On July 22, BC SPCA special constable Alex Jay was assisting at Charlie’s Pet Food Bank, a weekly SPCA outreach program for pet guardians in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, when a man came in, desperately seeking help for his seven-year-old dog who had been burned in the Okanagan wildfires.
The man had been working as a seasonal fruit picker in the Osoyoos/Oliver area when fires broke out, destroying the place he had been living and causing Tonnerre (“Thunder” in French) to flee from the flames. “He frantically searched for Tonnerre after he bolted from the fires. He was heartbroken, fearing his pet had died, but Tonnerre reappeared four days later, covered in burns,” says Jay.
Not knowing where to turn to for help, Tonnerre’s guardian put him in his van and drove straight to his brother’s home in East Vancouver. His brother’s girlfriend recommended he take Tonnerre to Charlie’s Food Bank to see if the SPCA could help.
“When we saw the dog we knew he needed treatment right away and transported him to a nearby emergency hospital for care,” says Jay. “He was treated for his burns and other injuries, which thankfully turned out to be less serious than at first thought.” The BC SPCA covered the costs of care and Tonnerre is now back with his grateful guardian and on the road to recovery.
“The man was so thankful for everything that had been done to help Tonnerre,” says Jay. “He told me many of the seasonal fruit industry workers bring their animals as companions and he became very emotional as he was talking to me, fearing that there may be many other animals like Tonnerre who had been impacted by the fires.”
The BC SPCA is grateful to our supporters for your generous donations for animals who have displaced and injured by the wildfires. In addition to helping animals like Tonnerre, your support is enabling the SPCA to provide free emergency boarding for the pets of evacuated families, to rescue animals trapped behind the fire lines and to ensure that farm animals, who cannot be moved from evacuated areas but who are not in immediate danger, are receiving food, water and care.
Jay, who has been working regularly behind the fire lines in Lytton and Kamloops, says there were many animals who needed help. “We’ve seen some heartbreaking situations, but for the most part we have been able to locate animals who are alive and safe and have been able to reunite them with their thankful families. It’s a very good feeling to be able to make those reunions possible.”