Fires, floods and heartbreak left an Okanagan father feeling helpless.
However, Will Poitras wouldn’t give up after his puppy, he got for his children, broke her leg.
The former Vernon man got Mylie this past summer just as temperatures began to rise and the White Rock Lake fire forced him and the pup from their home.
They left for Vancouver only to get stuck due to the November floods. Finally able to return to the Interior, Poitras headed to Penticton to be closer to his nine and ten -year old children.
It was there that he was working for the Indigenous community building teepees and canoes. He had been in the mountains working between Apex and Summerland when Mylie was possibly kicked by a horse, causing her leg to break in two places.
“Mylie emerged from the bushes and seemed to be limping. At first, I thought she had just landed funny or sprained something but after a couple of days the injury seemed to get worse,” said Poitras.
However, the pain appeared to get worse and Poitras rushed the pup to the vet.
Unfortunately, Mylie would need surgery at a cost of $5,000 or have her leg amputated for $2,000.
Poitras said he could not imagine amputating Mylie’s leg, but money was tight after leaving a good job in Vernon and moving to the South Okanagan. It was the second of the month and between paying bills and rent, Poitras didn’t have much left for funds.
Speaking with Indigenous members, Poitras was referred to the Okanagan Humane Society (OHS), a charity that believes in keeping pets and people together.
Romany Runnalls, president of the OHS board, said she spoke with Poitras and told him there was help for him and his pup.
“This was an unfortunate accident at a difficult time for Will,” she said. “He had taken the initiative to start selling his personal belongings to raise money to cover Mylie’s surgery. He had raised $1,000 but was a long way from the $5,000 needed to save Mylie’s leg.”
With the help of OHS, a solution was met for Mylie to keep her leg and is now recovering at home.
Okanagan Humane Society is a volunteer-run organization that relies on donations from the community to help animals in need.
“We want to say yes when these calls come in, however, we do rely on support from the public with donations to ensure these animals can receive the emergency medical care they need,” said Runnalls.