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$1k in 4 hours: Penticton rallies for local BC SPCA after dog, cat food shortage

Community response comes after the centre issued a call for help on Facebook, March 30

When it came to having pet food available, things were looking grim at the BC SPCA South Okanagan Similkameen just 24 hours ago.

The centre had completely run out of dry dog and cat food, with donations becoming rarer than they used to and the need only increasing.

“We had a huge stock from last summer but we’ve hit the end of that,” said Tana Maclean, a volunteer coordinator at the BC SPCA South Okanagan Similkameen.

Staff from the centre issued a call for help via Facebook on Thursday, March 30, asking members of the public to donate if possible in an effort to keep local BC SPCA food bank services going.

The response has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Maclean says the centre has received three or four “huge donations” since Wednesday, equating to about 50 bags full of dry dog and cat food.

And within a span of just four hours Friday, March 31, starting at 8 a.m., close to $1,500 in food has been donated to the local BC SPCA.

“We’ve got enough food here that we can help anyone who comes to our doors again, which makes us feel better,” a shocked and thrilled Maclean told the Western News on Friday afternoon, March 31. “It’s been so hard to turn people away that need help.”

The volunteer coordinator says her team will separate the newly-donated food into individual bags and have them ready for the community’s most vulnerable to pick up.

The BC SPCA South Okanagan Similkameen is located at 2200 Dartmouth Road in Penticton.

“Anyone who is not able to make a payday for any reason and who needs some food for their pets can come on over, ring our doorbell and we can help them out,” Maclean said. “Imagine someone in the community who’s been hit with hard times and needs help caring for their pet…we’re here to help.”

The BC SPCA South Okanagan Similkameen is located at 200 Dartmouth Road in Penticton.

Staff also makes weekly trips to the Purple Pantry at the Elk’s Hall, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary of serving the community.

READ ALSO: One year in and Penticton’s community fridge filling big need

As of Friday afternoon, Maclean says the centre is still seeing new donors walking through the doors to drop off sealed dog and cat food.

“Looks like we’re going to have another big stock to work through,” Maclean said. “We are so grateful.”

The BC SPCA South Okanagan Similkameen will accept anything that could help a pet in need, other than pillows and fitted sheets.

Monetary donations to the centre can also be made online.

READ ALSO: Penticton man raises more than $100k in 6 years for local SPCA