In November of last year, devastating floods hit British Columbia. Nearly 15,000 people and their companion animals were forced to evacuate their communities; others were affected by floods through road closures, veterinary office closures, and more; homes and barns were damaged and destroyed; more than 640,000 farmed animals lost their lives.
Many families suddenly found themselves unable to afford veterinary care for their beloved companion animals. As those impacted by the floods began the long journey to recover and rebuild, our province came together to support them.
Hundreds of kind people gave toward VHS’s Flood-Impacted Veterinary Assistance fund. These generous donations from people like you helped flood-impacted people ensure their beloved animal family members were safe and healthy, and helped local organizations and veterinary offices to keep their doors open to continue providing essential care for animals affected by flooding.
Here are some of the stories of the flood-affected animals who have received assistance through VHS’s veterinary assistance fund.
Greenbelt Veterinary Services
Greenbelt Veterinary Services joined in the effort to rescue 6,000 dairy cows from flood waters over the span of 36 hours. Animals who had stood chest deep in water, unable to lie down for more than 36 hours were found in flooded barns as the waters receded. Many of these animals required immediate and ongoing veterinary treatment and supervision on their road back to health. Greenbelt took in animals who had been evacuated, including calves experiencing hypothermia. A gift from a generous anonymous donor enabled them to continue their vital work helping animals to overcome these devastating conditions.
The VHS also reached out to Joanne, whose sanctuary for farmed and companion animals was completely flooded. Joanne, her husband Mike, and a dedicated group of volunteers came together to rescue as many animals as possible with trailers and boats. The barn ended up six feet underwater and the house four feet. Gifts from incredible animal champions covered veterinary costs for two rescued cats, Elvis and Cleo, and provided funding to the veterinarians who work with the sanctuary’s horses, goats, and sheep.
Janine’s Equine Therapy Farm
Janine runs an equine counselling therapy farm (pictured on page 1). When the floods hit, this safe haven for humans and animals ended up in waist-high water. Between the costly damages and emergency care for the animals, Janine quickly ate through all her savings. She reached out for help for top dog Finnegan, who had a lump on his back; Daisy the 18-year-old horse, who was experiencing lameness from the flooding; and Beethoven, a gorgeous cat with hyperthyroidism who began experiencing seizures.
Thanks to generous donations from community members, the VHS worked with Janine and veterinarians to make sure all of these loved animals got the veterinary care they needed. Since our last update, Beethoven has received much-needed radiotherapy for his hyperthyroidism!
Dian’s rescued animals
Dian is a longtime rescuer of animals who lost her home in the flooding, but managed to save all her animals by carefully moving them to high ground and rationing water for herself so they could have enough.
You may remember the story of Dian’s senior rescue dog Buhrmeez, who received essential support for his recently-diagnosed leukemia which meant he could live out his golden years with his loving family.
Since we shared this story, Dian’s other dog Keri frighteningly began to vomit blood and had to be hospitalized for 24 hours. Keri has begun gaining back his lost weight with the help of medication and Dian’s loving care.