Fort St. John

May 18, 2016 - We have offered the assistance of our Mobile Support Team to the Emergency Services responding to the Fort St. John fires. We were considered but were not deployed. All evacuation orders were rescinded.

Fort McMurray

May 4, 2016 - We have offered the assistance of our Mobile Support Team to the Emergency Services in Alberta responding to the Fort McMurray situation. CDART is unable to deploy unless requested by the responding authority.


We will post further information as it becomes available.

CDART has been in communication with the government of Alberta.

Alberta SPCA is lead for the agencies evacuating/rescuing pets that remained behind in Fort McMurray. Many other agencies are assisting with the response.

Alberta SPCA is also the lead for livestock response.

If evacuees are missing animals, you need to report it using this form:

Members of the public wanting to help can complete the form on the AARCS site:

Various groups assisting with the response also have their own forms to fill out.

If you would like to offer assistance...

Please understand,

  • the safety of our Volunteers, including Convergent Volunteers is our primary concern, even during a disaster.
  • We must take the time to ensure that the animals we are helping are safely and securely transported and sheltered.

It is going to take longer for this process to happen, but it will happen and the quicker the better.


If you want to provide a safe place for animals in a disaster, download, print and fill out our

Request to Foster Form

Once that form is received by us either by snail mail or email, we would schedule in a team to visit your property to confirm. Once that is done and it is clear that you understand what you may or may not do with animals that belong to someone else according to CDART Policy & Procedure, we will put you in our database.


If you want to come on as a Volunteer with CDART, download, print and fill out our

CDART Volunteer Registration Form
On this form, you should include your skill set or add a page if necessary.

Once this form is received by us either by snail mail or email, you will be personally notified when and where the next training is if you miss it on our website. We normally don't train groups under 10 people but we have been so mindful of recruiting good volunteers that we even did a training of 8 volunteers recently.

If you have a large enough group of people interested in training, we will set up a training course date in your area.


If you want to haul for us during disasters, download, print and fill out our

CDART Volunteer Hauler Form

Once this form is received by us either by snail mail or email, one of our Safety Officers and another CDART Volunteer will visit you and have a look at your truck/trailer to ensure safety.

We are currently working on rebuilding our website, on which these forms will be available to fill out and submit directly online. New site will be launched in September 2015.

2015 Responses

Oliver Fire - Testalinden - August 2015

August 29, 2015
We are currently hosting many horses evacuated from a number of local fires, over at D BAR K Ranch in Oliver.

Due to the reduced availability of hay this year and the prices, we would gratefully appreciate any donations of hay to the D BAR K Ranch, as they have been extremely generous in providing for the evacuated animals. 

August 28, 2015

CDART Okanagan is once again set up to assist evacuees from the Testalinden fire. We are at the evacuee reception centre at Oliver Community Centre. Evacuees please contact us if you need assistance with evacuations, fostering, or pet supplies.
If anyone needs emergency assistance, contact us at 250-809-7152.

Shelter Cove Fire July 20, 2015

July 21, update 1955 hours (7:55pm)
The reception centre is shutting down as of 8pm - we remain available to assist evacuees with fostering, pet supplies or emergency evacuations. We can be reached at 250-809-7152.

We will be back in the reception centre at 8:30am tomorrow.

July 21, update 0130 hours (1:30am)

We are shutting down at the reception centre for tonight - we will be back at 0830.

July 20, 2330 hours (11:30pm)
CDART Okanagan is set up at the reception centre at Westbank Lions Community Hall in West Kelowna. We are available to assist evacuees with their pets. If anyone needs immediate assistance evacuating their animals, they can contact us at 250-809-7152.

La Ronge Saskatchewan Wildfire  - July 09, 2015  2100 hours (9pm)
CDART reached out to Northern Animal Rescue Humane Society to offer support to the effort to help animals from evacuated communities in northern Saskatchewan. Our national coordinator received a phone call this morning and discussed the situation with Joanne.

They are sheltering some animals that have been evacuated as well as providing maintenance for animals still remaining in La Ronge. CDART sent our Animal Intake Form and Action Request Form for them to assist with their response. They are doing a good job with the resources and training available to them.

CDART does not self-deploy so we cannot provide a mobile support team without authorization from local authorities. We have offered logistical support by cell phone 24/7 for the duration of their response. They have also requested training after the summer wildfire season.

Huckleberry Rd. Wildfire, North of Hwy. 33 near Joe Rich

Updates from Central Okanagan Emergency Operations:

Updates on the fire from BC Wildfire Service

Update July 4th, 1130 hours
Highway 33 is now opened (single lane alternating traffic), so people on evacuation alert can get through. If you still have pets or livestock at home, please make arrangements for them in case you are evacuated. If you have animals that you are concerned about being able to move, please talk to CDART at the ESS reception centre at Willow Park Church.

Update July 4th, 0830 hours
We've opened up at the reception centre again and are assisting evacuees that need fostering for their pets or pet supplies. We are also providing assistance with locating pets left behind, and taking care of animals sheltered in place in evacuated areas.

