dr. Moshe Oz and his staff stayed at the site, taking in cats and dogs of owners who don’t have shelter for their pets after leaving their homes.
In the last few weeks, including last week, Oz said they were housing about 15 to 20 cats and dogs from the previous evacuation orders due to the White Rock Lake wildfire. But when residents were told to leave their homes late on Sunday night, their guest list ballooned to over 40 cats.
“Yesterday, of course, because of the fire, unfortunately, we were here until almost 1 a.m.,” he said.
“It’s a hard time because we’re a small clinic and we try to take care of everyone and feed and water and change them.”
Oz added that this year is the worst year they’ve seen by far, with the most displaced families and pets coming into the clinic for emergency boarding.
“For sure, it’s worse this year than the last few years,” he said.
“I think this one is worst in that people weren’t prepared. Fires usually start small and take some time to get big, but this particular one (Mount Law) is quite fast and people didn’t have time to be as prepared.”
But he said they want every pet owner to have peace of mind knowing that they can board their pet somewhere safe and that it will be taken care of.
“The most important part is if somebody needs help, food and medication and boarding, any problem that we can help with pets, we can absolutely do it free of charge,” he said.
Though Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital is not accepting monetary donations, they are accepting donations of extra towels, pet beds, kennels, as well as some cat food.
You can drop off these items at 112-2476 Westlake Road.