The Parksville-Qualicum Beach and District SPCA and Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army joined forces to help pet owners and their beloved animals. (Submitted photo)

The Parksville-Qualicum Beach and District SPCA and Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army joined forces to help pet owners and their beloved animals. (Submitted photo)

COVID-19: Groups set up program to help Parksville Qualicum Beach pet owners

SPCA, Salvation Army team up to provide for beloved animals

The Parksville-Qualicum Beach and District SPCA has partnered with Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army Food Bank to provide the Outreach Pet Food Program for pet guardians affected by the pandemic.

While the provincial branch of the SPCA has provided pet food whenever possible to people in need, the branch has now been able to expand their pet food program to reach more people during current difficult times.

“We have all gone through challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has had a financial impact on many families,” says Nadine Durante, manager of the BC SPCA in Parksville-Qualicum Beach. “Thanks to an increasing amount of food donations from our generous community, we are able to better support pet guardians and their pets during the pandemic through this partnership.”

The organizations teamed up in April, and since then, the branch has been able to deliver more than 880 kilograms and 500 cans of pet food to 300 cats and dogs each month.

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“Our clients often struggle to sustain themselves, and frequently have very little to feed their pets, and we have found that the less fortunate in our community have little to call their own, except for their furry friends,” said Bonnie Brown, business manager at the Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army Food Bank. “Pets who are cared for and well-fed are happier and healthier. With the support of BC SPCA, our Food Bank clients can continue to keep their beloved family pets with them, where they belong.”

Brown adds pets can provide comfort and an important emotional bond, which reduces stress and improves well-being for their clients.

“In some cases, their pets are everything to them,” she said.

The response has been so positive, Durante said with the continued support of the community they have full intentions of continuing the program past the COVID-19 pandemic.

For specific information and contact information for the Parksville Food Bank go to: parksvillesalvationarmy.ca/services/food-bank

— NEWS Staff

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