Increased demand for emergency pet boarding at Okanagan SPCA shelters

The B.C. SPCA is reporting an increase in the number of people looking for emergency boarding for their pets.

“When it comes to emergency boarding right now, across the province, actually, we are seeing an uptick in requests coming through,” said Sean Hogan, Kelowna branch manager.

According to the SPCA, the increase in animals needing emergency boarding is linked directly to an increase in the number of people escaping domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic, along with social isolation.

“Reasons people are giving is that they are leaving a domestic assault or leaving an abusive situation,” Hogan told Global News.

The animal organization said prior to the pandemic, the B.C. SPCA would take in, on average, two animals per week provincially under its emergency boarding program.

That number has now increased to eight or 10 every week.

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The provincial numbers don’t come as a surprise to Hogan, who said he’s witnessing it first hand.

Many SPCA shelters also report an increased demand for help with feeding pets during the pandemic as many families are financially strapped.

At the Kelowna branch, cat food and litter is particularly needed.

Anyone who is able to donate those items is asked to contact the branch.

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