Despite the uncertainty and financial hardships that COVID-19 might be currently inflicting upon pet guardians, the BC SPCA’s Comox Valley & District Branch continues to provide services for animals, including expanding pet food bank support to members of their community.
“Due to the large number of people financially impacted by the pandemic, we’re seeing the number of visitors to our food bank increase,” says Emily Priestley, BC SPCA Comox Valley & District Branch manager. “These services are so important as they allow us to help community members get over the hump and keep their pets. It’s always ideal when these loved animals can stay in their familiar homes, and we certainly don’t want to see someone have to give up their pet due to the temporary fall out from the pandemic.”
So far the Comox branch has provided over 820 kilograms bags of cat and dog food to residents in need, as well as over 200 kilograms of kitty litter.
Pet owners who are experiencing hardship due to loss of income or other unfortunate circumstances can access pet food supplies through the local Comox Valley food bank or by calling the shelter 250-339-7722. People can also contact the BC SPCA Animal Helpline 1-855-622-7722 to request pet food from the Comox Branch.
In keeping with the province’s social distancing guidelines, the branch is using a contactless method for those who wish to pick up food by using an outdoor dropbox and adhering to strict sanitation measures.
In addition to helping those impacted by COVID-19, Priestley wants to remind pet guardians the Comox branch is still available to assist with behavioral problems and medical issues, and, while procedures might have changed under current circumstances, they are continuing with the SPCA’s regular work that includes cruelty investigations, education, and adoptions.
“We’ve had a very successful run of adoptions and, as always, our adoptable animals are finding new homes very quickly,” says Priestley. “It’s been a very smooth process and we’re getting great feedback from our adopters that they are just thrilled with their recent additions!”
The branch is also preparing for a busy kitten season.
“This year we expect a rise in numbers and we’ve been readying our existing foster homes and making sure they are ready to go at a moment’s notice,” says Priestley. “We’ve been fortunate to have a great group of foster homes at the ready, and the support from the community has been wonderful.”