BC SPCA pet food banks struggle to keep up with rising demand
An increase in demand and an early start to the wildfire season in British Columbia have the BC SPCA struggling to stock its pet food banks.
When some residents of Fort St. John were evacuated last week, along with SPCA staff and animals in their care, supplies were diverted and brought to the area to assist guardians who were displaced.
“When guardians and their pets are evacuated due to a natural disaster like wildfires or floods, they can be away from their homes for weeks at a time. They often rely on the BC SPCA’s pet food banks for food and supplies until they are allowed to return,” said BC SPCA outreach specialist Diane Waters.
The non-profit has also seen increased demand throughout the province over the past few months, especially for those who continue to grapple with inflation. Waters said the BC SPCA is constantly getting requests for pet food and supplies.
“The number of organizations we are currently supporting has risen from 139 to 155,” Waters said.
One community that has seen a surge in demand is Victoria. Since 2022, requests through the pet food bank program there have increased by over 25 per cent.
“The current food security landscape in our community and rising costs of living have had an impact. The BC SPCA’s efforts to increase awareness of the program have also meant more people are reaching out for help,” said Breanne Beckett, senior manager of animal care services in Victoria.
In 2022, the BC SPCA provided 532,000 meals through pet food banks. The organization says it welcomes donations of unopened pet food.
“Our biggest need right now is dry and wet cat food and cat litter,” Waters said.
The BC SPCA is also looking for volunteers to assist with the collection and distribution of pet food and supplies.
by Global News