Thirty-one animals whose owners have been affected by B.C. wildfires arrived at the Victoria Humane Society over the weekend, despite not having a permanent location.
Kittens, cats, puppies and dogs arrived on the Island either by car or plane after being surrendered by owners across the province. Society executive director Penny Stone said more than 70 animals have been brought in since the fires broke out eight weeks ago. Without a shelter, the influx has been hard to manage, she added.
“The unfortunate reality is that whenever there is a disaster, people’s lives are turned upside down and life circumstances change,” Stone said. “It’s sad all around.”
Volunteers have been working tirelessly to accommodate and house the animals. Stone and her staff are currently caring for 100 animals, and the society has had to put a hold on local intakes.
“We desperately need a shelter,” she said. “This is just the beginning. It’s really important that people understand the fires are still going.”
Stone expects more furry friends to arrive in town, as most are surrendered after the fires have been put out and rebuilding takes shape. Roughly 30 to 50 per cent of animals aren’t claimed by their owners after natural disasters. “These are really good people, but they might not have homes to go back to.”
“Our province is burning,” Stone said. “We have to help these animals and these people.”