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Penticton retirement facility helps with Keremeos Creek wildfire farm evacuation

The staff at Regency Southwood were among those to answer the call for help

When the Gotta Goat farm put out the call for help on Aug. 4 with evacuating their animals over the Keremeos Creek wildfire, the staff at Regency Southwood were one of the groups that answered.

“It was on Facebook that they were being evacuated and in need of vans or trucks to get their animals out,” said the retirement facility’s general manager Corinne Gunther. “The group of us said, ‘We have a bus, maybe we can throw some goats onboard,’ and we headed on over.”

While they didn’t end up loading up any goats, they did help with catching and evacuating a number of the farm’s chickens. After getting them into their cages, they were loaded up onto the Regency bus and taken over to another farm in Okanagan Falls.

The main difficulty didn’t come from finding space for the cages onboard the bus, but from getting chickens calmly into the cages in the first place.

“They were having nothing to do with us, and we’re all in our dress clothes because we were working,” said Gunther. “So we just came over and we were in the coop trying to wrangle these roosters without scaring them.”

READ MORE: Apex area farm calls for help in evacuating animals amid Keremeos Creek wildfire

There was no question to Gunther and the others about whether they were going to help or not. They had even brought their own boxes in case they needed them to put animals into. The care facility’s maintenance person also took his truck and drove up to the farm with the rest of the staff onboard the bus to help out.

“Our company, we are all about family and community,” said Gunther. “We like to reach out to our neighbours and help where we can, so when we saw they needed help we didn’t even hesitate.”

The experience was an exciting one, and getting out into the community to lend a hand like it again is something that Gunther hopes they will get a chance to do another day.

“It was really interesting and I hope we can do more good things like it,” said Gunther, with a laugh. “Just not in a crisis next time.”

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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