Many had to evacuate due to forest fires in northern Manitoba, many had to abandon many things including their pets.
The communities that were evacuated are in remote areas, meaning it was not possible to bring pets.
Now relief organizations are trying to do their part to help the furry relatives who remain.
The Manitoba Animal Alliance said it was sending supplies with Pauingassi First Nations leaders as they boarded 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.
“About 180-200+ animals are struggling to survive or have died from lack of food and water.”
Dog food is loaded onto a plane bound for Pauingassi First Nation on July 22, 2021 (Source: Manitoba Animal Alliance / Facebook)
Dog food loaded on a plane bound for 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.
“Due to the heavy smoke and danger to the community, no one has returned. Some animals have been without food or water for more than 10 days, most have been without food or water for more than seven days.”
K9 Advocates Manitoba said two of its members have returned to the fires to set aside food and water for abandoned dogs and even bears that have been moved.
“They were able to bring 6 additional dogs and 5 cats (one mom and her litter) that community members asked us to take. 5 more dogs will be brought in today,” the organization said in a Facebook post.
K9 Advocates said they will continue to try to bring as much food and water to the animals as possible, but they are also asking for more help.
They said they needed large four gallon or larger water jugs, large buckets with lids, canned dog and cat food and powdered formula, kennels and wire crates and any monetary donation for medical emergencies and dog boarding.
“We have a team on standby and as soon as it is safe to do so we will be heading out into the community with food and water to help any animals we can.
Animal Alliance has said it wants to raise awareness of the situations indigenous peoples face when forced to leave their animals behind.
“Many animals are more than likely already dead and many will continue to suffer and die until help arrives,” said Animal Alliance.
“We will continue to help as best we can, collecting food and water and getting it to communities and kennels as best we can.”
More information on how to donate to K9 Advocates Manitoba or the Manitoba Animal Alliance is available online.