The BC SPCA is doing its part to ensure no pets living in Indigenous communities or remote areas go hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of its outreach programming during the viral outbreak, BC SPCA facilities across the province have been delivering much-needed pet food and supplies to First Nations and isolated communities.
“Thanks to generous community members who have been donating pet food at SPCA locations, we’ve been able to ensure that our neighbours feel supported and cared for, and that animals across B.C. have access to the items they need,” said Alison Cuffley, the BC SPCA’s government relations officer who is spearheading the organization’s reconciliation work.
In recent weeks, the local Chilliwack SPCA – which serves the area of Chilliwack to Boston Bar – has dropped off those donations to Seabird Island Band and Cheam First Nation.
“Times are tough enough,” said Chilliwack branch manager Chloé MacBeth. “We want to make sure people can keep their pets.”
Cuffley notes that Indigenous communities are systemically underserved and the BC SPCA is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic especially, we recognize that there is a need to fill in these gaps,” Cuffley said. “Operating under the guidance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and provincial legislation Bill 41, as well as the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we are taking steps to increase our support to all of our neighbours during this difficult time, no matter how rural or isolated.”
BC SPCA branches across the province continue to accept donations of unopened, in date pet food (wet and dry), and cat litter. For information on how to make a donation or how to access support in your community, call the BC SPCA Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722.
“We’re here to help. Anyone struggling to feed their pet can rely on us as a safety net,” MacBeth said.
For more, you can reach the Chilliwack SPCA branch at 604-823-6612.