Sixteen dogs who were evacuated from Hay River, N.W.T., after wildfires devastated the town, have been taken in by the Nova Scotia SPCA.
The 11 puppies and five dogs were from the Hay River Animal Shelter and had been staying in foster homes and boarding facilities in Grande Prairie, A.B., and Edmonton after an evacuation order was issued in Hay River.
“A volunteer loaded up the car and just drove,” says Sarah Lyon, provincial director of external relations at the Nova Scotia SPCA, in a news release Wednesday.
“She got some animals to Grande Prairie, while the rest were brought to Edmonton via military transport when the fire reached just a kilometer outside of the centre of the town.”
With the help of Veterinarians Without Borders, Hay River Animal Shelter worked to find another shelter to take the dogs. When they were unable to find space, due to wildfires continuing to burn throughout Western Canada, they reached out to the Nova Scotia SPCA.
“The Nova Scotia SPCA has a strong legacy of supporting animals during emergencies, as exemplified during their response efforts to wildfires that happened across Nova Scotia in May,” says Marieke Van Der Veldon, the Northern Canada program manager for Veterinarians Without Borders, in the release.
“Although space in their shelters is significantly limited at this time, their offer of help for these 16 animals is truly appreciated, as they quite literally have nowhere else to go.”
The dogs flew into Nova Scotia Tuesday night, with the help of the charity organization Wings of Rescue.
“We are so happy to be a part of the continued support of Canadian animals affected by this summer’s wildfires,” says Ashley Wright, executive director of Wings of Rescue. “We look forward to them finding their forever homes in Nova Scotia.”
According to the Nova Scotia SPCA, all of the dogs will receive medical treatment from the organization’s veterinarians and will need spay/neuters, vaccines, and possibly dental surgery. The puppies are currently placed in foster homes, and the adult dogs are in shelters across the province.
“We are grateful that we have a strong network of foster families. They are helping make this intake of dogs possible,” says Lyon. “And our staff who are proud to help the Hay River Animal Shelter.”
When the SPCA was approached to take the dogs, Lyon says they thought about the wildfires in Nova Scotia this past spring.
“How lucky we were that we did not have to evacuate any of our shelters. But if we had, we hope that when asked to help our animals, someone would have said yes.”
The Nova Scotia SPCA says the dogs will not be available for adoption until they have finished or received any treatment needed.
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