The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society (OSPCA) and its partners are working to transport dogs south for adoption in order to make room for evacuated animals following a forest fire near the Northern community of Pikangikum First Nation.
The North Bay and District Humane Society’s Pet Valu Animal Rescue Express carried 20 dogs and puppies south from Thunder Bay to areas where there is a greater demand for adoptable pets. The dogs were set to arrive in North Bay on June 5 before continuing on to OSPCA animal centres in Barrie, Muskoka, Midland, Orillia and Orangeville on June 6. The dogs were cared for by Northern Reach Rescue Network, a rescue group based in Thunder Bay that transports dogs in need of homes from Northern communities for adoption. As Pikangikum First Nation began evacuating for the fire, Northern Reach needed space in its program to provide foster care for displaced dogs from the community, which is located in northern Ontario about 300 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. The OSPCA and its partners have also developed a network of individuals, organizations and communities known as the Animal North Network.
“By working together through the Animal North Network, we’re able to move these dogs in need of families to other areas of the province in order to ensure there are more resources available in the North to help animals displaced by fires,” said Judi Cannon, director of Partnerships and Community Outreach for the OSPCA.
The rehoming mission is part of the OSPCA’s Support the North campaign, which works to bring awareness, attention and action to the lack of animal wellness resources in Northern communities. The OSPCA and its animal wellness partners transported over 550 animals from the North for adoption in 2018.