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How can I help animals across the province during wildfire evacuations?

August 28, 2018

Q: What is the BC SPCA’s role in the BC wildfires?

A: The BC SPCA is currently working with the Provincial Emergency Social Services office and is ready to deploy Animal Protection Officers as needed. Our officers will assist animals that have been left behind due to evacuation notices.

Other local branches and volunteers are supporting as they can and we are coordinating staff and volunteers from around the province to support high-needs areas.

Q: What are the hours of the Emergency Evacuation Centre in Prince George?

A: As of Aug. 28, 2018, the BC SPCA is no longer operating out of the Emergency Evacuation Centre in Prince George, as a number of pets and their guardians have been given the okay to return home. There are still some dogs in our care; they will be staying at the Prince George (North Cariboo) shelter until their guardians are allowed to return home.

Q: When will the Quesnel, North Cariboo (Prince George) and Williams Lake Branches go back to their regular operating hours?

A: As of Aug. 29, 2018, Quesnel, Williams Lake and Prince George (North Cariboo) are back to their regular business hours.

Q: Can I donate to support animals affected by the wildfires?

A: Yes, we are accepting donations online. 

While our Animal Evacuation Centre has now closed, we do still have evacuated animals in our care. And your donation always helps us respond in an emergency whether it be a natural disaster or large cruelty case.

Q: Can I donate supplies?

A: Thank you so much for your interest in donating supplies. As of Aug. 27, we are no longer in need of emergency supplies at our Prince George Evacuation Centre.

Q: Can you take donations of pet food?

A: We’re very fortunate that Hill’s® Science Diet ® (which is also sponsoring Paws for a Cause) will be providing food for the evacuated animals in our care.  Thanks to their generosity we’ll be able to provide the animals with a consistent diet, without worrying about the logistics of shipping donations to affected areas.

Q: I am an evacuee in need of dog and/or cat food, is there anywhere I can get help?

A: Yes. You are welcome to stop by our Prince George (North Cariboo) shelter if you are an evacuee in need of dog or cat food.

Q: I would like to volunteer my time. How can I do that?

A: As of Aug. 27, 2018, we are no longer accepting volunteers at the Prince George evacuation site, and we thank everyone for their time and interest.

Q: I can foster dogs, cats and/or other small animals, how can I help?

A: Right now we are utilizing our existing foster network. In the event that we require more capacity, The BC SPCA Animal Hotline 1-855-622-7722is keeping a registry of foster volunteers and types of animals a home is able to foster. Please call them if you’d like to join the registry. BC SPCA branches will contact fosters when needed.

Q: I have land to foster livestock, how can I help?

A: You can call the BC SPCA Animal Hotline 1-855-622-7722 to go on the registry of foster volunteers. To connect directly with people needing help,  go to the Facebook group “BC’s Emergency Livestock /Animal Evacuation Group” – this group can help connect people to you that may need your help.

Q: I have to evacuate, where can I take my animals?

A: Please contact the Emergency Social Services coordinating evacuation centres for your area, as they will be able to let you know about options for you and your pets.

For official wildfire updates:
B.C. Wildfire Service
Emergency Info BC
Drive BC

Q: If I’m evacuating, what should I bring for my animal?

A: The following are just some of the items you should bring with you. The BC SPCA also has this list you can refer to (PDF). 

  • A seven-day supply of food and water
  • Identification tag and collar
  • Sturdy crate and/or carrier
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Plastic bags/doggie bags
  • Leash
  • Harness
  • Food and water bowls (collapsible are great)
  • Litter box and litter for cats
  • Manual can opener
  • Copy of your pet’s current vaccination history
  • Any special medications and instructions

Q: Will the BC SPCA take my animal?

A: Please contact the Emergency Social Services coordinating evacuation centres for your area, as they will be able to let you know about options for you and your pets. You may also find help on the Facebook group: BC’s Emergency Livestock /Animal Evacuation Group or the additional links above.

If you are in an evacuation zone and need to house a rabbit, we are able to house rabbits at this time. Please call the BC SPCA Animal Hotline at 1-855-622-7722 and they will help you coordinate a drop-off time with our staff.

Q: If we are evacuating to the Greater Vancouver area, will your branches in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley take my animals?

A: Depending on housing space and staffing resources, branches may be able to compassionate board your animal. Please check with your local branch for more details.

Q: Who can take my livestock animals?

A: You may be able to connect with someone that can help you on the Facebook group: BC’s Emergency Livestock /Animal Evacuation Group.

There is also the Prince George Horse Society: 250-981-3499 – for horses & livestock.

Q: What if I have to leave my pets behind?

A: For indoor companion animals, leave them with as much fresh water (leave your toilet lid up) and food as possible. For outdoor companions and farm animals, leave them with as much food and water as possible. We do not recommend you tie down or chain your animals up whether indoors or outdoors.

There is also the option to ID your animals and set them free. Please use your discretion.

When you evacuate, report your animals to your ESS reception centre. They will be able to advise what local resources there might be to check on/recover your animals when safe.

Q: What can I do to prepare myself in case of an emergency?

A: Please visit the BC SPCA website for information on disaster preparedness. One other thing you can do is register your pet with the BC Pet Registry.

Q: I’m not in an evacuation area, should I be worried about the smoke and my animals?

A: Please visit the BC SPCA website for information on smoke inhalation and other pet care tips. If you have more specific concerns or your animal seems in distress please consult with your veterinarian.