Update July 3rd, 2230 hours (10:30pm)
So far, CDART has assisted with:

  • Hundreds of chickens and turkeys
  • 26 lambs and ewes
  • 7 goats
  • 5 horses
  • a pig
  • a multitude of cats and dogs

The Reception Centre was shut down at 11pm and CDART will be on site again when it opens tomorrow morning.


Friday, July 3rd, 1749 hours (5:49pm)
CDART is currently setting up our own reception area within the evacuee Reception Centre at Willow Park Church, 439 Highway 33 East. There will be signage outside the reception centre as to where CDART is located inside - people can come to us and let us know if and what assistance they need with their pets and/or livestock.

  • If people are evauated, they should take their pets with them when they leave the house.
  • Don't leave pets in the car at reception centre. CDART can "petsit" for evacuees while they are registering with ESS.
  • ESS will attempt to find accommodations for evacuees that accept pets
    •  CDART can assist with fostering animals that can't go with their owners.

Sunrise Apartments fire, Maple Ridge, March 21, 2015

Our CDART SW Volunteers have been actively responding to a fire in Maple Ridge today. At roughly 6 a.m. Saturday, calls came in about an explosion at Sunrise Apartments building at 22292 122nd Ave., north of Dewdney Trunk Road.

Soon after, there were "multiple calls" and a second alarm was called. There was a full response by all Maple Ridge Fire Department personnel and help came from Pitt Meadows Fire Department as well.

Commander Cheryl Rogers and CDART SW Coordinator Heather Ferguson and their team of 5 Volunteers deployed at 0900H to the site to support ESS Maple Ridge. A temporary facility was set up to intake animals at the Reception Centre at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre.

The team were escorted by the Maple Ridge Fire Department to respond to Action Requests for a bearded dragon, a finch, a multitude of cats, a blind gerbil, a ball python, a cockatiel, 2 budgies, a leopard gecko, all of whom have been safely evacuated. A trap has been set up for one indoor/outdoor cat who is unaccounted for.

CDART wishes to acknowledge Katie's Place Animal Shelter for their assistance with supplies and crates. No further supplies are required at this time.

Financial donations are most appreciated and can be sent to:
CDART Head Office
Box 235 - 113 - 437 Martin Street, Penticton V2A 5L1
and marked "Maple Ridge Fire".

Sunrise Apartments fire, Maple Ridge, March 21, 2015

2014 Responses

Smith Creek Wildfire - July 17, 2014

July 24, 2014 - Standing down
"All Evacuation Alerts and Evacuation Orders resulting from the Smith Creek Fire will be lifted as of 5 p.m. today"..."The Wildfire Management Branch has advised the public that the Smith Creek Fire is now 100 per cent contained." Read official CORD news realease...


July 21, 2014 3:27pm
The lost westie has been FOUND! Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word!


July 21, 2014 12:00pm
We are available at 250-470-0694 to assist any remaining evacuees requiring assistance with their pets, and to arrange for residents newly allowed back home to pick up their pets fostered with us.

Reunification: At 11:55am, an announcement was made so more evacuees were allowed to return to their homes. We have reunited most evacuated animals with their families.

July 20, 5:05pm
This day just keeps getting better and better!

More families get to go home again (read it here:
so we have still been busy throughout the day reuniting pets with their owners.

Animals fostered at dog control (thank you!) and at SPCA (thank you!) are being picked up today. Many thanks to our supplier Whiskers and Woofers who are fostering pets for the remaining evacuees.

CDART will be shutting down our operations at the reception centre, but are still on call for remaining evacuees still requiring assistance with animals. They can reach CDART at 250-470-0694.

CDART has assisted over 264 creatures at this point including:

  • 107 chickens
  • 8 turkeys
  • 22 horses
  • 39 dogs
  • 34 cats
  • 54 fish
  • 1 budgie
  • 1 cockatoo, and
  • numerous pigeons!
CDART has received so many offers of assistance during this response, we are excited. So many people from a number of communities have offered to foster for us and we are in the process of following up with them to make arrangements for them to be set up as official fosters with CDART for future events.

We are also planning another Introduction to Emergency Pet Services Training Course for this fall, for the Kelowna area, so if anyone is interested in taking this course, please email

July 20, 2014: 12:45pm
REUNIFICATION DAY IS OUR FAVOURITE DAY! Everyone is happy - residents are happy, the animals are happy to be back with their owners, and we are thrilled!

We are still caring for animals of people that remain on evacuation order. For those on alert, we are calling all of the owners to tell them that they are able to pick up their pets today. We have already reunited a number of pets with their owners.

We hope the weather is cooperative and the firefighters are able to continue the amazing work they've been doing so far, so that everyone can go home soon.

July 20, 2014: 11:15am
The reception centre opened again at 8:30am and our Search and Response teams got ready to head out to do animal maintenance for the day.

At 11:15am the announcement regarding most evacuees being able to go back to their homes was made (read it here:, so we are assisting residents on alert today that want to pick up their pets that are fostered with us, so they can go home.

Any residents with addresses still on alert that would like their animals to remain in our care, we will continue to foster and provide maintenance for these animals.

