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Dog burnt in wildfires on the road to recovery after treatment in Downtown Eastside

The 7-year-old Labrador cross was reunited with his owner after initially bolting from the flames.

Photo: Courtesy of the BC SPCA

A dog who suffered burns after disappearing in wildfires is on the road to recovery after being treated by charity workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

According to the BC SPCA, a 7-year-old Labrador cross, Tonnerre - which means ‘Thunder’ in French - was living with his owner in the Osoyoos/Oliver area where he worked as a seasonal fruit picker, when wildfires broke out, destroying their home and causing Tonnerre to bolt from the approaching flames.

His distraught owner frantically searched for his companion - fearing he had died - but eventually found him after 4 days with large burns on his body.

Unsure of where to turn for help, Tonnerre’s owner drove to his brother’s home in Vancouver’s East Side, where his brother’s girlfriend pointed him in the direction of Charlie’s Pet Food Bank, a weekly BC SPCA outreach program for residents in the local area, who may be able to help.

Alex Jay, a BC SPCA special constable working at Charlie’s Pet Food Bank on the day the man rushed in to ask for help for Tonnerre, said: “When we saw the dog we knew he needed treatment right away and transported him to a nearby emergency hospital for care.

“He was treated for his burns and other injuries, which thankfully turned out to be less serious than at first thought.”

Tonnere, pictured with his owner, is recovering after getting treatment | Photo: BC SPCA

The charity was able to cover the costs for Tonnerre’s treatments, and the pooch is now on the road to recovery by his “thankful” owner’s side.

Jay added: “The man was so thankful for everything that had been done to help Tonnerre. He told me many of the seasonal fruit industry workers bring their animals as companions and he became very emotional as he was talking to me, fearing that there may be many other animals like Tonnerre who had been impacted by the fires.”

Charlie’s Pet Food Bank was set up by the BC SPCA and Greater Vancouver Food Bank in 2000 after a dog was brought into the charity’s care in a starving condition but tragically passed away 3 weeks later despite intensive care. The food bank provides free and low-cost services for the homeless or those on low-income.

If you would like to donate to help animals injured and displaced by wildfires, donate here. If you're in an area at risk of wildfires, click here for tips on how to protect your pup in an emergency.


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