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BC SPCA food banks dole out 20% more meals for pets in 2023

There was roughly a 116,000 difference of meals provided between 2023 and 2022
The BC SPCA are still looking for donationans, partlicularly for cat food and litter (Photo credit: BC SPCA)

As the rising cost of living leaves a mark on bank accounts, it’s also having a big impact on British Columbians needing help feeding their beloved pets.

The BC SPCA’s pet food banks have seen a remarkable increase of 20 per cent in the number of meals provided for pets this year compared to last year.

“In 2022, the BC SPCA provided 532,000 meals to dogs and cats through its pet food banks,” Diane Waters, outreach specialist for the BC SPCA, says. “This year we have provided just over 648,000 and we still have a couple of weeks to go.”

The BC SPCA’s Sea-to-Sky animal centre is one one of the busiest pet food banks in the province. Its manager, Krista Larson, says pet food is distributed to Pemberton and other communities as soon as it comes in.

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There are 36 animal centres who distribute pet food to families in need in the province, along with 150 organizational partners. This includes social housing spaces, municipal food banks and other non-profits.

“Unfortunately, this year we had say ‘no’ to more than 15 requests from new agencies looking to partner with us,” says Waters. “We just didn’t have enough pet food to expand any further.”

The Salvation Army is one of the many organizations with a continuous relationship with the BC SPCA’s food banks.

Tamara Robinson, the Salvation Army’s director of family services and community outreach at their Williams Lake Branch, pointed at inflation for a particular reason why some families may look at pet food banks to help providing grub to their valued canine and feline dependants.

“The people who seek our services at the food bank have to make tough decisions daily whether to pay rent, bills or put food on the table. The pet food the BC SPCA provides us means these families do not have to factor feeding their pets into this decision,” she says.

Robinson also added pets are important for the emotional, physical and mental well-being of their human providers and a lack of food due to financial strain due to the rising costs of living should not result in re-homing a beloved pet.

Waters says all donations are welcome but the biggest need right now is kibble and wet food for cats, as well as litter. Cash donations are also appreciated. The BC SPCA is also looking for volunteers to help assist on collecting donations and the distribution of pet food and supplies.

If you would like to make a donation visit

About the Author: Brendan Jure

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