Dogs and cats at the Surrey SPCA are returning to the shelter after being evacuated from the property earlier this week due to an electrical fire.
The branch, at 6706 152 St., was closed for two days after its main electrical panel caught fire just before 8 a.m. Monday.
“We were very lucky that we were in the office at the time,” branch manager Valerie Sigler said Thursday, noting the flames were quickly put out with a fire extinguisher. “We made the decision to close the shelter because we weren’t sure – with it being an electrical fire –we weren’t sure the extent of the damage.”
Forty dogs and cats were evacuated, while the branch’s 13 small animals – which are housed in a separate “bunny barn” – remained onsite.
“The stars were shining upon us because we were nowhere near capacity,” Sigler said, noting the branch normally has more than 100 animals in its care. “We’re usually low on Mondays because we had a number of adoptions go through on the weekend. The shelter hadn’t filled up yet.”
The city checked the wiring and replaced the fuses, before giving the go-ahead Wednesday for the shelter to re-open.
“We’re in the process today of moving all the animals back,” Sigler said.
Sigler said the shelter was emptied in one day thanks to the community answering a call for help.
The Delta Humane Society took in the stray dogs; dogs already in kennels went to other SPCA branches; stray cats were housed by local veterinarians; and kenneled cats found temporary homes with foster parents.
“Without their help we would’ve been in a pickle,” Sigler said. “I’m just so grateful because if we hadn’t had the support of the community, I don’t know what we would’ve done.”