British Columbia

'Please save my pets': B.C. fire evacuee family pleads for help

Some fire evacuated families in B.C.'s Interior are urging emergency crews and animal rescue workers to save the pets in their locked homes after not having the time to get them following swift evacuation orders.

'I told the RCMP and the SPCA, you have the owner's permission to break in; please save my pets'

Ken Bayne has been away from his lovebird, Charlie, for 12 days. The Bayne family were not able to return to their house and take their pets after they were forced to evacuate while out of town. (Zabeth Bayne)

Some fire evacuated families in B.C.'s Interior are urging emergency crews and animal rescue workers to save the pets in their locked homes after not having the time to get them following swift evacuation orders.

Zabeth Bayne, her husband and four children had to leave their pet lovebird, Charlie, and fish, Baloo, when they went to Prince George after Williams Lake was ordered evacuated July 9.

Kent (left), Bethany, Zabeth, Josiah, Baden, and Paul Bayne are unable to get help for the small pets left behind after they were forced to evacuate. (Facebook)

"Well initially, we would have taken our pets with us, but because of the evacuation order we weren't even at home and couldn't get to them.

"It took five days to get someone in and get a duplicate of our key to feed them, and they were miraculously still alive, and now, it's been another six days, and we've been trying to get someone into the house," said Bayne.

They had given their key to a friend who also had to leave when the order came and who wasn't able to take their animals with them, since she had a full car with other rescues, says Bayne.

Emergency workers can't help

Bayne says she has been looking for emergency workers to break into her house, but the SPCA has a policy which does not allow them to break in to a home, and RCMP have told her not to call them with rescue requests. She says she is getting the same message from Pet Rescue.

"I mean I want them to break in... I don't care if they break in, and I've told every rescue group, I told the RCMP and the SPCA, you have the owner's permission to break in and please save my pets," said Bayne,

"Someone made a good point: if an officer sees a dog in a car, and if it's a hot day, what does he do? He doesn't wait for the owner's permission. He breaks in to save the life. So what makes this different?" Bayne asked.

Baloo, Baden Bayne's fish, has been without food for six days, says Zabeth Bayne. (Zabeth Bayne)

Bayne acknowledges that there are other priorities but says her children love their pets and worked hard to save money to buy them.

"I know. I don't have you know, like bigger pets, but they are a bird and a fish and they're my kids, and they're going to come home to dead pets and that's frustrating."​

Bayne says that other families are expressing similar concerns.

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