Walking into the halls of the main floor of the Revelstoke Days Inn, you could smell the animals before you could see them.
A volunteer transport from Running Wild Rescue service out of Moose Jaw, SK stopped in Revelstoke where they left a mixture of over 100 cats and dogs. The transport was bringing the animals from Moose Jaw to Vancouver, dropping off the rescues along the way. Kristin Henry, Anthony James, and Sade Smith were in Revelstoke from Nelson to pick up their puppy when they suddenly found themselves looking after all of the animals Wednesday (Nov. 16) night.
“Definitely didn’t get any sleep and don’t have experience with this or anything like that. We’re just doing our best to make sure the animals are okay,” said Henry.
Running Wild Rescue ships adopted pets by volunteer transport to various areas in Canada.
When a volunteer transport hit a snowstorm on their way west out of Saskatchewan, their travel was slowed down, forcing them to take longer than normal. The longer they spent driving, the worse it got for the animals and the drivers.
“They didn’t feel comfortable continuing the journey,” said Henry adding that they “definitely don’t think there’s any bad intention here or anything like that. It was really just the snowstorm,” that slowed everything down.
So, with members of the Running Wild Rescue team on their way from Moose Jaw, Henry, James, and Smith had to look after all of the animals until more help could arrive.
Having only booked one room for themselves, the group had to ask for help from the Days Inn staff to house the animals. When they did, the group the staff were more than accommodating.
“They’ve been awesome. They have been like, ‘don’t worry about the smell like whatever you need,’” said Smith.
While Smith explained how the staff at the Days Inn helped, a member of their team was helping wash a cat in the hotel room bathroom.
Once the animals were situated, the group recognized that they needed help looking after them and posted on the Revelstoke Community Facebook page. By Thursday morning, supplies from the Humane Society and volunteers had flocked to the hotel to help.
“Everyone just pitched in. It is awesome for your community. So many people! It’s like we’ve been turning people away,” said James.
One volunteer showed up to take most of the dogs to a local kennel to feed them, wash them, and let them run.
Breanne Wallach showed up at the hotel around 11 a.m. At just after 4 p.m., she was still there helping to wash the cats.
“I think we’ve probably done about 30 to 35 kennels. And then about 50 per cent of those only had one cat and then the other ones had like, 2–5 cats,” said Wallach.
The organizer is en route to Revelstoke to continue the journey and deliver the animals to their new homes.
READ MORE: Your guide to Revelstoke’s Welcome Week