As evacuation orders swept across various towns in Canada due to the advancing wildfires, a singular individual stood out among the responders. Hailing from the town of Yellowknife, this man embarked on a courageous mission amid the turmoil – his objective: to rescue any abandoned pets left in the wake of the crisis.
The fires’ relentless march led them directly toward the town of Behchokǫ, situated in the Northwest Territories, a region of Canada. In response to the evacuation mandate received by Behchokǫ, a man named Jason Card took it upon himself to spring into action. He made his way to the nearby SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), where he collected an array of dog crates. These crates, destined for a vital purpose, would aid in the transportation of the animals he was determined to save.
With his steadfast commitment and an unwavering sense of responsibility, Jason Card set out for the heart of the fire zone. Accompanying him on this courageous expedition were his teenage child and his 80-year-old stepfather. Over a journey spanning 63 miles, they traversed the highway that connected Yellowknife to Behchokǫ. Upon arriving at their destination, they were met with a scene of chaos – people in the midst of evacuation, hurriedly seeking refuge from the encroaching flames.
Undeterred by the surrounding chaos, the trio wasted no time. By 8:00 pm, their truck was brimming with a precious cargo – a diverse array of pets that they had managed to rescue. This act of heroism not only symbolized the compassion and resilience of the human spirit but also underlined the significance of protecting and caring for the most vulnerable members of our communities, even in the face of adversity.
“Literally as soon as we got into town and people heard that we were rescuing dogs, we had people coming up to us asking us to get the dogs and if we had room. We filled every kennel that we had,” Mr. Card said when he spoke to the national news.
In the darkness of the night, the team unloaded crates primarily filled with dogs. Swiftly, they reversed their path, making a direct return to Behchokǫ. This time, they completed their journey back to Yellowknife, arriving at 5:00 am.
Dr. Michelle Tuma, affiliated with Vets Without Borders Canada in Yellowknife, caught wind of Card’s compassionate endeavor. She reached out with the aim of securing temporary shelter in Yellowknife for the animals, ensuring their well-being as their owners embarked on a safe evacuation.
In the interim, following a brief period of rest, the trio of rescuers set out once more, only to encounter a closed highway. Initially contemplating the logistics of transporting dogs by air, news reached them that the highway was reopening. Undeterred, they resumed their rescue mission as before, ultimately saving over 30 dogs along with several cats.
Tuma described the Card’s dedication as “insanely heartwarming.”
“It just shows, I mean, the sense of community that is in the North and the lengths that people will go to,” she said.
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