When fire raged out of control in Fort McMurray this spring, hundreds of family pets were displaced, lost or left behind in the panic to evacuate the northern Alberta city.
Now, weeks after most of the animals have been claimed and many residents in the city of 80,000 went home, some pets are still living in limbo.
The Alberta SPCA said while the animal reunion project has been “incredibly successful,” as of June 19, almost 100 animals still hadn’t been reunited with their owners.
“That’s just 8% of the total number of animals the Alberta SPCA took into custody,” the organization said.
Cats, dogs, bearded dragons, snakes, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, birds, rabbits, turtles fish and spiders are among the unclaimed pets.
“We know that some animal owners still aren’t in a position to care for their animals themselves. Together with our partner agencies, the Alberta SPCA has tried to help owners find temporary boarding for their animals if they needed it,” the non-profit added.
But now, more than a month since the Alberta SPCA received the last animal evacuee, the no-profit has announced a deadline to claim the wayward critters.
“In the interest of the long-term welfare of the remaining animals, we have decided that any animals not claimed by Thursday, June 30, will be signed over to animal adoption agencies, which can start looking for permanent homes for them. Final attempts to contact all the owners who haven’t yet claimed their animals will be completed before we officially transfer ownership.”
You can see all unidentified animals on Wood Buffalo’s Animal Control in-care gallery.