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

Owner of fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from wildfire near Peachland

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Smoky skies causes Okanagan-wide air quality issues

Central Okanagan pushed to high risk

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire burns overnight

The wildfire across the lake from Peachland is burning at 200 hectares

Heavy traffic delays on Highway 97 due to wildfire near Peachland

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

Breaking: More evacuation orders for Mount Eneas wildfire, south of Peachland

The BC Wildfire Service is battling a large wildfire alongside Highway 97 in Peachland.

For-profit ridesharing legislation long overdue: BC Conservatives

Interim party leader Scott Anderson said the provincial government should step out of the way

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Fire in backcountry near Keremeos reaches 400 hectares in size

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

Update: Summerland wildfire forces PIB state of emergency

More than 40 firefighters are on scene of the wildfire near Mount Conkle, just outside of Summerland.

Hockey trip fraudster receives house arrest

Man duped 16 families with Okanagan Elite Hockey Association out of over $100,000

Four wild fires still burning near Keremeos

One fire was extinguished and another reported after lightning came through area

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Most Read