RASTA lost some fencing thanks to a couple of very tall falling trees but the animals all survived the storm. (Submitted)

Fences destroyed, power out but animals were safe after epic Dec. 20 storm

“It was a wake up call for being prepared for emergencies.”

“The power was out for two days. No water. No heat.”

Sandi Trent was explaining the state of the Cowichan branch of the B.C. SPCA after the epic windstorm of Dec. 20.

“It was a little difficult.”

But she counts her facility as one of the lucky ones.

“Thankfully there was no damage considering the number of trees we have,” Trent said. “We were very, very lucky. We were like a lot of others and were pretty chilly though.”

Because the SPCA uses a well, they were without water for a time.

“We had to go and get water,” Trent noted. “It was a wake up call for being prepared for emergencies.”

At its peak, more than 750,000 customers were without power during the storm BC Hydro said was the most destructive in the company’s history.

SEE RELATED: BC Hydro calls December storm ‘most destructive in history’

Also counting their blessings were Cowichan’s two farm animal sanctuaries.

Lucie Cerny at RASTA in Chemainus said two 100-foot-tall trees came down on her property, smashing the facility’s perimeter fence.

“We also sustained damage to some of the shelters and buildings but thankfully none of our animals were hurt,” Cerny noted.

She also said that Pirate, the pig with the prosthetic leg, kept his leg on all night.

”I usually take it off to give his limb a rest,” she explained, but she wanted him to be able to get up and run if he needed to.

Over at A Home For Hooves, Michelle Singleton found herself and her animals in similar circumstances.

“We lost about 20 feet of perimeter fence and several trees,” she related. “Two 100-foot-tall firs missed one of the pig pens by two feet.”

Some of the goats’ climbing toys were also damaged, but the take away was consistent with the other facilities: “considering how bad the storm was we were very, very lucky,” Singleton said.

At the Raptors bird of prey centre a number of owls were left homeless when trees fell through their aviaries.

Barn owls Milton, Nova and Comet, along with great grey owl Violet had their enclosures destroyed, though they were unhurt.

A GoFundMe for the owls raised significantly more than the goal to get the birds back into their sanctuaries.


An aviary at The Raptors was crushed by a falling tree, leaving several owls homeless. (submitted)

Owls at The Raptors were left homeless by the windstorm in December. (submitted)

Owls at The Raptors were left homeless by the windstorm in December. (submitted)

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