Press release | Veterinarians Without Borders North America responds to growing wildfires near Fort Good Hope, NT thanks to grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada™
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Veterinarians Without Borders North America responds to growing wildfires near Fort Good Hope, NT thanks to grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada™

FGH fire banner

OTTAWA, ON, July 4, 2024 – As wildfire season gains traction across northern Canada, Veterinarians Without Borders North America (VWB) is responding to blazes currently burning near the community of Rádeyı̨lı̨ Kǫ́ (Fort Good Hope), NT, which is located approximately 800 km from the territory’s capital of Yellowknife. The community is currently under an evacuation order and with hot, dry conditions anticipated over the coming days, the fires are expected to intensify.

VWB is currently working with local partners, including the NWT SPCA, to provide support to community members and animals evacuating from the wildfires. This includes supplying evacuees in Norman Wells and a nearby fishing camp, along with essential workers and animals that remained in Rádeyı̨lı̨ Kǫ́ (Fort Good Hope) with tele-triage services, pet food, pee pads, and kitty litter. Community members affected by the wildfires are encouraged to contact our tele-triage services if caring for, or in contact with, animals that have also been affected by the fires. Pet guardians living within these areas or regions prone to wildfires are also encouraged to prepare for potential evacuations by gathering pet food supplies, water bowls, collars and leashes, or pet carriers, vaccination records, and medications. As evacuation can happen at a moment’s notice, preparing items ahead of time can truly save lives.

“We are so grateful for the support of PetSmart Charities of Canada, which is helping us respond to these wildfires,” said Charmaine Brett, executive director at VWB. “With our changing climate, these fires are becoming more frequent, widespread, and unpredictable, which in turn, is creating a significant need for emergency response services,” said Brett. “With the support of organizations like PetSmart Charities of Canada, along with our other incredible donors who care so much about animals facing disasters, we are providing access to life-saving veterinary essentials and care,” Brett added.

"The NWT SPCA will do its very best to help in this emergency situation,” said Nicole Spencer, executive director of the NWT SPCA. “We will work with VWB to provide supplies required by pet owners to carry them through this challenging time.  We would like to remind everyone in all northern communities to prepare yourselves and your pets for an evacuation situation.  Being prepared can save lives,” added Spencer.

Individuals can make sure that emergency response help is there as soon as it’s needed by making a donation at


About Veterinarians Without Borders North America

Using a One Health approach, Veterinarians Without Borders (VWB) works for, and with, communities in need to foster the health of animals, people and the environments that sustain us. VWB works in Africa and Asia to improve the living conditions of the most disadvantaged rural populations through veterinary and agricultural services, sustainable animal production, training, value chain development and sustainable natural resource management. Additionally, we support remote Northern Canadian communities to improve animal health through temporary spay and neuter clinics, reduce the spread of rabies, and work to create the conditions for long-term, community-led sustainable animal health services.

Learn more at

About PetSmart Charities of Canada™ 

PetSmart Charities of Canada is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the country, PetSmart Charities of Canada helps thousands of pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities of Canada also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter, and emergency relief. Each year, thousands of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities of Canada directly at, while shopping at, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities of Canada efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, granting more than $25 million since its inception in 1999. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity. To learn more visit 

Find PetSmart Canada & PetSmart Charities of Canada™ on: 


Media Contact:

Laura Eley                                                                                              24-Hour PetSmart Charities
Communications and Media Relations Manager                            Media Line:  623-587-2177
C: +1 343-633-0272

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