For the first time in four years, the cupboards for the SPCA’s Animeals program were bare. But that didn’t last for long once PEAK FM radio host Jolie McMullan found out.
Animeals is a donation-driven program that once a month provides pet food to people who are having trouble keeping their cats or dogs fed. It’s like a food bank for pets.
The third Saturday every month from 1–3 p.m. the SPCA hands out food to about 100 people registered in the Animeals program.
“In the last four years, this last month, October, was the first we were worried we wouldn’t be able to hand out food,” Port Alberni SPCA branch manager Irene Towell said.
When PEAK FM radio staff heard about Animeals’ dire straits they mentioned it on the air. Then someone from the Westwind Pub called to say she was on her way to pick up dog food to bring to the SPCA, and she challenged other businesses in the community to do the same.
The impromptu radiothon just took off, McMullan said.
“We had food dropped off from Little Valley Deli, Impressions Drywall, a group called ‘the drivers’, Westwind Pub, Dennis Jonsson and Wild West Watersports.”
The SPCA also picked up 10 bags each of dog and cat food from Fairway Market, Towell said.
As a result, not one of the 100 people on the Animeals list missed out last Saturday, Towell said.
The SPCA started the program four years ago to help people who are unable to feed their pets. “People get into life-changing situations,” Towell said. “When you have a family that has pets…it’s far better for us to be able to provide some food than for that family to surrender the pet.”
Anyone still wishing to help out Animeals may drop food off at the SPCA during operating hours Tuesday to Saturday.