The McIntosh family

Langley Animal Protection Society’s gala helps celebrate relationships that save pets

Community partnerships saved the lives of three kittens after a Langley blaze this summer.

Despite suffering intense smoke inhalation and some serious burns in a Brookswood house fire two months ago – two sisters and a their brother are almost fully recovered and settling into their new homes as of last week.

Sadly, one of their sibling didn’t make it. But the trio’s story of “miraculous” survival and their struggle back to health is awe-inspiring, said Jayne Nelson, the manager of animal welfare for the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS).

“It’s an amazing story,” Nelson said. “It was amazing that they could be saved at all… It’s a furry tail ending if ever there was one.’

And their story is one of several that will be trumpeted at the LAPS ninth annual Furry Tail Ending Gala on Nov. 5.

This story, in particular, also speaks to a growing relationship being forged between LAPS and the Langley Township firefighters.

Just last week, Flame – the blue-eyed brother that was seriously burned on one side and lost his tail – moved to his new home with a Port Moody family.

Meanwhile, his two sisters, Spark and Smokey were adopted together earlier this month by a Langley family after almost two months of recuperating.

Smokey lost her left ear, a digit from her left toe, and tail in the fire, while Spark escaped with a large burn on the top of her back.

None of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the “heroic” firefighters that pulled them from the house fire, and the even more heroic efforts and generosity of the veterinary staff at Mountain View Animal Hospital, Nelson said.

It was the pet oxygen masks – that had just recently been donated to the firefighters by Mountain View Animal Hospital – that saved three of the four short-haired domestic kittens after being pulled from the 44th Avenue fire on Aug. 13, Nelson said.

Then it was the six to eight weeks of intense medical care and love those kittens received – as well as help finding new homes – from Mountain View staff that helped bring this to a happily-ever-after conclusion, she elaborated.

It’s these kinds of stories LAPS is celebrating with its annual fall gala, Nelson said, as well as all the relationships and partnerships that LAPS has “been fortunate” to develop through the years, Nelson said.


Calendars speak to new partnership

For instance, the Langley Township firefighters charitable arm has been working with LAPS to create a 2017 firefighter and pet calendar that will raise money for the local animal shelter.

“We used to do ‘the’ calendar about 15 years ago,” said project founder Steve McLay, a career firefighter from Firehall No. 6 in Murrayville.

“It’s not like the old calendars were the shirts are off,” he said. “It’s family friendly.”

While people are often disappointed when he first tells of the change, once he explains the fact that 99 per cent of the Langley Township firefighters have pets and that they are doing this to help LAPS, it seems to garner even more interest.

LAPS and the firefighters went to work on this calendar earlier this summer. It will feature 12 pictures of firefighters in turnout gear with dogs or cats – some with their own pets, others with shelter animals, McLay explained.

Now, the $20 calendar is at the printers and will be unveiled at the gala.

It will also be available at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove, and at the Murrayville firehall.


Caption: This photo of Otter firefighter Dave Reid with a LAPS kitten is one included in the upcoming calendar. Trav & Ash photo special to the Langley Advance.

Gala tickets available

The ninth annual LAPS Furry Tail Endings Gala happens Saturday, Nov. 5, starting at 5 p.m. at the Coast Hotel & Convention Centre.

Tickets are $150 and available by phone at 604-857-5055, at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove, or online at LAPSBC.CA.

The evening of dinner and dance will benefit other “furry friends.”

In fact, each ticket purchased will make one spay or neuter possible, Nelson said.

While the past few galas have sold out weeks prior to the event, this year’s fundraising event still has a few tickets available.

The theme to this year’s gala is Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Nelson expects there “going to be some good mad hattery and shenanigans… I suspect we’re going to see a lot of fun hats.”

In addition to the live and silent auctions, the evening includes live entertainment, including magician Wes Barker and music by singer and songwriter and instrumentalist Sean Michael Simpson – a familiar performer at Beatnik Bistro and Eighteen27 in Fort Langley.


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