BURLINGTON, ON–Despite food insecurity receiving national attention, pet food insecurity is another crisis that often goes unnoticed. According to Humane Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 42 percent increase in demand for community services, including pet food banks.

However, Humane Societies and SPCAs across Canada have experienced an up to 77 percent decrease in revenue during the pandemic, directly impacting the services these organizations are able to provide to the community, such as supplying pet food to families in need.

While many people have been forced to leverage food pantries and charitable organizations to feed their families, pet owners are experiencing similar difficulties when it comes to feeding their pets. These challenges may result in Canadians being forced to consider rehoming or relinquishing their beloved pets to animal shelters if they cannot afford to feed them.

To help keep more pets with their families, PetSmart Charities® of Canada has granted over $350,000 to help provide pet food and supplies for Canadians facing hardship due to the global pandemic.

“We are proud to make this commitment to help provide much-needed pet food and supplies to families in need across Canada,” said Aimee Gilbreath, President at PetSmart Charities of Canada. “By supporting animal welfare partners in their efforts to help provide for pet parents in need, our hope is more pets stay in the arms of families who love them.”

As part of their broader commitment, PetSmart Charities of Canada is providing vital support to Humane Canada with a $100,000 grant to help pet parents in need access pet food, positively impacting the quality of life for pets in homes affected by financial hardship. The grant will help Humane Canada create Canada’s first National Pet Food Bank system that will aim to support pet families in any financial crisis situation.

“It is no secret that the pandemic has brought on financial challenges for many Canadians,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO, Humane Canada. “Animal shelters throughout our country are reporting an increasing need from the community – particularly for pet food. As government support programs end, we anticipate more risk to companion animals of homelessness and abandonment,” concluded Cartwright.

In addition to the Humane Canada commitment, Toronto Cat Rescue and Community Veterinary Outreach will each receive $100,000 in support, with the remaining grant funds being shared with other local charity partners in regions across Canada.

To learn more about PetSmart Charities® of Canada or to donate, visit: PetSmartCharities.ca.

About Humane Canada
Humane Canada is the federation of SPCAs and humane societies, driving positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. To learn more about Humane Canada, please visit www.humanecanada.ca.

About PetSmart Charities® of Canada
PetSmart Charities® of Canada is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Each year, more than 500,000 generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart® Charities of Canada using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities® of Canada efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as a leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, granting more than $24.7 million since its inception in 1999. PetSmart Charities® of Canada is a registered Canadian charity, a member of Imagine Canada and is independent from the PetSmart business in Canada.

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