COVID CRUNCH: Agencies uniting to ensure pets are fed

Surrey SPCA, Langley Animal Protection Society, and food banks offering sustenance for dogs and cats

As more individuals face the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many pet guardians are finding it difficult to stretch the budget to cover pet food and supplies.

To help address this need, Langley Animal Protection Society, the local food banks, and the BC SPCA in Surrey are all offering expanded pet food bank outreach programs.

Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS), for instance, is pitching in.

Through the Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove and LAPS’ Major Legacy Fund, they’re providing food, litter, and other basic necessities for people in need in the community, explained executive director Jayne Nelson.

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“People can pick up food, by appointment, from the shelter for their pets,” she explained. The shelter, open seven days a week at 26220 56th Ave., can be reached at 604-857-5055.

“We are grateful to those in the community who have made donations of food to help us keep our food bank stocked,” she added, noting that last week alone the team at the shelter made up about 30 care packages (including food, toys, and collars) for delivery to Kimz Angels, who in turn will hand them out to homeless in the community who have pets.

As well, they’ve left bags of pet food with the pastor at the Vineyard Church, for distribution to people in need and even assisted with a few emergency veterinary case.

In addition to aid offered through LAPS, there are other ways to ensure dogs and cats are being taken care of during the COVID pandemic.

If pet guardians in Surrey, White Rock, Langley, or Richmond need help, the BC SPCA in Surrey is announcing their team is also there to help at this time, said assistant manager Elaine Nelson.

“Animals are such an importance part of our lives, and we want to do everything we can to keep families and pets together,” Nelson said. “We want them to know we are here to support them.”

Individual seeking assistance with pet food can make an appointment to pick up for their pets by calling the BC SPCA in Surrey and leaving a voicemail at 604-574-1711, ext. 5. No-contact pick ups can be scheduled daily, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Surrey SPCA, located at 16748 50th Avenue.

In addition to providing food to individual pet guardians, the BC SPCA recently provided a large food donation to the Surrey Community Cat Coalition, which supports community cats and their caretakers in the Surrey area, as well as a few food banks in the region.

“By providing food donations like these, we’re able to ensure these cats are not overlooked during this crisis,” Nelson said.

“We are so grateful for the generosity and compassion of those who are dropping off donations of unopened dry and wet pet food,” she added. “It is so incredible to see our community pulling together to support one another in these challenging times.”

In the meantime, the Langley food banks also has a limited quantity of pet food it’s making available to registered clients, some of that coming from community donations and some from the Surrey SPCA.

Earlier this week, for instance, the Langley Food Bank received an unexpected delivery of cat and dog food from the Surrey SPCA. That delivery has ensured the local food bank can keep up with the needs of the growing number of clients walking in the door of the downtown Langley facility, said executive director Jim Calamunce.

“We’re very appreciative of the donation,” he said, noting that the community in general has stepped up to help with all types of food donations (including pet food) during this time when so many are suddenly out of work or their jobs have been curtailed and they can’t get by without help.

“The way people have really stepped up, that says a lot of about our community,” Calamunce said.

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This food bank is currently serving about 725 families, that includes about 45 who have joined since the COVID pandemic was announced in early March. Of those, about 35 to 40 per cent have pets, and Calamunce said receiving a couple days worth of pet food from the food bank lessens the stress and burden on local families.

This food bank is located at 5768 203rd St., and information and registration details are available online or by calling 604-533-0671.

Sources Langley Food Bank also gives out pet food, as it is available, and there is a good stock at present.

“Whomever has been donating to us has been very generous,” one volunteer said. Sources Food Bank is located in a new warehouse at #208 – 20445 62nd Ave. And information and registration details are available online.

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