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

Salishan Place centre moves one step closer

Township council approves amendments to height and parking requirements

Langley Animal Protection Society raises $90,000 through virtual gala

Program was streamed while three-course meals were dropped off to attendees’ houses on Saturday

LETTER: Langley testing centre not as efficient as Fraser Health would have people believe

Dropped in for COVID swab – told no drive-ins allowed. Called for appointment – still no call back.

Newly revamped Heritage Apple Day features fruit photo contest

For 15 years, even amid storms, Langley hosts apple-centric party at Derby Reach – but not in 2020

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

ZYTARUK: Fleecing students at U. of Fees

Students are forced to pay a scandalous heap of mandatory fees on top of their tuition

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogan

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Most Read