On Tuesday, the government said dozens of animal attractions and animal-care facilities, including those operated by the BC SPCA, have closed to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
But as a result, those facilities are reporting a big drop in financial donations and volunteers, and that some have been unable to hold fundraisers to support feeding their animals.
“Funding will be available for animal hygiene, habitat upkeep, veterinarian care, limited transportation and repairs to equipment required to ensure the welfare of the animals in care,” the province said in a news release.
“B.C. animal refuges and rehabilitation centres that lack the revenue to ensure animals in their care will not be in distress will also qualify for funding,” said the release.
This month, the Animal Food Bank told Global News that it donated an average of 100 to 150 pounds of pet food a week.
During the last three weeks, though, that number has surged to around 500 pounds of dry food plus 100 cans of wet food a week.
“It’s quite an intensive increase,” said Nicole Wilks of the Animal Food Bank.
Added Meranda Dussault of the BC SPCA Vernon branch: “The SPCA wants to make sure that during this crisis time, that families are not having to make difficult decisions of re-homing their pets because they’re unable to financially afford them.
“We want to make sure that we can help any family that is financially struggling with feeding their pets at this time.”