July 19, 2014: 6:25 pm
We have been asked by a number of people if we are accepting donations of any kind.

If any members of the public would like to donate, we are in great need of gas cards, to cover what we are using for our continuous trips in and out of the evacuated areas.

Gas cards can be dropped off to CDART at the reception centre in Mt. Boucherie Secondary School, 2751 Cameron Rd., West Kelowna. We are in room #108 and can issue tax receipts.

July 19, 2014 5:55pm
Ben looking after an evacuee's chickens We would like to send a big thank you to the RCMP who have been so supportive of our efforts to assist all the animals by allowing us into the evacuated areas, escorting us to properties and in a number of instances, contacting us directly on behalf of the evacuees when a need is recognized.

To the right: CDART volunteer Ben looks after several chickens and turkeys on behalf of evacuated West Kelowna residents. We currently have 107 chickens and 8 turkeys under our care.

July 19, 2014: 12:57pm

Who's new in the zoo? We have some new feathered friends...

CDART has assisted over 250 creatures at this point including:
  • 107 chickens
  • 8 turkeys
  • 20 horses
  • 34 dogs
  • 28 cats
  • 51 fish
  • 1 budgie
  • 1 cockatoo, and
  • numerous pigeons!

We'd like to send out special thanks to Whiskers & Woofers, Animal Control, SPCA and TriLake Animal Hospital for providing support for our efforts!

CDART Search and Response teams remain active in evacuated areas, providing maintenance for animals sheltered in place and searching for pets still remaining outdoors.


July 19, 2014: 10:20am (Update July 21, 2014 3:27pm: She has been FOUND)
A lost dog has been reported to the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART). We are looking for a female Westie wearing a black collar with paw prints, a little purple vest, and a pink leash. Witnesses saw a dog matching this description picked up by a red Volkswagen beetle with a handicapped sticker displayed. Please contact CDART at the EOC, 250-470-0694 if you have or know the whereabouts of this dog, so CDART can reunite her with the owner. $500 reward offered

Missing westie - reward offered


July 18, 2014: 11:59pm
At the end of our 2nd day at the Smith Creek fire response, we've assisted:

  • 87 chickens
  • 8 turkeys
  • 20 horses
  • 31 dogs
  • 28 cats
  • 50 fish

We've wound down our operations for tonight, have a skeleton volunteer staff at the reception centre to look after the few animals we're sheltering there, and will be back up to full staff for 8am.

Press Release: CDART assists over 224 creatures to date during Smith Creek Wildfire response


July 18, 2014: 6:14pm
Wow, it's been a busy day for CDART volunteers at the reception centre, at the Emergency Operations Centre and for our Search and Response teams out in the field! So far during this response we've assisted:

  • 87 chickens
  • 8 turkeys
  • 20 horses
  • 28 dogs
  • 27 cats

Throughout today we've visited at least 10 evacuated properties to provide services such as:

  • evacuating indoor pets
  • searching for, leaving food/water for outdoor pets
  • setting up, monitoring and revisiting cat traps so we can evacuate outdoor cats
  • feeding and watering farm animals
  • collecting eggs

By 12:30pm today we had already assisted 20 horses, 21 cats and 21 dogs.

If any evacuees have pets and animals still at home and need them looked after or evacuated, CDART will assist and can be contacted at any time.

CDART will have a skeleton staff remaining at the reception centre overnight in Mt. Boucherie Sr. Secondary School at 2751 Cameron Road in West Kelowna, Room 108.


July 17, 2014: 11:14pm
CDART responders were able to evacuate the 2 cats and have taken in an additional 2 dogs at the reception centre.

BRAVO TO TRILAKE ANIMAL HOSPITAL FOR SETTLING IN OUR ANIMAL GUESTS SO WELL! Animals we have been looking after at the reception centre today have been transferred to Trilake Animal Hospital so that our volunteers are able to get some rest tonight. We are extremely grateful for TriLake's assistance!

Also, to Rexall pharmacy who dropped off animal food donations, a big thank you! (Note: nothing more needed re: food donations at this time).

CDART will be leaving the reception centre overnight, but can be reached through ESS if evacuees need assistance. A skeleton staff of ESS volunteers will remain at the reception centre through the night.

Evacuees: If any evacuees have animals remaining at their properties and need CDART's assistance to go in and get them out, please come to the reception centre after 8:00am Friday, July 18th and see CDART in room #108.

On evacuation alert: Get your pet carriers ready, and try to get all your pets indoors tonight. If you have larger animals, please consider getting these pets out of the area now.


July 17, 2014: 9:03pm
We have moved to room #108 in the reception centre at Mt. Boucherie Sr. Secondary School.

July 17, 2014: 7:50pm
CDART has now moved to the new reception centre located in the Mt. Boucherie Sr. Secondary School at 2751 Cameron Road, West Kelowna. We are in room #106.

