With more and more families impacted by illness, job loss and other challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, the BC SPCA has launched an appeal for pet food donations to help vulnerable pet guardians. (Please note: we cannot accept opened pet food, donations must be factory sealed)
“The BC SPCA offers pet food banks, free vet clinics and other support programs throughout the year to help pet guardians who are facing tough times,” says Marieke van der Velden, outreach specialist for the BC SPCA. “In these extraordinary times it’s more important than ever to keep families and their pets together and to help reduce the financial and emotional strain they are under.”
Van der Velden notes that while food for animals in the SPCA’s care are fed with food donated by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the majority of the BC SPCA’s 36 branches throughout the province also distribute pet food donated by the community, either at their own location or through a community partner, such as the Salvation Army or a community food bank. Others offer support to specific communities, including Indigenous communities, upon request.
The BC SPCA would be grateful for any donations of factory sealed dry or canned food for both dogs and cats, as well as cat litter, either by drop-off or by arranging an online delivery. “We are unable to accept other food or supplies at this time, but will ensure that these key items will be distributed to pets in need through our staff, volunteers and community partners,” says van der Velden. Please call the BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 to find out more about your community’s needs and the drop off or delivery location nearest you.
Anyone needing food support for their pet is asked to please call the BC SPCA Animal Helpline directly 1-855-622-7722 to find out how to access provisions and to get information on the safety protocols in place when picking up the food.
“We have developed new protocols for our pet food banks to ensure that social distancing and biosecurity measures are in place,” says van der Velden. “We hope this extra support for pet guardians will mean fewer families have to give up pets for financial reasons. Animals are such an important part of our lives, and we want to do everything we can to keep people and pets together.”
In 2019, the BC SPCA assisted nearly 10,000 vulnerable pet guardians.