The Nova Scotia SPCA is turning to the public for help after several crates of dog and cat food were stolen from a Dartmouth shelter just before Christmas.
“When you lose that amount of food, it hurts,” said Sandra Fleming, director of animal welfare at the Nova Scotia SPCA.
Fleming said that a large stock of dry and wet food was stored in a shed behind the Dartmouth Refuge. On December 23, someone broke into and stole most of the inventory.
“It was a huge blow to us,” she said. “The building was rebuilt there for probably five or six years, and we never had concerns.”
The SPCA feeds 6,000 animals annually across the county, and receives no government funding. Fleming said they are asking the public for financial donations.
“We can’t feed a lot of donated food to our animals because they need this constant diet,” Fleming said. “We can’t feed them different bags of dog and cat food all the time because it upsets their stomachs, and it can cause us all kinds of problems.”
She said people who want to help can make a financial donation through the organization’s website or by texting “SPCA” to 4-10-10 to donate $20. Due to the pandemic, the organization is asking people not to stop in person at this time, unless they are hoping to adopt a pet.
Fleming said they did not call the police nor are they looking for the perpetrators because they feel it was an act of desperation.
“If someone is stealing animal food, we hope it’s because they need it, not because they’re going to do something like sell it,” she said.
The SPCA published details of the theft on social media on Friday, more than two weeks after it occurred.
Fleming said the organization initially decided not to share information about the theft with the public at first, but then decided to use it as an opportunity to spread the word about the services offered to pet owners in need.
“The best thing to do if pet owners find themselves in a difficult situation is to reach out to us for help,” she said. “We have a free pet store for families in crisis.”
“We just wanted to make sure people knew they could only call if they needed to [pet] Food, if they need to litter. we are here.”
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