Vote for animals on October 19, 2024 - BC SPCA
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Vote for animals on October 19, 2024

We can all take individual actions to enhance animal welfare, but we need government leadership to change provincial laws, regulations and policies. Animal welfare matters to British Columbians and it should matter to our elected representatives!

The 2024 provincial election is your chance to tell B.C.’s political parties and election candidates that you want them to take action for animal welfare.

But you don’t have to wait until October! The first step is getting animal welfare issues on party platforms during their campaigns. The BC SPCA has asked B.C.’s four main political parties to include six animal welfare priorities (PDF) in their party platforms. Take a quick survey below to tell us your top three animal welfare priorities and sign up to receive important information to help determine whether your candidates share your concern for animals, people and the environment.

With your help, we’ll continue to urge B.C.’s parties and politicians to commit to animal welfare in their campaigns and act on those promises after the election. Learn more about our six animal welfare priorities: 

Vote for animals

Two-thirds of B.C. households include pets as important and loved family members. But pet-friendly housing is hard to find and often more expensive, especially for vulnerable people who already face housing barriers.

“The BC SPCA is seeing an increase in people needing to surrender their pets because of a lack of pet-friendly housing options. Many families all over the province are being forced to rehome their pets to keep or find a place to live” explains Kahlee Demers, BC SPCA Community Animal Centre Manager.

Chase, Cashew, Walnut and Indie are just a few of the very loved pets who ended up in BC SPCA care recently because of housing issues. It’s a heartbreaking situation for these animals and the people who love them.

Chase, Cashew & Walnut, Indie

When Melissa’s family found out their rental home’s new owner wanted to move in, she knew it would be hard to find a new home that welcomed their dog, Gin. Most of the rentals she found didn’t allow pets at all, and those that did often had breed or size restrictions that excluded sweet Gin.

After an exhausting search, Melissa, her husband and Gin had to move to a different community much further away from Gin’s veterinary clinic where she receives care from several specialists. While they feel lucky to have found a new home where Gin is welcome, they now have to commute 45 minutes longer to work and pay much higher rent.

We need government leadership so British Columbians can live with and be supported by the animals they love while ensuring landlords and strata have appropriate protection and mechanisms to resolve disputes. We’ve asked B.C. political parties to bring tenants, landlords and other stakeholders together to find collaborative solutions.

Please share this campaign with your friends, family and B.C. political parties and candidates to help us call for change!

British Columbians love their pets, and when money is tight people may even feed their animals before themselves. The BC SPCA provides free pet food and supplies at our Community Animal Centres and through partnerships with other community organizations, but relying on public donations isn’t sustainable and coordinated action is needed.

“When someone comes to the BC SPCA’s pet food banks for help, they’ve often exhausted other options and are only left with the difficult decision to care for themselves or their animals”, explains Diane Waters, outreach specialists for the BC SPCA. “They care so much about their furry family members that they’d forgo their own meals to make sure their pets are taken care of during hard times.”

For a while, Paul and his sweet cat, Megalove, relied on a BC SPCA pet food bank for Megalove’s food. That support meant neither of them had to go hungry when they were experiencing some tough times. Now they stop by to visit the staff and volunteers and get a few treats and scritches for Megalove. Paul actively supports his community through his work with the Binners Project and Megaphone Magazine, and Megalove supports Paul.

Last year, the BC SPCA’s network of pet food banks provided over 717,000 meals for hungry pets, and the high demand continues to rise.  Unfortunately, we’ve also seen donations decrease as everyone struggles through the current cost of living crisis.

Relying solely on donations to feed hungry pets and people just isn’t sustainable. We’ve asked B.C.’s political parties to include pet food and supplies in food banks and other food security programs supported by the provincial government to help feed and care for vulnerable people and animals in our communities.

Can you help put food on everyone’s plate this October? Please share this campaign to raise awareness and call for change in the upcoming provincial election!

The B.C. government listened to our previous advocacy and the new Emergency and Disaster Management Act requires that animals be included in risk assessments and emergency management plans. But that was just the first step.

We’ve asked B.C.’s political parties to make food and essential supplies for animals eligible for post-emergency financial assistance, include animal organizations in emergency planning and expand provincial emergency support services to include help finding pet-friendly shelter and accommodation, and help accessing animal food, supplies and veterinary care during emergencies.

Find out more about emergency management and the BC SPCA’s emergency response services.

British Columbians are demanding transparency and accountability for the care of farmed animals, but the province has no proactive, independent compliance system to monitor and report on the welfare of farmed animals. In 2023 and early 2024, the BC SPCA participated in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s Farmed Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, along with farmers, veterinarians, academics, meat processors and representatives from the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC).

We’ve asked B.C.’s political parties to implement the Advisory Committee’s recommendations in their entirety and with sustainable funding to improve animal welfare on B.C. farms, increase public trust in local agriculture and support farmers. Find out more about farmed animal welfare.

Microchips provide unique and safe permanent identification for pets and help to reunite lost animals with their families.

“Unlike collars and tags that can fall off, and tattoos that can fade or be altered, microchips provide unique, permanent identification for pets” explains Priscilla Cheung, manager of the BC Pet Registry program. “Dogs with microchips are two to three times more likely to be returned to their owner, and cats with microchips are up to 20 times more likely to be returned!”

When a caring person found poor Norman out by himself in a storm, they took him straight to a BC SPCA Community Animal Centre where he could be scanned for a microchip. Thankfully, Norman’s chip was registered and up to date, leading to a heartwarming reunion with his worried family and a safe return home within just a few hours of being lost.

Microchips can also help responsible breeders maintain accurate health records and be used to track disease outbreaks and animals with inheritable disorders. Many other places, including the United Kingdom, most of the European Union, Japan, parts of Australia and the City of Montreal now require cats and dogs to be microchipped.

We’ve asked B.C.’s political parties to require that all cats and dogs bred, brokered, sold and owned in our province be identified with a microchip registered in an internationally recognized database.

Find out more about microchips and the BC Pet Registry.

Will you advocate for permanent pet identification in the upcoming election? 
Please share this campaign and ask others to sign up to demonstrate their support.  Those who sign up will receive more information about each platform issue over the summer, and tools to help advocate directly to election candidates in the fall.

The One Health / One Welfare approach recognizes that human, animal and environmental health and welfare are interdependent and linked in numerous ways. This approach calls for coordinated action to connect animal welfare work, human mental health and social support services and environmental stewardship initiatives to address complex issues like infectious diseases, exotic animals and the link between animal abuse and family violence.

We’ve asked B.C.’s political parties to evaluate issues, decisions and policies through a One Health/Welfare lens to find holistic solutions to many of the issues we currently face.

Read all six platform recommendations and why they’re important for British Columbians. (PDF)

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What are your top 3 priorities for animals in the 2024 provincial election? Max 3

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