So far, during today's response we have assisted in evacuating several horses, most went to Peachland Riding club with their owners (who are looking after them there), and some went to private residences. In animal intake, we're looking after 2 dogs and 4 cats at reception centre, have sent 3 dogs and 4 cats to care of SPCA, have reunited 8 animals with their owners, and are standing by for our RCMP escort to evacuate 2 cats.

Thank you to local dog control who has helped with animal transport.

Anyone in the OKANAGAN wanting to assist CDART by fostering animals during emergencies, please email with your contact info. We will also email you a form to fill out.

July 17, 2014: 3:30pmbr /> CDART members are mobilizing to head out to the reception centre at Lakeview Heights Baptist Church at 2630 Alhambra Drive, to set up for assisting evacuees.

July 17, 2014 - We are on standby
CDART's Okanagan chapter volunteers have been put on standby to respond to the Smith Creek wildfire in West Kelowna if we are needed.

Updates on Smith Creek fire from BC Wildfire Management

Updates from Central Okanagan Emergency Operations:

Jura Wildfire - July 17, 2014

July 24, 2014 - Standing down
"The RDOS is pleased to announce that the Evacuation Alerts for both the Apex Mountain and Jura Fires are rescinded. These evacuation alert rescinds are effective at 0900hrs on July 24, 2014." Read official RDOS press release...

July 17, 2014 - We are on alert
CDART's Okanagan chapter has been put on alert to respond to the Jura wildfire between Princeton and Summerland.

CDART team members worked hard last night to set up a local animal intake facility so we are prepared in case we are deployed for any existing regional wildfires.

Updates on Jura fire from BC Wildfire Management

Updates from EOC (Emergency Operations Centre):

Apex Mountain Wildfire - July 16, 2014

July 24, 2014 - Standing down
"The RDOS is pleased to announce that the Evacuation Alerts for both the Apex Mountain and Jura Fires are rescinded. These evacuation alert rescinds are effective at 0900hrs on July 24, 2014." Read official RDOS press release...

July 17, 2014 update
CDART team members worked hard last night to set up our animal intake facility so we are prepared in case we are deployed for any local wildfires.

July 16, 2014 - We are on alert
CDART's Okanagan chapter has been put on alert to respond. We are currently staging an animal intake facility in case it is required and we are deployed.

Updates on Apex fire from BC Wildfire Management

Updates from EOC (Emergency Operations Centre):




6.7 Magnitude Earthquake on Vancouver Island

April 23, 2014 - a magnitude 6.7 earthquake has hit Vancouver Island. We have contacted EMBC and were told we are not needed at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation, and teams will deploy if requested.


2013 Responses

December 17, 2013 - Winfield, BC

Well, it has been quite the day. We lost a fellow rescuer who was also a CDART volunteer, Athlyn Horswill. Athlyn had a number of special needs rescue cats and with the cats being semi feral they were left in the home. CDART was called in by TRACS yesterday to help with retrieving the cats. (Therefore, the attractive white pantsuits...can't say we aren't fashion forward). Great team of Donna, Dawn, Paula and Deb with Cheryl, Tony and Sophie minding the command post.

We were able to find 7 cats alive that must miss their mom very much. This added to one found Friday night makes 8 alive. Four are staying overnight at TriLake Animal Hospital in Winfield and you can see in the photo that three are scared and settling in quietly in their own room at Critteraid.

Thank-you, Jen and our on-call team of Lynn, Ingrid, Carol, Cheryl, Petra and Joy. As it turned out we only this one day to get this done so very relieved that things went as well as they did. Made us all think long and hard about our own contingency plans if things go wrong.

Athlyn obviously cared deeply about her cats and they certainly cared about her.
RIP Athlyn

CDART responders geared up in hazmat suits Rescued kitties safe at Critteraid

Update December 18: CDART members were on site again today and managed to locate another cat alive which brings us up to 9 cats found alive.

Mr. Marvel Update January 7, 2014: We found Mr. Marvel! This little kitty eluded our rescuers for a while and patient volunteers were finally able to entice him into our trap! He has safely arrived at TriLake Animal Hospital and will soon be reunited with the rest of his family now in the care of Critteraid. We have a total of 10 cats rescued.


In Athlyn's memory, we are now collecting donations for the ongoing care of these special needs cats, now in the permanent care of Critteraid, our parent organization. Click here to learn more about Athlyn's Angels.

December 12, 2013 - Trepanier House Fire, Peachland BC

CDART is fostering 6 German Shepherds - 2 beautiful adults (Grandma Sparkle and Mom Tiny) and 4 cute 10 week old female puppies - that were rescued from a house fire in the Trepanier area just above Peachland. Meet our new friends!

If you're not able to see the slideshow below, you can view it on Flickr

Legacy Condos Rutland Rd. Fire July 16, 2013

Current response stats:
Note: this includes only pets that CDART has had direct involvement with rescue and caring for - this does not account for other pets in the building for which the evacuees did not require our assistance

  • 3 cats rescued by fire crews, taken to vet by CDART, reunited with owners
  • 1 cat evacuated by CDART, reunited with owner
  • 4 cats fostered through CDART
  • 3 sets of fish evacuated by CDART
    • 2 sets reunited with owners
    • 1 set of fish fostered through CDART
  • Numerous pet supplies (crates, etc.) lent out to evacuees whose pets are staying with them
  • Numerous animals (cats and dogs) left in our care temporarily while owners evacuated or registered with ESS

July 22, 2013  1400h - Luna found safe!
Excellent cooperation between Stutters Disaster Kleenup, CDART (Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team) and the Commissionaires led to a very happy ending today for Luna the cat, the one remaining unaccounted for pet from the fire at Legacy condos in Rutland on July 16th.

