SPCA helping Alberta’s rural residents feed their animals

‘Help for Animals’ is aimed at providing food for horses, livestock and pets so owners can keep them on their property

Alberta’s SPCA has launched a campaign to help animal owners who may be running low on feed because of the pandemic.

“The program is designed to help people keep their animals on their property,” said Dan Kobe, communications manager for the Alberta Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals.

“We don’t expect we’ll hear from large-scale producers because they will have a plan well in advance to feed their animals until pastures open up. We think we may hear from smaller farmers or hobby farmers who have some animals on their property, likely work off the land, but who may not be working now and may be having trouble feeding the handful of animals they have right now on their property.”

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The “Help for Animals” campaign, which began in the second week of April, has already assisted people with alpacas and chickens. Horse owners running low on hay but who can’t yet turn out their animals on pasture may also benefit from the program.

“We’re asking farmers or anyone to give us a call and we’ll talk to them about what their challenges are and we’ll see what we can do to get them food if necessary,” Kobe said.

The Alberta SPCA also has food available for cats and dogs, but the program is focused on rural residents.

“Our goal is to make sure that people can take care of animals on their properties until things improve and they do not have to surrender their animals because that is a concern,” said Kobe. “Shelters aren’t in the position to take care of animals that people can no longer take care of.”

The organization is also helping people who are in self-isolation or who are ill.

The Alberta SPCA can be reached at 1-833-621-0725 (from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily) or through albertaspca.org.

About the author

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Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, Alexis is also the author of two collections of poetry, a biography, and a novel called "Mad Cow."

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