The BC SPCA is urging the province to include pets as it overhauls its emergency management legislation this year.
In a Tuesday news release, the organization said the past few years of wildfires and floods, both in B.C. and abroad, have shown a need to plan for domestic animals.
“The devastating reports from Australia, where more than a billion animals are estimated to have died as a result of bushfires, are a somber reminder that both humans and animals are extremely vulnerable during a disaster,” said chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty.
The SPCA believes this leads to more animals killed, more pet owners refusing to leave their homes because there’s nowhere for their pets to go, and owners returning to evacuated areas to save their pets.
Current legislation does not require local officials to include domestic animals as part of their plans.
In prior years, the society has sent staff and resources to help pets and owners during floods and wildfires.
The province is accepting input on emergency management legislation until Jan. 31.