When Fort McMurray evacuees arrived in Edmonton, some came with their beloved pets, while countless others had been forced to tearfully leave their animals behind.
It was a stressful, emotional time, as pet owners waited to hear news of whether their animals had been rescued from the fire-ravaged community.
Those who did come with their pets needed help finding temporary homes.
"There were people, literally evacuating. They were running, they had very little on their backs and very little for their animals," said Tanya Laughren, with Animal Care & Control Centre.
Animal organizations across the city and province worked together to rescue, temporarily house, and reunite displaced companion animals with their owners.
“Our staff is very passionate about animal welfare issues. It wasn’t difficult by any stretch of the imagination to get staff motivated to respond,” said Ron Gabruck, with the Animal Care & Control Centre.
Over the weeks, we heard incredible stories of animals reuniting with their owners.
“Thank you doesn't seem like hardly enough for everyone who risked their lives to rescue any and every pet possible, and continue to do so,” wrote Dawn Marie Sanguellini, on the Alberta SPCA Facebook Page.
“Enough can't be said for the hundreds of volunteers who have donated their time, energy, food, money, homes and countless other animal necessities to save and keep our pets safe fed and warm.”
Fort Mac pets by the numbers
Animal Care & Control Centre (as of May 20):
- Total Animals Rescued in Fort McMurray and transferred to the local Animal Centre: 106
- Total Animals Cared for at Northlands temporary holding: 197
- Total Fort McMurray Animals provided shelter at ACCC: 163
- Total Fort McMurray Animal Releases from ACCC: 108
Alberta SPCA (as of June 7)
- Animals admitted May 8-19: 1,181
- Animals reunited with owners: 943
- Animals scheduled for reunions: 94
- Animals in care: 82
- Animals at veterinary clinics: 10
- Animals surrendered: 33
- Animals deceased (owners have been notified): 19
Types of Fort McMurray animals rescued:
Dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other small pets.