How can I help animals across the province during wildfire evacuations? - BC SPCA
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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: Can I donate to support animals affected by the wildfires?

A: Yes, we are accepting donations online. 

Donate Online

Q: Can I donate supplies

A: Dropping off donations to your local branch: We are in need of supplies and can transfer items from branches to the location of need. Please contact your local BC SPCA for more info on drop offs and see the below list of items.

  • Crates
  • Leashes
  • Collar
  • Food/water bowls
  • Poop bags
  • Cat toys
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Garbage bags
  • Notepads
  • Pens
  • Markers
  • Clipboards
  • Storage totes
  • Kids play pools

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. Please contact the BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 and they will direct you to where to pick up.

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

A: Our response teams are made up of staff and volunteers who are trained early in the year to ensure we are ready for emergencies as the year goes on. We are grateful for the support of the communities of people reaching out to help in a time of need, however, due to the urgent nature of the response, we aren’t able to provide training to new volunteers at this time. If you are interested in being a part of our Emergency Response team in the future, we encourage you to gain some experience first by volunteering at your local BC SPCA! You can find volunteer opportunities to get involved here.

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

A: BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 is 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 Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 to go on the registry of foster volunteers.

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. You can also contact BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 for details about emergency boarding.

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 .

  • 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, emergency boarding for animals will be coordinated through the BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722. 

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.

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.

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