CDART was tipped off that someone saw Luna in the window of her apartment this morning, and then CDART with Luna's owner were able to negotiate a short window of access to the apartment. A CDART volunteer, escorted by one of the Commissionaires, entered the apartment to search for Luna in one of her known hiding places suggested by her owner.

With a bag of Luna's favourite treats, Joy from CDART was able to entice Luna out from under a bed where she'd been hiding in the bed frame. Joy quickly got her safely into a crate, and out of the building. Luna appears to be doing well, especially since it has been six days since the fire occurred.

CDART arranged with Rose Valley Vet Hospital to give Luna a checkup, has reunited Luna with her owner, and Luna and her owner are on their way to the vet right now.

CDART would like to give tremendous thanks to Keith Stutters, who was key in arranging CDART's access to the building, and thank the Commissionaires for their support, as well as thank Dr. Oz of Rose Valley Vet Hospital.

Luna the cat with Joy, CDART volunteer

July 20, 2013 1150h
We are still actively searching for Luna the cat. CDART does not have access to the building for safety reasons, but Stutters and Commisionnaires have been very supportive of our efforts. Stutters brought our crate to the unit, has swept the area several times, and is leaving fresh dry food out daily.

July 19, 2013 2131h
News story about CDART as it aired on Global Okanagan News:

July 18, 2013 1520h
We are very pleased to report that Arlo, the missing orange cat from the 4th floor, has been found by a fire inspector. He was hiding in his apartment behind the washer. He has been reunited with his owner and is being checked out overnight at Rose Valley Vet Clinic. The owner would like to pass on his thanks to all those that searched for his cat, to CDART, and to Dr. Oz and thinks that they are all awesome!

There is still a missing black cat from the third floor named Luna. Her owner is desperate to find her, so if you have found a black cat in the vicinity of the fire, please contact the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) and we will put you in touch with the owner.

July 17, 2013 1930h
We've found the owners of the 3rd fish tank! We've shut down our operations at the Reception Centre but we are still available to help if evacuees need assistance, supplies or fostering for their pets. Contact Shari McDowell at 250-878-3936.

July 17, 2013 1630h
We've created a small slideshow - if you have trouble viewing the slideshow below, you can view the photo gallery on Flickr

July 17, 2013 - 1400h update
Firefighters found a third set of fish which they handed over to the CDART team on site. These fish have now been fostered and we are looking for the owners.

THANK YOUS to Whiskers and Woofers, Purple Seahorse and Okanagan Small Dog Rescue for fostering for CDART!

July 17, 2013 - 1345h update
CDART was able to gain access to the building and evacuate the fish. While we where on site, we were made aware of another set of fish by a resident and evacuated these fish as well. We are currently making arrangements to reunite them with the owners.

Two cats still remain unaccounted for, we were unable to find any cats during the latest thorough sweep of the building but we will be returning again for the next building sweep to search for them.

If any residents require assistance with pets, we will be available to talk to after the evacuees meeting at the Salvation Army at 6pm tonight. If anyone needs assistance before then, they can call Shari McDowell at 250-878-3936.

July 17, 2013 - 1245h update
CDART was at the Reception Centre again this morning at 9am to assist evacuees with pets. The Reception Centre is now shut down for the afternoon but CDART will be here again after 6pm tonight to assist.

We also currently have a Search and Response team in place at the scene of the fire. We are working with the fire department and Stutters to see if we can get access to the building (once it is deemed safe to enter), in order to evacuate fish, and search for 2 cats yet unaccounted for./span>

To date, CDART has assisted with:

  • 2 cats found in apartments by the fire department - CDART took these cats to the vet and both are doing well. Each of these cats has been reunited with their families
  • Fostering 1 cat until the family finds housing where they can take their cat with them
  • We've temporarily looked after several pets while families registered with ESS
  • Lending out pet supplies to several families
  • We are working on gaining access to the building to evacuate fish and search for 2 cats

Members of the public have asked how they may help with donations. Here are 2 ways they can help:

  • WeWe are accepting donations of (not lending) animal crates in good condition that the owners may not have use for anymore. These can be dropped off at 1048 Richter St. Kelowna, Aquassure showrom
  • The two cats we took to the vet cost $260 to treat. CDART covers the cost of initial vet visits during a response, so any donations to help us cover the cost of these vet visits (or other supplies such as food etc. that we purchase during a response) are welcomed. To donate, click on the "donate" button on any of our website pages and you will be taken to PayPal. You can note what you want your donation to go towards in the memo line.

