FLOOD WATCH 2017: Pets displaced by flooding welcome at West Kelowna vet hospital

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Moshe Oz and an assistant make room for the many pets they helped take care of during the Smith Creek fire.

WEST KELOWNA – A vet hospital in West Kelowna is opening their clinic to pets who are in need of a place to wait out the flood.

The entire Okanagan is now on flood watch after the province issued a warning that last weekend’s flood was just the beginning. Mayor Colin Basran posted a Facebook statement last night, May 10, saying he expected water levels "unlike anything we have ever seen in our community."

While residents are encouraged to arrange for a place to stay in case an evacuation is ordered, pets are not allowed everywhere.

Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital spokesperson Rhonda Hunt says they have a large space they are making available for any displaced pets, and are even offering to take care of food and necessary medicine.

“I’m sure some of these cases are, ‘oh my God’, just leaving and fleeing,” she says. “If your dog’s diabetic and maybe you left your insulin or antibiotics behind, we’re here to provide food, shelter and medical assistance. Bring what you can, we’ll take care of the rest.”

Hunt says they have crates and bedding on standby but so far have not yet had any drop offs. That could soon change.

The Central Okanagan Regional District's director of emergency operations Brian Reardon says "flooding in the Kelowna region is imminent.”

A combination of rain and spring snow melt over the next few days will lead to rising water levels, likely to peak later (Thursday) and will increase the risk of flooding, the district says.

In 2014, Dr. Moshe Oz and the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital staff spent countless hours and dollars caring for animals fleeing the massive Smith Creek Wildfire. 

For more information, visit the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital Facebook page.


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