Community bands together to replenish empty food shelves at Prince Albert SPCA

The Prince Albert firefighters union and charity were one of many community groups who donated to the SPCA. -- Prince Albert Firefighters/Facebook

Prince Albert is stepping up to revive the SPCA’s stash of dog food after a plea for help last week.

On Friday, the SPCA posted on Facebook that it was down to one bag of food. At the same time, an influx of dogs came into the shelter.

“Obviously, with a larger number of dogs, it means you go through food quite fast. But what we did not expect was all of the sudden we got slammed with 11 dogs that came in on the one day. Eleven more mouths to feed is a substantial difference,” said Manager Ashlee Bober.

She said it’s been “touching” to see support from the community, both from individual donations and from other organizations and businesses.

This includes the Saskatoon SPCA, Pet Planet, Pet Valu, PetSmart, Dufresne, Mann Northway and local firefighters.

Pet Planet provided a discount for firefighters purchasing food to donate to the SPCA. — Prince Albert Firefighters/Facebook

“It’s relieved a tremendous amount of stress on our team here not having to look at near empty shelves,” said Bober.

Reed Gunville is the president of the Prince Albert Firefighters Charity.

“It’s definitely a rewarding feeling for us, especially a local organization where you can see the benefits first-hand,” he said.

The union and the charity donated 21 bags of dog food worth about $1,000. A discount from Pet Planet allowed them to purchase more than anticipated.

“There’s definitely quite a few guys who have dogs and cats rescued from the SPCA. It’s always a good idea to rescue a dog if able because they have an influx – adopt, don’t shop,” said Gunville.

After staff at Mann Northway saw the post, they put out a call for people to bring in donations that they would match.

They received 700 pounds of pet food, donating a total of 1,400 pounds to the SPCA. This included a large donation of food from Dufresne that filled the back of an SUV.

“It feels very humbling,” said Kristen Bell, the dealership’s marketing manager.

“Everybody here, they’re animal people. We just enjoy being able to help where we can and we’re very community-driven.”

Mann Northway matched donations that were brought in for the SPCA. In total, they donated 1,400 pounds of pet food. — Kristen Bell/Submitted

One of the SPCA’s challenges, according to Bober, is that it’s difficult to prepare for an unpredictable number of animals in their care.

“We go through periods of time where adoptions are really high and dogs just seem to get adopted really quickly out of here, and then we have times where adoptions slow down and we’re not seeing as much movement,” she explained.

Currently, adoptions for dogs are quite low. It’s uncommon to see 11 dogs come to the shelter in a single day, said Bober.

The animals also have different feeding requirements, she said, depending on their age, weight and other health conditions, such as their teeth.

Bober said monetary donations are helpful to ease the cost of vet bills. If you can’t adopt, Bober said sharing social media posts allows the animals to go to their forever homes that much faster.

The SPCA also has an online 50/50 fundraiser going on. You can purchase tickets on the organization’s website.