2245h update
We are looking for one under 30gal fish tank to aid in our response. We will need it for July 17th a.m. We will arrange to pick up. If anyone is able to lend us a fish tank, please call Sandee Kristensen at 250-768-5575 to make arrangements.

2145h update

The Reception Centre at Salvation Army on Sutherland is closed for the night but will reopen at 9am tomorrow, July 17, and CDART will be there.  If evacuees need fostering for their pets or if their pets are still in the building, find CDART at the Salvation Army and we will assist.
Rescued kitty - happy and safe

As of this time, Kelowna Fire Department rescued a cat from one of the apartments and turned it over to CDART's care. We rushed the cat to Tri Lake Animal Hospital where it was checked over and reunited with its family. Other than being cold and soaked to the skin, kitty is expected to recover fully!

Kelowna, BC - 1800h - CDART Okanagan is on site at the Reception Centre at the Salvation Army, to help evacuated residents that need assistance with their pets, whether their pets are with them, or if they are still in the building. We plan to have a presence on site at the scene as well when sweeps are done by the firefighters.

To find CDART at the Reception Centre, evacuees can ask the ESS volunteers where our Animal Intake area is set up.

Bristol Apartments Franklyn Rd. Fire July 13, 2013

July 13, 2013 - Kelowna, BC - The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team Okanagan chapter was deployed in response to an apartment building fire at Bristol Apartments on Franklyn Road in Kelowna, BC. The Reception Centre for evacuees was set up at the Salvation Army on Sutherland and CDART was there if evacuees needed assistance with pets. CDART remains available to aid with fostering if needed.

Alberta Flooding 2013

CDART is actively monitoring the flood situation in Alberta. We have offered our expertise in disaster response and sheltering, and are working with government agencies to receive the authorization to deploy.

If you have any questions or wish to assist the response and recovery effort, please contact our mobile support coordinator at

We will be posting updates if and when they happen.


Past Disaster Responses

CDART® was called in when:

  • a mud slide threatened a condominium complex in Penticton
  • a house burned in Lake Country
  • a Surrey, B.C., apartment complex burned
  • the Similkameen River Ice Jam occurred
  • the Fraser River freshet threatened (2007)
  • the Tatoosh Fire approached Princeton (2006)
  • in 1996, CDART volunteers participated in the Similkameen Flood Watch.



September 9, 2012 CDART responded for the wildfire in Peachland, BC, setting up an Animal Intake facility at the ESS (Emergency Support Services) Reception Centre at the Lions Club Community Centre in West Kelowna. More details and photos to come!

If you contacted us to offer your assistance during this disaster, we have made note of your contact information and will be following up with you to discuss arrangements for future disasters. We appreciate your offers of help so very much! We will also be hosting an open house at the end of October 2012 for anyone in the Okanagan interested to attend. Details to come.

July 30, 2012 4:30pm - CDART responders left the reception centre at North Glenmore Elementary (Highlands Retirement Residence fire) at 4:30pm, after each and all of the pets were able to go with their owners to where these evacuated owners are staying. All pets in the building we knew of are accounted for. CDART remains available to assist evacuees with shelter for their pets if needed.

1:05pm - CDART Okanagan was called at 11:35am to respond to the Highlands Retirement Residence fire in Kelowna, to assist evacuated residents with their pets.  We are currently on scene at North Glenmore Elementary School to offer assistance however needed to 1 dog, 4 cats and 3 birds and 1 hamster.

July 30, 2012 10:00am - We are on standby to respond in case the wildfire in West Kelowna which has resulted in an evacuation alert for Wilson's Landing escalates.



Bear Creek Wildfire, West Kelowna, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011

CDART responded during the Bear Creek wildfire in West Kelowna. Details coming soon.

Lequime Rd Condo Fire, Kelowna, July 30, 2011

July 31, 2011

Around 11:15pm on July 30, 2011, CDART's Okanagan chapter was called to respond to assist owners with animals evacuated due to a 4-storey condo building fire in the 600 block of Lequime Road in Kelowna.

At this response, we took in one cat overnight and fostered her with Whiskers and Woofers. The fire fighters had rescued her from the building without knowing who the owners were. We did not know how long it would take to track down the owner. The next morning, the owner contacted dispatch who called CDART and we put her in touch with our volunteer Sandee at Whiskers and Woofers. This owner was super happy and gave our volunteer Shari a big a hug at the condo owners' info session held at 7pm on Sunday.

We were prepared to take in another cat we were approached about, however, when the fire department went in and got her, she went from the firefighter to the owner on scene. The owner was very happy and grateful for our help to facilitate this.

We sheltered 2 dogs for a short while, while the owner stayed with them. We also provided litter boxes, litter and a small quantity of food for 4 evacuees' pets.

We have offered longer-term foster arrangements for animals that remain displaced by the fire if their owners require.  These owners are invited to contact us if and when they need. Sandee Kristensen, CDART Okanagan's Foster Care Coordinator, can be reached at or by calling 25250-768-5575.



