With the evacuation of Behchoko in late July came a flood of dogs and puppies to Yellowknife shelters.
That included Qimmiq Kennels, which started receiving canines from evacuees who were unable to keep their animals. Some of them have yet to return home, or find new owners.
Jo Kelly, the owner and manager of the kennels, said they stayed open into the wee hours of the morning for several days recently, waiting for more dogs to arrive.
And they came by the truckloads.
Organizations such as the SPCA and Vets Without Borders helped arrange the influx of pets to ensure their health and safety amid the emergency.
In total, Qimmiq Kennels took in more than 75 dogs, including puppies. Most of the dogs have been claimed by their owners.
“But for various reasons, they have not been able to pick them up yet,” said Kelly. “Some people had to leave town or had family emergencies, while others lost their homes in Behchoko and are still figuring out housing for themselves and their families.”
The SPCA has taken responsibility for one of the litters of puppies and will start rehoming them, according to Kelly.
“People interested in adopting a puppy can contact the SPCA for more information. Another litter of puppies and their mother may be going back to Behchoko today,” she said on Wednesday.
Vets Without Boarder also rallied around Qimmiq Kennels, ensuring that all the puppies were vaccinated.
As of Wednesday, the business still had seven adult dogs and two litters of puppies from Behchoko. The adult dogs will stay at the shelter until their owners are able to pick them up.
In addition to the dogs from Behchoko, Qimmiq Kennels also took in a dog and her 12 offspring from another rescue down south.
Kelly said it’s been chaotic, but they are doing their best to take care of all the animals in need.
“We’re doing everything we can to help these animals,” she said. “It’s been a tough time for everyone, but we’re all pulling together to get through this.”