As wildfire continues to burn near Pikangikum First Nation, a Thunder Bay animal rescue group is making room to take in displaced dogs from the fire-stricken community.

North Bay and District Humane Society picked up 20 dogs and puppies at Northern Reach Rescue Network in Thunder Bay on Wednesday and is transporting the adoptable pets to southern Ontario.

Rescue dog being transported from Thunder Bay

The animals stopped in North Bay for a break and to get cleaned up.

Janet Bredin is the shelter manager for North Bay and District Humane Society.

“We’ve got 20 little heartbeats on board. We gave them a good clean this morning. Made sure they are all fed and watered and they’re set for the last leg of their journey today.” said Bredin

.Puppy being brought from Thunder Bay

The dogs and puppies are being transported aboard the North Bay and District Humane Society’s new Pet Valu Animal Rescue Express it received in April.

North Bay's Pet Valu Animal Rescue Express

They will be moving on to Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals centres in Barrie, Muskoka, Midland, Orillia, and Orangeville on Thursday, June 6.

“This is 20 dogs that have a really good opportunity to grow and to learn. Some of these dogs have never been on leash before. Some of them don’t know what a regular meal is. You know, we see dogs and cats come in everyday, so it’s not always that big of a deal to us, but this is great opportunity for these animals.” said Bredin.

As Pikangikum began evacuation due to the forest fire, Northern Reach needed to make room in its program to provide foster care for the pets being evacuated.

The re-homing mission of the 20 dogs on their way to southern Ontario is part of the Ontario SPCA’s Support the North campaign, aimed at bringing awareness to the lack of animal wellness resources in northern communities.

Judi Cannon is the director of partnerships and community outreach for Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.

“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 Cannon.

Last year, the network transported over 550 animals from the north to be adopted.  

Rescue up for adoption from northern Ontario

Rescue puppies from northern Ontario