Jade Mine Road/Yalacom Valley Wildfire, Lillooet, July 2010

July 29, 2010 11:00am

CDART has been called to assist with animal rescue and sheltering.  Our Mobile Support Team is heading to Lillooet, to the ESS reception centre set up at the Lillooet Recreation Centre.

Other links: Jade Mine Road/Yalacom Valley Wildfire on the BC Wildfire web site


Seclusion Bay Wildfire, West Kelowna, July 2010

July 16, 2010 7:12pm

Evacuees have been allowed back into their homes as the evacuation order has been rescinded as of 2:30pm today.  Though we were available at all times, CDART did not receive any requests for aid for pet care during this emergency response.  We are happy on behalf of the pets and their owners that they're able to head back to their homes.

July 15, 2010 9:33am

Evacuees have been asked to re-register with Emergency Social Services at the Comfort Inn at 1655 Westgate Road in West Kelowna.  If any evacuees need assistance in finding lodging for their pets, please contact Sandee Kristensen, CDART's Foster Care Coordinator, at 250-768-5575.

July 12, 2010 6:17 pm

The reception centre is now going to be closing at 8:00pm.  CDART will be on scene at the reception centre until 8:00pm but we can still be reached after hours at 250-809-7152, or by e-mail

July 12, 2010 5:53 pm

CDART has been on scene at the evacuee reception centre at Westbank Lions Community Hall since approx. noon today, to assist any evacuees of the Seclusion Bay wildfire, with their pets.  If evacuees have any concerns about pets still remaining in the evacuated area, or need assistance with lodging of pets they have with them, they are encouraged to contact us once they have registered with Emergency Social Services.  We will be at the reception centre until 10:00pm today. We are also available to contact after hours: registered evacuees can phone us any time at 250-809-7152, or e-mail for assistance. 

Other links:


Barber Terrace Apartment Fire, Kelowna, July 2010

CDART was available and on scene during the fire response.  We had volunteers at the reception center and at the fire scene to assist residents with their pet needs (evacuation, lodging, etc.). CDART is also available to contact regarding longer term fostering of pets while residents remain out of their building.  Please email Sandee Kristensen, CDART's Foster Care Coordinator, at or call 250-768-5575 if you are a Barber Terrace resident that currently needs assistance with finding lodging for your pets.

Westside Wildfires, Summer 2009

Update August 5

On the recall order for the Terrace Mountian fire, Cameron Imrie asked the CDART SAR team to retrieve his two bearded dragons, one hatchling boa and a gecko.

Update July 24, evening

We have closed the pet reception centre and sent all the volunteers home for well deserved rest. Since there are still some evacuees and evacuation alerts, we have left our contact information in West Kelowna and are ready to redeploy if needed.

Thank you to everyone involved with helping the animals - all the groups, those on site and those who remained at home, and also the families of the volunteers for all their support.

Update July 24, 930h (9:30am)

It's very quiet at our pet reception centre. The Terrace Mountain fire is only 20% contained so we are remaining on site in case there are further evacuations. Most Terrace Mountain evacuees are reporting to Vernon.

If it remains slow, we will be doing 'on the job training' of volunteers. New volunteers will shadow more experienced volunteers to learn the required tasks.

We are trying to calculate the level of volunteer involvement so far. We have some estimates: 30+ volunteers, putting in 850+ hours. This includes CDART, Noah's Wish and convergent volunteers. Well done, team!!

Update July 23, 2030h (8:30pm)

CDART team members have performed one rescue request for an Afghan (dog). We received authorization from the RCMP and went into the field immediately and the family was reunited. We are still sheltering 2 cats from the West Kelowna fires and had one cat surrendered to us yesterday. Ace was adopted the same afternoon. There are many spot fires due to lightening strikes. Both forestry and fire departments have responded quickly and are doing an excellent job. The RCMP has also been wonderful in supporting our rescue efforts.

Update July 23, 3:30 pm

CDART is remaining in the field to handle evacuees from the Terrace Mountain fire. Evacuees to the north go to Vernon and the Vernon SPCA will handle the animals. Evacuees to the south go to West Kelowna and CDART will handle the animals. This situation i just unfolding. We will update when we can.

July 22, 18:30h (6:30pm)

The remaining evacuees can return home tonight and our volunteers working at the shelter and in maintenance will be able to go home soon as well. CDART assisted over 300 animals during the disaster, including horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, rodents, chickens, other livestock and many, many fish. We worked as a team with other agencies to provide a coordinated response for the animal evacuees. Now we can only hope that we won't be called out again, especially for a human caused fire.

Celina Chase-Hrabanel, CDART volunteer from Kelowna, was working Animal Intake at the ESS Reception Centre. Volunteers quickly got attached to the dogs in our care.





PETSMART Manager, Ellen, is making a donation of supplies to CDART Operations Manager, Fran Cameron. This was particularly a great donation because we were in such need for small litter pans for the cats.




Horses are evacuated from the Glenrosa area on July 19th. The CDART team went in an escorted convoy of 14 horse trailers to evacuate the horses that rescue requests. These horses and the family donkeys were evacuated to CDART homes in Summerland along with two goats Hannah and Naomi.


