A B.C. dog that suffered wildfire burns in the South Okanagan is on the road to recovery.
According to the B.C. SPCA, a special constable was lending a hand at Charlie’s Pet Food Bank in Vancouver last Thursday when a man came in, desperately seeking help for his seven-year-old dog.
The unnamed man had been working as a fruit picker in the Osoyoos and Oliver area when a wildfire broke out, destroying the place he’d been living, with the dog, Tonnerre, fleeing from the flames.
“(The man) frantically searched for Tonnerre after he bolted from the fires,” said SPCA special constable Alex Jay.
“He was heartbroken, fearing his pet had died, but Tonnerre reappeared four days later, covered in burns.”
The B.C. SPCA says the man gathered Tonnerre and drove him to his brother’s home in East Vancouver, where he was then directed to Charlie’s Food Bank.
“When we saw the dog, we knew he needed treatment right away and transported him to a nearby emergency hospital for care,” said Jay.
“He was treated for his burns and other injuries, which thankfully turned out to be less serious than first thought.”
The B.C. SPCA says it covered care costs, and that Tonnerre is now on the road to recovery.
“The man was so thankful for everything that had been done to help Tonnerre,” said Jay. “He told me many of the seasonal fruit industry workers bring their animals as companions and he became very emotional as he was talking to me, fearing that there may be many other animals like Tonnerre who had been impacted by the fires.”
Charlie’s Pet Food Bank provides free and low-cost services for pet guardians in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
The community-based initiative was launched in 2000. It’s named after a starving dog that arrived in critical condition but died three weeks later despite intensive care.
The B.C. SPCA says it is regularly working behind wildfire lines, and there are many animals in need of help.
“We’ve seen some heartbreaking situations, but, for the most part, we have been able to locate animals who are alive and safe and have been able to reunite them with their thankful families,” said Jay.
“It’s a very good feeling to be able to make those reunions possible.”