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The BC SPCA says it is struggling to keep up with demand for their pet food bank, and Victoria is one community that has seen a need for the service surge this year.
Breanne Beckett, senior manager of animal care services in Victoria, says that demand has increased by over 25% since 2022.
“The current food security landscape in our community and rising costs of living have had an impact,” Beckett explains.
“The BC SPCA’s efforts to increase awareness of the program have also meant more people are reaching out for help.”
Due to wildfires, the use of the program has climbed as well.
“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,” says Diane Waters, the BC SPCA’s outreach specialist.
“They often rely on the BC SPCA’s pet food banks for food and supplies until they are allowed to return.”
In addition to assisting evacuees, the organization has seen more demand across BC, especially for those on a fixed-income.
Waters says the number of organizations they are currently supporting has risen from 139 to 155, and requests for food and supplies are constant.
The BC SPCA welcomes donations of unopened pet food for community food banks. Their biggest need right now is dry and wet cat food and cat litter.
Volunteers are also needed to help with the collection and distribution of pet food and supplies.
And, with increased demand for outreach services, Norm and Paddy MacSween have generously agreed to match all donations up to $10,000, in memory of Susan MacSween.