A search and rescue team ensuring residents in a British Columbian town evacuated because of wildfire risk came to the rescue of a senior dog after they said they saw her owner abandon her on the road.
Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) members were helping to enforce a wildfire evacuation order in the Central Okanagan a few nights ago, when they noticed a man who they had just instructed to leave driving away only to stop and then eject the dog from the car.
The team shared on Facebook how they initially communicated with the homeowner from the La Casa Resort:
“Due to language barriers, a long conversation took place and finally a translator was needed via phone,” the team wrote.
“As the team continued through the neighbourhood, they noticed the man leaving in his vehicle, only to stop 100 yards up the road and throw an older dog from his vehicle before continuing out of the resort and south down Westside Road,” the post continued.
Team members went to assist the dog and brought her back to their headquarters. They said, “The team managed to wrangle the dog and bring her back to command base when she was given food and water and the nickname ‘Smokey.’”
They noted that Smokey did not have a collar or tattoo. After feeding her, one of the COSAR team members brought her home for the night.
“I know these are incredibly stressful times, but what happened is unacceptable,” COSAR search manager Duane Tresnich remarked.
The Canadian province has been experiencing a summer filled with record-breaking heat and devastating wildfires in the wake of an unprecedented heat dome that resulted in hundreds of deaths and the destruction of Lytton, BC. The wildfires continue to threaten many communities throughout the province with the White Rock Lake wildfire being one of the most severe. That fire has prompted the Regional District of Central Okanagan to evacuate residents of over 2000 properties.
As for Smokey, she is now with local veterinarian, Dr. Moshe Oz, who has agreed to help Smokey find a new home.
“Dr. Oz’s been great during the evacuations. He’s always willing to go above and beyond to help people out,” COSAR search manager Duane Tresnich said. “It’s my understanding that after Dr. Oz checks Smokey over, a suitable home will be found.”
Dr. Oz, of Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital, provided a further update on Smokey, telling concerned dog lovers that she will be well looked after and sharing a photo of the dog looking much happier. The Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital wrote:
“Thank you to everyone for the out pouring of support for our dear ‘Smokey’ – she is healthy, happy and very loved. She is here to teach us all we need to support each other more then ever especially in this scary time.”
“Emotions are high, people are losing their homes, belongings and some have nowhere to go,” the vet added.
“We are going to give this doll time to decompress relax and get to know her. We will begin the rehoming process sometime next week and promise to give details on how you can apply for her. She is a heart stealer who loves belly rubs and almost anything. She is an angel. Please help who you can and be safe! We are here to help in any way we can! Big hugs to all.”