Wildfire Survivor Dogs Get New Leash on Life at Nova Scotia SPCA


Sixteen dogs, victims of the devastating wildfires that swept through Hay River, North West Territories, have found solace under the care of the Nova Scotia SPCA. The displaced dogs, eleven puppies and five adults, were initially given shelter from the Hay River Animal Shelter and were hosted in foster homes and boarding facilities in Grande Prairie and Edmonton, following an evacuation order in Hay River.

Amidst the piercing wildfires, a volunteer in an act of valor loaded the hapless dogs into a car and embarked on a journey towards safety. Some of these animals found a haven in Grande Prairie, while others were airlifted to Edmonton through military transport as the fire advanced to just a kilometer from the town center.

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The daunting task of finding a new shelter was shouldered by Veterinarians Without Borders and the Hay River Animal Shelter, and their search led them to the Nova Scotia SPCA. Their request came at a time when the SPCA was already operating at full capacity due to the wildfires raging across Western Canada. Despite their constraints, the SPCA committed to making room for the displaced dogs.

Proud of its heritage of aiding animals in emergencies, as demonstrated in response to Nova Scotia’s wildfires in May, the SPCA was determined to help, noted Marieke Van Der Veldon, Northern Canada program manager for Veterinarians Without Borders. The offer was indeed a lifeline for these 16 animals who quite literally had nowhere else to go.

The charity organization Wings of Rescue played a significant role in flying the dogs to Nova Scotia on Tuesday night. Their Executive Director, Ashley Wright, expressed her joy at being part of the massive effort to provide assistance to animals affected by the summer’s wildfires. Smiling, she anticiapated the dogs finding their forever homes in Nova Scotia.

Upon reaching Nova Scotia, medical care awaited the dogs, including necessary spaying/neutering, vaccines, and potentially dental surgery. Currently, the puppies adjust to life in foster homes, while the adult dogs receive care in shelters across the province.

Sarah Lyon, provincial director of external relations at the Nova Scotia SPCA, acknowledged the immense efforts of the foster families and staff, attributing the successful intake of the dogs to their commitment. Reminded of Nova Scotia’s brush with wildfires earlier this spring, Lyon observed the importance of solidarity in such crises.

The dogs remain under care and will not be put up for adoption until all medical treatments have been administered. Their ordeal, a poignant testament to the unyielding resilience of man and animal in the face of adversity.