BC SPCA’s Kelowna branch has been kept busy throughout the pandemic as community members stepped up to adopt animals. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

Kelowna BC SPCA busy throughout pandemic

Branch manager Sean Hogan said they have a good problem right now

The community has answered the call when it comes to supporting vulnerable animals.

That’s according to BC SPCA Kelowna branch manager Sean Hogan. He said the branch has been very busy throughout the pandemic as pet adoption applications flooded in.

“What we’re seeing right now is we can’t keep enough animals in the shelter because they’re getting adopted super fast,” he said.

“I just spoke with my colleagues in the Okanagan and the Kootenays, and we’re all experiencing the same thing. As soon as we flip the switch on an animal to be available for adoption, whether they’re a cat, dog, rabbit, or chinchilla, they get adopted very very quickly.

Hogan said it’s a good problem to have, but it’s also a challenge.

“People are contacting us by phone or email and they very much want to help by adopting but we simply don’t have enough animals available in the shelters to accommodate that.”

As an essential service, BC SPCA branches all remained open but public access to the shelters has been restricted to keep staff and volunteers safe. Hogan said this meant they had to focus on helping the most vulnerable animals at the shelter, and keeping animals that people can re-home out of the shelter.

“Where people could find homes on their own and not use as a resource, that’s been helpful because we’ve been able to help more emergency-oriented boarding or emergency adoptions or intakes. It’s a very different field to work in right now.”

To help keep COVID-19 transmission low, Hogan said they have now moved the adoption process online. Those who want to adopt can look through the BC SPCA’s site and see animals available for adoption, after which they will fill out an application form, and staff will call or set up virtual meetings with potential adopters.

Right now, the Kelowna branch’s biggest need is to keep their animal food bank running.

“We’re asking people to drop off unopened cat food, dry and wet, as well as litter. We actually have a surplus of dog food, so that’s been good. People have been thinking of the dogs and that’s been amazing. However, we’re really short on cat food,” he said.

“The need for families that are not working (is big). They’re finding it tough to make ends meet, including getting food or litter for their animals and this is how we’re helping.”

Those who are able to donate pet food or litter are asked to drop off the donations at the BC SPCA’s Kelowna branch during opening hours.

For more information on donating as well as adoptions, visit the BC SPCA’s website.

READ: Province looks to seize Kelowna home owned by alleged drug trafficker

READ: VIDEO: Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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