The Nova Scotia SPCA is turning to the public for help after the theft of several crates of dog and cat food from its Dartmouth shelter just before Christmas.
"When you lose the quantity of food of that size, it hurts," said Sandra Flemming, director of animal care for the Nova Scotia SPCA.
Flemming said a large stock of dry and wet food is stored in a shed behind the Dartmouth shelter. On December 23rd, someone broke in and stole most of the inventory.
"It was a significant hit for us," she said. "We've had the building back there for probably five or six years, and we've never had concerns."
The SPCA feeds 6,000 animals per year across the province, and receives no government funding. Flemming said they're asking the public for monetary donations.
"We can't feed a lot of donated food to our animals because they need that continuous diet," Flemming 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 all kinds of issues for us."
She said people who want to help can make a financial donation through the organization's website or by texting "SPCA" to the number 4-10-10 to donate $20. Due to the pandemic, the organization is asking people to not stop by in person at this time, unless they are hoping to adopt a pet.
Flemming said they didn't contact the police and are not looking for the perpetrators because they feel it was an act of desperation.
"If someone's 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 posted details of the theft on social media Friday, more than two weeks after it happened.
Flemming said the organization had initially decided not to share information about the robbery with the public at first, but then decided to use it as a chance to spread the word about the services offered to pet owners in need.
"The best thing to do if pet owners find themselves in an overwhelming situation is to reach out to us for assistance," she said. "We have a free pet pantry for families that are in crisis."
"We just wanted to make sure that people knew that they can just call if they need [pet] food, if they need litter. We're here."
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