As many families find themselves forced to evacuate due to wildfires in the interior, wild and domestic animals are being stranded.
That’s where the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) comes into play. The non-profit volunteer organization is responsible for evacuating, rescuing, sheltering and caring for animals during emergency events.
However, the recent barrage of wildfires in the B.C. Interior has heavily challenged ALERT’s efforts, leaving their Osoyoos shelter overcrowded.
“This is monstrous. We can normally handle one disaster, even a few at a time, but this has been really, really tough,” ALERT’s operations director Deborah McBride said.
So far this summer, ALERT has sheltered 146 animals, with 126 still being cared for.
McBride stressed the importance of being ready for these extreme events by preparing multiple emergency plans, or welcoming in family, friends and pets if you can.
ALERT’s website has a list of guidelines to help people when setting up emergency plans, including key pieces of a pet evacuation kit:
– 72 hours of food and water supply for your pet
– A leash, muzzle and harness as required
– Medical records
– ID tags and, if applicable, a microchip number
You can view the rest of the list and other guidelines here.
If you’re interested in volunteering to support ALERT’s efforts, you can visit their website and register to volunteer.