Letter: Animal Fire Victims

I am writing to you after watching Global TV's "Firestorm" this morning. It was an informative and comprehensive look back at the tragic and heroic events of the Mountain Park Fire last summer.

During the last segment of the show, it showed pictures that will forever remain in the minds of many during that horrific time. One of the pictures showed "Tony", the so-called "poster cat" who suffered at the hands of the terrible fire and his paws being bandaged by veterinarians.

I have heard many say "Thank God there was no death" but actually, there was a great deal of death - not human but of wildlife and domestic pets who were unable to escape the wrath of the 2000 degree blaze. It would be a tribute to many families who lost their beloved pets and livestock (some I know personally) as a result of this, if a story could be aired actually depicting the forgotten "victims".

Tony the cat was saved and fostered just after the fire but unfortunately, ran away from his foster home. He was found weeks later starving to death and after much care was unable to be saved again. It was a result of the fire itself destroying a life. I know of horses who were put down and livestock that were trapped and lost - unable to be reached. Hearts were broken in many ways and this was just another end result for many.

I think people need to be reminded of the heroism of those who attempted to save as many as they could. The SPCA, veterinarians, Noah's Wish (out of California) and many many volunteers who assisted in this effort. They too participated as much as the firefighters, army and others during that time. It would be a kindness to give a special tribute to these people who helped thousands of animals but could not save all.

The firefighters saw terrible things - some of which related to wildlife. The future holds promise for Kelowna but let's not forget those who did not survive.

-Shae Mason

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