Temporary evacuation centre set up in Kamloops for animals stranded in Lytton

An evacuation centre has been set up in Kamloops to temporarily house pets displaced by the fire that swept through Lytton last week.

An evacuation centre has been set up in Kamloops to temporarily house pets displaced by the fire that swept through Lytton last week.

The BC SPCA says it's part of ongoing efforts to get as many animals as possible to safety after the devastating fire left much of the village in ruins.

The animal welfare organization has been granted access to go behind evacuation lines in Lytton on Thursday to rescue any animals still in the area.

“We have been documenting all requests from animal owners since the fires broke out and these requests are still coming in through our Call Centre and ESS,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA, in a news release.

“We have officers and transport vehicles standing by to attend the properties as soon as we have access tomorrow. It is our goal to get every animal out but we are working with a one-day window, which is challenging.”

Chortyk says BC SPCA special constables will be transporting pets and farm animals to the edge of the evacuation lines, where they will be met by SPCA staff who will shuttle the animals to Kamloops.

“There the animals will be returned to their owners or admitted for SPCA emergency boarding, if the owner requires temporary shelter for their pet,” Chortyk adds.

A 5,500-square-foot air-conditioned evacuation centre located at 350 Dene Drive in Kamloops will also act as an emergency boarding facility to help accommodate the growing number of animals needing help.

“We have been taking in animals for the past week at our BC SPCA shelter in Kamloops,” says Chortyk. “We transferred the homeless animals in our Kamloops location to nearby SPCA shelters in Vernon and Shuswap to make room for animals displaced by the fires. The animal evacuation centre is the next step.”

Chortyk says the evacuation centre will be staffed by BC SPCA employees and volunteers.

It will mainly house dogs and larger animals, while cats and smaller animals admitted for emergency boarding will be transferred to the BC SPCA's Kamloops shelter for care.