The Animal Auxillary in Vernon is here to help fulfill pets and farm animals’ needs after their families have been put on evacuation order or alert due to wildfires.

“We have been going now for about six weeks. We have set up a big centre in Merritt for the Lytton and Spencers Bridge people and we have gone back-and-forth quite a few times to keep that centre full of food for all evacuees in the surrounding area,” said Gena Barzan, Animal Auxiliary.

“It’s not just for one group, it’s for anybody that has been evacuated. They can come and pick up whatever they need, absolutely free.”

Brazan and her team have taken on a herculean task of accepting donations, supplying food for animals out at O’Keefe Ranch and other animal sanctuaries, as well as temporarily rehoming them if necessary and helping evacuees in need.

“Pawprints Animal Rescue Foundation was evacuated and they have 130 cats and we were stressing that we really need to find them a location to get them all together. That was accomplished and we are very happy for them,” said Barzan.

The outpour of support has been crucial in their mission to help pet owners as they try to provide for their animals in already distressing times as the White Rock Lake wildfire continues to grow.

“I’ve seen this before, I’ve been doing this a long time, I know what these monster fires can do and this particular fire is bad,” said Barzan.

“A man just came in and handed me $400 and said, ‘buy what you need and right now.’ Cash donations is what we need so that we can get what people need as they come in.”

Both monetary donations and donations of pet food, carriers, leashes, collars and any other pet needs are being accepted at the Animal Auxiliary in Vernon on Highway 6. They are also in need of places to house pets and farm animals.

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