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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Illegal waste-dumping spikes in Regional District of Nanaimo during 2019

Last year the RDN collected 74 tonnes last year

Iconic white raven returns to Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Photographer John Domovich: ‘It blew me away when I first observed it’

Parksville’s Summer by the Sea event starts June 30

‘We are looking forward to providing a vibrant market’

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read