Manitoba animal rescues trying to save pets left behind in wildfire evacuations

A dog rescued from Paungassi First Nation by Manitoba Animal Alliance that was left behind during wildfire evacuations. July 22, 2021. (Source: Manitoba Animal Alliance/Facebook)

With many having to evacuate due to the wildfires in northern Manitoba, many have had to leave a lot behind, including their pets.

The communities that were evacuated are in remote areas, which means it wasn't possible to bring pets along.

Now rescue organizations are trying to do their part to help the furry loved ones who remain.

Manitoba Animal Alliance said it is sending supplies with leadership of Pauingassi First Nations as they are taking a small plane into the community.

"They were allowed to bring a very small plane barely enough to help more than a few animals," the organization said in a social media post.

"Approximately 180 –200 + animals are struggling to survive or have died from lack of food and water."

Dog food supplies being loaded into a plane heading to Pauingassi First Nation on July 22, 2021. (Source: Manitoba Animal Alliance/Facebook)

They said community members were faced with an impossible choice as the only option during evacuations was human life first.

"Because of the significant smoke and danger of the community no one has been back. Some animals have been without food and water for over 10 days most have been without food and water for over seven days."

K9 Advocates Manitoba said two of its members went back toward the fires to leave out food and water for the dogs left behind and even the bears that have been displaced.

"They were able to bring in 6 more dogs and 5 cats (a mom and her litter) that community members asked for us to take. Another 5 dogs will be brought in today," the organization said in a Facebook post.

K9 Advocates said they will continue to try and bring as much food and water as possible to the animals, but they are also asking for more help.

They said they need large four-gallon or larger water jugs, large pails with lids, canned dog and cat food and powdered formula, wire kennels and crates and any monetary donations for medical emergencies and dog boarding.

"We have a team on stand by and as soon as it is safe to do so, we will head into the community with food and water to help any animals we can. Any requiring medical care will be brought back to Winnipeg for treatment."

Animal Alliance said they are wanting to bring more awareness to the situations Indigenous people have to deal with when they are forced to leave their animals behind.

"Many animals have more than likely already died and many will continue to suffer and die until help comes," Animal Alliance said.

"We are going to keep helping as best we can, picking up food and water and getting it up to the communities as well as kennels as best we can."

More information on how to donate to either K9 Advocates Manitoba or Manitoba Animal Alliance can be found online.