The BC SPCA says it helped a record number of animals in need across the province in 2021.
General manager of communications, Lorie Chortyk, says, amid the ongoing pandemic and unprecedented natural disasters, the BC SPCA helped 118,917 domestic, farm and wild animals — nearly 22,000 more than in 2020.
“We saw increases in the number of animals in need right across the board, from our cruelty investigations work to injured and orphaned wildlife to the increased demand for help at our veterinary hospitals and clinics,” said Chortyk in a release Monday.
She says 39,366 were assisted through direct rescue, sheltering and rehabilitation, while 79,551 others were owned animals helped through emergency response and community-based outreach programs.
The organization also expanded its community pet food programs, helping 34,141 animals, and provided 12,418 nights of free emergency boarding for families and their pets displaced by wildfires and floods.
In addition to hands-on care for animals, the SPCA says it also worked to protect animals through advocacy campaigns on mink farming, fur farming, fireworks, live horse export, the exotic wildlife trade, rodenticides, wildlife poisoning, wolf culls and efforts to improve Codes of Practice for farm animals in Canada.
“Our experts provided 20 policy submissions to government and other organizations on animal protection issues, and our supporters took more than 74,000 actions through our campaigns to speak up for animals,” said Chortyk.
Despite the pandemic affecting traditional humane education programs for youth, the society has also been able to expand its programming beyond the shelters.
“So many new kids have joined our summer camps, school presentations, animal clubs and workshops through virtual learning.”
In 2021, the SPCA says it provided education programs for more than 5,000 B.C. youth, engaged 6,000 children in the BC SPCA Kids Club and provided animal welfare lesson ideas and resources for 6,000 educators.
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