Preparing pets for fire evacuations

Be fully prepared to take care of your pets in case of a wildfire evacuation.

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – With forest fires encroaching ever closer to homes around the province, the B.C. SPCA is encouraging animal owners to re-evaluate their emergency pet preparedness.

Wildfires can quickly lead to evacuation orders and states of emergency, forcing people to leave their homes as quickly as possible.

“When you’re ordered to evacuate, you need to do it as soon as possible and people don’t necessarily think about their pet in an emergency situation until it’s too late,” Lorie Chortyk of the B.C. SPCA says. “You don’t have time to gather up everything you need if you have to get out of your home right away.”

It can be easy to forget the essentials during an emergency so it is important to plan ahead and be prepared.

“People love their pets but it often doesn’t sink in that an emergency can happen at any time,” Chortyk says.

An emergency pet kit is key, including emergency boarding plans, as is ensuring your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date contact information. Chortyk advises keeping pets inside the house so you always know where they are.

Items to include in an emergency pet preparedness kit include:

-A seven-day supply of food and water
-Sturdy crate and/or carrier
-Pet first aid kit
-Blanket and/or plastic bags
-Leash and/or harness
-Food and water bowls
-Litter box and litter for cats
-Manual can opener
-Copy of your pet’s current vaccination history
-Any medications and instructions

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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