Joe Griffith, manager at the Prince Rupert BC SPCA said on July 17 that wildfires and shelter overcrowding across the province are affecting the local shelter which is over capacity. Foster homes are urgently needed. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Joe Griffith, manager at the Prince Rupert BC SPCA said on July 17 that wildfires and shelter overcrowding across the province are affecting the local shelter which is over capacity. Foster homes are urgently needed. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Animal victims in wildfires affecting Prince Rupert SPCA

Local shelter is over capacity and pleads for community assistance

Prince Rupert SPCA is overwhelmed and is pleading with the local public to urgently assist with abandoned animals and those in need of foster or permanent homes.

Local shelter branch manager Joe Griffiths said in July 15 letter to The Northern View that Prince Rupert has been overwhelmed with the number of abandoned animals this summer and is appealing for much-needed urgent help from the local community.

The emergency care shelter is more than 250 per cent over capacity in housing the furry friends in need of attention.

“We want to help every single animal in need, but our shelter and our foster home system are past capacity. We simply have no space to keep taking in unlimited numbers of animals,” he said. “We’ve taken in as many as we can.”

There are several contributing factors outside of the SPCA’s control that contribute to the stretching of resources in the local facility as well as across the province, Griffith said.

The B.C. forest fires have placed an unprecedented demand on SPCA shelters across the province. With lower mainland shelters already full, the regular transfers of animals from the North to other SPCA’s for adoption or fostering has been halted as there is just no room. Many foster families have been affected by the wildfires with animals needing to be returned to the shelters, or families that have been displaced relinquishing their pets.

The crisis in the lower portion of the province has a domino effect on the north. With an already overwhelming cat and kitten population in Prince Rupert, the animals can not be transferred out to other SPCA locations, which are full with animal fire victims.

The closest SPCA to Prince Rupert is Prince George which is also full, and the transfer hub which is Quesnel again is full.

Staff are working long hours to keep up with the intake of animals and attending to their needs, some of which are injured and need around-the-clock care. Staff are volunteering to come in on their time off to feed and provide medications at all hours of the day to ensure the level of care to nurse the four-legged friends.

“Pet overpopulation and animal abandonment are also community issues and we urge everyone to do their part for these vulnerable animals,” Griffith said.

“The BC SPCA is here as a safety net for our community’s at-risk animals, but we are a non-profit society funded entirely by donors and do not have unlimited space and resources,” the manager said.

“We urgently need additional foster homes who can provide temporary shelter and care for homeless animals. We ask anyone who has found an abandoned animal to consider providing a temporary home until we have space in our shelter,”

Griffiths said the SPCA will provide food and other supplies, and can even send staff to assist with setting up a designated area to home an animal.

For more information on how you can help, please contact the Prince Rupert SPCA at (778) 884-1877 or princerupert@spca.bc.ca

READ MORE:BC SPCA rescues 41 animals after gaining access to Lytton

READ MORE: Kittens found tied up in plastic bags in Prince Rupert


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
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Foster homes are urgently needed in Prince Rupert as the local SPCA is over capacity due to effects from wildfires and animal victims needing assistance across the province. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Foster homes are urgently needed in Prince Rupert as the local SPCA is over capacity due to effects from wildfires and animal victims needing assistance across the province. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)