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BC SPCA appeals for donations with high demand for pet food banks

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The sustained period of above-target inflation has put major pressure on all of us – so it's no wonder pet food donations are down at the BC SPCA.

The non-profit is appealing for people to help fill the gap by donating unopened pet food, money or their time.

“Pet food – our pantries are busier – it’s empty more than it’s full,” the SPCA's Mandy Isaacs told CTV News on Friday.

“So, if anybody can donate anything, that would be great. We’re just not seeing as many donations as we normally do.”

Things are so bad financially for some pet owners that they’re giving up their animals.

“We’re dealing with a lot of challenges as an organization and also pet owners are dealing with a lot of challenges, so we’re seeing an unbelievable amount of dogs in our centres, just because of people losing their housing and struggling,” Isaacs said.

The situation is particularly bad in wildfire-affected areas, but local donations made in the Lower Mainland can help.

Animals from those areas are often sent to Metro Vancouver, with the trucks that brought them then loaded up for the return trip.

“We send supplies back up," Isaacs said. "So, blankets, sheets, towels, food, treats, toys, all of that we can move throughout the province to get to the animals that really need it.”

Beyond donating money or food, there are other ways to help through volunteering.

“I would say, 'Just try, you won’t regret it,'” said BC SPCA volunteer Caitlin Celinski.

“I thought about it for a few years and then finally decided to go for it, and wish I did it years ago.”

Isaacs said the SPCA's Vancouver shelter is opening a call for volunteers on its website this week.

The BC SPCA tries to collect 90,000 kilograms of pet food each year, but it’s currently less than a third of the way to that total as we approach the halfway point of this year. 

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