The BC SPCA is seeing an increase in demand for its pet food bank services. Last year, the SPCA helped more than 34,141 animals through pet food banks across B.C.
“So far this year our pet food banks have provided an additional 1,235 animals with a week’s supply of food compared to last year,” says Diane Waters, BC SPCA’s outreach specialist.
The BC SPCA has 34 participating locations and 135 partner organizations, like food banks, across the province that help distribute pet food and pet supplies. “We have increased our community partnerships from 109 to 135 this year,” says Waters. “This means we are helping more animals, but donations are being spread thin.”
“Many pet guardians are struggling right now, especially those on a fixed income, and we want to make sure they can provide their pets with everything they need,” says Waters. “The increase in demand is definitely having an impact. We are having supply issues across the board and are in desperate need of donations of food and other pet supplies.”
One of those pet guardians is Brent. He brings his golden retriever Sally to Charlie’s pet food bank in the downtown eastside. Sally, who always has a smile on her face, is a favourite with Charlie’s clients and volunteers.
“Sally loves to visit with the volunteers,” says Waters. “They have to stop every few feet so that all of Sally’s admirers get a chance to say ‘hello’ and have a visit.”
Waters adds that they have been able to provide Brent with everything from pet food to leashes, jackets and toys for his best friend, Sally. “Our goal in all of our outreach services is to help provide guardians the support they need so pets can stay with their loving families,” says Waters.
The BC SPCA has made substantial investments in its outreach services in the last two years. “In addition to distributing pet food and supplies through our own locations and at community food banks, we are also supporting several Indigenous communities directly,” says Waters.
The BC SPCA also provides spay/neuter grants to help those who require financial assistance to sterilize their animal. The program is available for cats, dogs, and rabbits and includes a microchip and registration in the BC Pet Registry, a centralized database created by the BC SPCA to ensure lost pets can be returned promptly to their families.
Waters says the BC SPCA welcomes donations of unopened pet food for community food banks. “Our biggest need right now is dry and wet cat food and cat litter.” The BC SPCA is also looking for volunteers to assist with the collection and distribution of pet food and supplies.
Following increased demand on outreach services, two anonymous donors have agreed to triple match all donations up to $45,000.
The match has been met – thank you so much everyone!!