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Vet opens heart, clinic to evacuated pets

Dr. Moshe Oz and an assistant make room for the many pets they are helping to take care of during evacuations because of the Smith Creek fire.
July 18, 2014 - 4:28 PM

WEST KELOWNA - Evacuations can be a high stress situtation but one local vet is trying to make it easier on people and their pets by offering free kennelling for all pets displaced by the wildfire burning in West Kelowna right now.

Dr. Moshe Oz , a vet with Rose Valley Veterinary Clinic, says they’ve already taken in around 50 cats, plus dogs, ferrets and birds left temporarily homeless by the Smith Creek fire. And they’re making room for more.

The hospital is at full capacity, but they rented a storage unit next door for however long it takes.

“I stayed here (through) the night and took care of all the animals,” Oz says. “We are tired, but we are happy because we are doing good things. It’s been amazing.”

While Oz remained at the clinic all night his staff stayed until 11 p.m., returning again early in the morning.

“I thought of the community. This is how I think it’s supposed to be. Everyone needs to help a little bit,” Oz says. “I can’t go and stop the fire, I can’t become a firefighter, but I can help with what I have. It’s just part of being in a community.”

He says they try to make it as easy and quick as possible on people dropping off their pets, since they are already in a panic.

This isn’t the first time the clinic has helped animals in need. Last summer a large apartment fire in Rutland saw the clinic treat cats with smoke inhalation and burn injuries. Luckily none of the animals brought in this time around have needed treatment, though Oz says they will help any animal injured in the fire.

“It’s just natural to help with any animals that need help. I have to be there for the animals, and for my community,” he says “Whoever needs help I’ll do everything I can.”

More than 1,100 properties are under an evacuation order, affecting an estimated 2,500 people. As of Friday afternoon the fire had grown to 400 hectares and was only 20 per cent contained.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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