Madison Place resident Jennifer Hildebrandt was thrilled about a report that a black cat was seen after the fire on an upper floor of the burned-out condo building.
The family made it out but without Boo, their five-year-old cat.
“The alarm went off…. My husband went to check what was happening,” she said. “Two seconds later he ran inside in a freight and said ‘it’s a big fire we have to go now!’ I couldn’t think clearly. All I saw was white. I grabbed my daughter and yelled for my husband to grab the cat and come. I thought he was right behind me but the cat put up a big fight.”
After seeing a photo of the cat still in the building, she said it was not her Boo.
There is help available for those looking for pets and those with pets who lost their homes in the July 17 fire.
“Our hearts go out to all those people are impacted by the fire,” said Jayne Nelson, executive director of the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS), which is helping Madison Place residents whose pets have gone missing.
One resident stopped by the LAPS shelter to ask for some food for his dog the day after the Friday fire. The animal welfare organization that also provides local animal control services made sure he left with food and accessories.
Nelson said residents needing help can contact LAPS for pet supplies. The society can also help with emergency boarding of pets for residents whose homes were destroyed.
People should file a missing pet report so that if any animals are brought in, they can be matched and are more likely to be returned to their owners. They can check the surrounding area, including a nearby ravine.
“Definitely cats will want to hide,” Nelson noted.
Owners can also put up posters and can borrow live traps from LAPS, but Nelson cautioned that they must be checked often because of the hot weather.
She noted that cats and other small animals will be the hardest to catch because they are frightened. She recommended owners visit the area during quiet times, such as early in the morning or in the evening, with items familiar to the animals, including food and bedding. It may lure out the pets when coupled with a familiar voice.
LAPS has offered assistance to the Langley Emergency Program and other agencies as well as having its animal control staff visit the scene.
Mission-based Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) brought in live traps. LAPS has offered to help check traps and any other assistance residents need, Nelson said. Anyone who has seen cats in the area can email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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