Photo: BC SPCA
The BC SPCA says inflation has led to a 20% increase in demand this year for its pet food bank program.
Just a year ago, the BC SPCA provided more than 532,000 meals to dogs and cats through its pet food banks, which jumped to more than 648,000 this year, a difference of 112,000 meals.
“We were unable to meet the demand, especially for dry cat food and dry dog food. Once the food arrives, it is distributed to the food bank in Pemberton and other communities in need,” said Krista Larson, manager of the Sea-to-Sky Animal Center at the BC SPCA.
The BC SPCA says it currently has 36 animal centers that distribute food and pet supplies to those who need them, as well as 150 organizational partners across the province, including social housing spaces, municipal food banks and other non-profit organizations.
“Unfortunately, this year we had to say no to more than 15 requests from new agencies looking to partner with us. We simply didn’t have enough feed to expand further,” she said.
One of the BC SPCA's long-time partner pet food banks is the Willliams Lake Salvation Army. They echo the same message that the daily cost of living continues to rise.
“People who seek our services at the food bank have to make difficult decisions every day, whether it’s paying rent, paying bills or putting food on the table,” said Tamara Robinson, director of family services and community outreach at The Salvation Army.
The pet food that the BC SPCA provides us means that these families do not need to consider their pet's diet in this decision. No one should have to return home to their loving partner due to the rising cost of living.”
According to the BC SPCA, the wildfires that continued to burn across the province in September also hit the BC SPCA's pet food bank harder than expected.
“Part of our emergency response is to ensure bushfire-affected areas have adequate food and pet supplies for those who have been evacuated from their homes. Some of these affected families were away from home for weeks and, unfortunately, some had no home to return to,” Waters said.
The BC SPCA accepts donations of unopened pet food for community food banks, with its biggest needs at the moment being dry and wet cat food and cat litter.
You can make a donation through BC SPCA website.