BC SPCA sees drop in pet food bank donations amid wildfires, rising cost of living

BC SPCA sees drop in pet food bank donations amid wildfires, rising cost of living
Bare shelves are pictured at the pet food bank at the BC SPCA branch in Victoria.

The BC SPCA is asking for help amid a decline in donations to its pet food program, which has been strained by rising cost of living and major wildfires in the province.

Since January 2024, all SPCA branches across the province have seen a decrease in the number of pet food and pet supplies donations it receives.

“Everyone understands that the increased cost of living makes it more difficult for people to donate, but unfortunately, this is exactly when the need is greatest for the clients of our pet food banks,” said Diane Waters, SPCA outreach specialist.

She added that wildfire evacuations in Fort Nelson in northeastern B.C. have also caused increased demand at its pet food banks.

“In these emergent situations, we need to make quick adjustments and move supplies that were destined for one animal centre to another where the evacuees are located so we can support them while they are away from home,” she said.

The SPCA says it accepts donations of unopened pet food at its pet food banks, or cash donations.

Because of the surge in demand, the Rosemary Mottershead Fund based out of the West Vancouver Foundation is offering to “triple match” every cash donation up to $30,000.

The BC SPCA says it’s particularly in need of cat food and cat litter, and it’s also asking for volunteers to help collect and distribute the pet food and supplies.

Waters says people of all ages use the pet food bank, including families, and that one client in Vernon said they were grateful for the service because they were going to have to choose “between pet food and food for myself.”

“Sometime a pay cheque just can’t be stretched to the end of the month and people need a little help,” said Waters.

Donations to the pet food bank can be made on the BC SPCA website.

RELATED: ‘Struggling to feed their animals’: Rising cost of living has more people surrendering their pets

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