July 21, 2100h (9pm)

Good day today, with so many people going home with their animals. The team is still sheltering animals that can't yet return home. They're also out in the field performing rescues and maintenance. The firefighters have increased containment so the outlook is good.

July 21, 1230 hours (1230pm)

Today is fairly busy as families come to pick up their animals and return home with them. The team continues to provide maintenance for animals in areas that remain evacuated. The dog from last night will be reunited with his family tomorrow.

July 21, 900 hours (9am)

We had some activity overnight - a woman looking to pickup her dog and a young dog brought in by the RCMP for sheltering. The youngster has joined some other canine evacuees at Canine Campus. Canine Campus has helped us immensely by providing fostering and 30 collapsible, wire dog crates. We are still building our inventory of disaster equipment so the crates were much appreciated.

Monday, July 20 1930h (7:30pm)

The CDART team has received word that the fire near Oliver is under control. Tonight, in West Kelowna , our team will performing maintenance tasks for the animals remaining at their homes. The status of the fires remains unchanged. Temperatures are expected to rise in the coming days and that is not good for the fires. No rain in sight.

Monday, July 20 15:30 hours (3:30 pm)

Cheryl reports I've spoken with our operations manager. We've assisted over 100 animals and have a few fosters. We continue to rescue and reunite animals with their families. Most people are keeping their animals with them at their temporary accommodations. We are also providing food, water, etc. for animals that remain at home.

Temperatures are up in the 30s this afternoon and that is not good for the fire and there may be more wind gusts as well.

Everybody is working together to care for the animals. There are sufficient volunteers on the ground at this time.

We do need small litter boxes and a bag of wood shavings (aspen only please) for the rabbits. We don't need a large amount and are looking to people in the area to supply. PETsMART in Kelowna has already donated some supplies and TELUS has offered additional cell phones.

Sunday, July 19, 2145 hours (9:45pm)

Well, it was a busy day with intake, rescue and maintenance for all the affected animals. The temperature and wind cooperated and the Glenrosa fire is 40% contained. The wind did not kick up last this afternoon (as often happens) so all is quiet tonight. The animals in care are all bedded down. Hopefully, the weather will continue to help and the firefighters can stay on top of this.


Not much change since last night. Some horses and other livestock were evacuated by CDART volunteers. The wind is not gusting this morning and it is cooler - that is good for fighting the fires. CDART (Okanagan) is still on site and teams are going in today to evacuate some pets and do maintenance for other animals. Things could change in the afternoon as temperatures rise and the winds pickup. We're still at 'wait and see' if the response level needs to be increased.

At the request of local authorities, CDART has responded to the wildfire in Westbank, BC. CDART volunteers are at the reception centre assisting people that evacuated with their animals. Under the direction of the RCMP, CDART volunteers, with 10 horse trailers, are evacuating horses that remained behind. We will update our site as more information becomes available.



Hurricane Katrina 2005

Hurricanes 2005 

When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated parts of Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, members of CDART were there helping with animals left in the aftermath.  CDART Coordinator Cheryl Rogers, volunteering just outside of New Orleans, arranged for six FIV+ cats to find refuge at Critteraid in Summerland, B.C. as well as refuge for a number of pitbulls.  Two of those dogs were later reunited with their family from Louisiana.


Penticton Building Fires, 2005

Cat rescued from Apartment building Fire

In May of 2005, two cats stranded in a condominium building fire in Penticton, BC were rescued by CDART volunteers escorted into the building by local firefighters. 

An apartment building fire in Penticton displaced several pets that were found temporary housing until they could return to their owners. And when there was a gas leak at another housing complex, CDART was called in to help.  Special thanks to the Lindsey Veterinary Hospital in Penticton, BC for opening their hospital doors to shelter animals in the middle of the night!



Summer 2003 Strawberry Hill Firestorm 2003 

The summer of 2003 was fraught with several serious forest fires in BC.  CDART volunteers, working as Noah's Wish volunteers, traveled from Osoyoos in the south to 100 Mile House in the north.  Volunteers devoted weeks to rescuing and finding housing for displaced animals and set up emergency animal intake facilities, worked at reception centres, worked at the Kamloops KXA and the Kamloops SPCA and worked extensively with Ministry of Agriculture personnel to ensure the safe sheltering and return of livestock to their homes after the disasters were over.



fawn evacuated from wildlife refuge Mount Ida fire Salmon Arm 1998

Mount Ida, Salmon Arm, B.C. 1998 

In 1998 various animals were rescued from the Mount Ida forest fire near Salmon Arm, BC.  CDART volunteers evacuated the Kee-Two Wildlife Refuge in Canoe and arranged for billeting of skunks, a fawn, owls, hawks, raccoons, horses and chickens throughout the Okanagan.



Garnett Fire 1994 survivor of Garnet fire surrendered to CrittraidGarnet Fire, Penticton 1994

In July of 1994 the Garnet Fire threatened Penticton, BC.  Many pets were rescued as this interface fire raged for several days.  It was the first significant disaster in British Columbia and much learning and preparation resulted as a result of the experience that our volunteers received during this fire.