Gena Barzan delivers cat food and supplies for a wildfire evacuee from Westwold Wednesday, July 21. (Animal Auxiliary photo)

Vernon group gives wildfire evacuated animals a leg up

Donations collected for North and South Okanagan evacauted pets

Forced to leave at a moment’s notice or with minimal space to take all that is needed, many people grab their pets and most precious items. But they are often without necessities for their animals.

Like a woman in Westwold, who was able to get herself and her cat out, but didn’t have food, litter, a litter box or even a bowl for her kitty.

That’s where the Animal Auxiliary steps in.

The Vernon-based volunteers are collecting donations so that they can assist animals who have been evacuated.

“We are in a position right now where things are pretty ugly out there and there’s a lot of groups needing items,” said Gena Barzan, prior to dropping off animal food in Westwold Wednesday. “We’ve got multiple locations that need help.”

Cat and dog carriers, food, leashes, collars and bowls are needed, along with monetary donations to purchase these items.

Donations can be brought to the Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store in Vernon (#109 2411 Highway 6) and e-transfers can be sent to Those who need help can also call Barzan at 250-438-0062.

The Auxiliary is also supporting animals in the South Okanagan evacuated due to the Oliver and Okanagan Falls fires.

Hoses, fence panels and more are needed at Desert Park.

Larry at Fisher’s Hardware is collecting monetary donations at the store (3300 Coldstream Ave.).

Items can also be dropped off at the Horse Protection Society barn in Langley (24463 16th Ave.) any morning between 10 and noon. E-transfers can be sent to (make a note that the funds are for fire relief).

Along with helping animals, the Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store has opened its doors for evacuees to get free clothing and items (with proof of ESS registration).

The Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store was started by the Horse Protection Society of B.C. and helps many organizations and people in the Okanagan.

READ MORE: Wildfire threatening Westwold grows to 7,000 hectares

READ MORE: Vernon shows appreciation for firefighters


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AnimalsB.C. Wildfires 2021Fire evacuationPets


Gena Barzan purchases pet food and supplies for a wildfire evacuee in Westwold. (Animal Auxiliary photo)

Gena Barzan purchases pet food and supplies for a wildfire evacuee in Westwold. (Animal Auxiliary photo)