When the COVID-19 crisis hit BC, the BC SPCA rapidly pivoted its services to support additional vulnerable animals and people across B.C. Over the past several months, BC SPCA branches on Vancouver Island have worked together to support remote and northern communities on North Island with the BC SPCA in Campbell River leading the charge in coordinating the distribution to these areas in need.
“We are ensuring that food donated to our food bank program is going to animals who need it the most, including many remote communities that may not have the same access to services,” says Stephanie Arkwright, branch manager at the BC SPCA in Campbell River. Community Animal Centre.
Recently through a partnership with the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul (SVDP) on Vancouver Island, volunteers were able to make a delivery to a remote community located three hours away from the Campbell River Branch.
The Campbell River Branch is the most northern BC SPCA location on Vancouver Island. With many remote communities having reduced access to services due to the pandemic, staff and volunteers have been working to guarantee pet food has been readily available for pet guardians.
Paul Bertrand, a longtime BC SPCA volunteer as well as SVDP’s President at Our Lady of Guadalupe Conference, St. Patrick’s Parish, has been assisting with the drives out to the remote communities. “Due to remoteness from bigger towns, these communities struggle to access pet food at a reasonable cost,” he says. “In addition, many do not have access to vehicles or reliable transportation to get them into Campbell River.”
The Campbell River Branch also provides food directly to pet guardians in need at their facility in adherence to physical distancing guidelines. People who are looking for support are encouraged to contact the Campbell River SPCA at 891 13th Avenue, Campbell River, BC V9W 4G9, and to call 250-287-7766 for an appointment.