As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, animal shelters around the world are struggling to supply the volume of pet food they need to feed the animals in their care during this extended crisis – facing shortages, shipping delays, and high numbers of abandoned pets. Wishbone Pet Food, one of the largest New Zealand-based pet food manufacturers, announced that it will donate 7,800 meals for dogs, and 6,500 meals for cats to SPCA International. An international animal welfare organization, SPCA International will arrange for the shipment and delivery of the pet food to shelters in need in the U.S. and Canada. Wishbone Foods’ donation – totaling more than 5,000 pounds of pet food and with a value of over $20,000 – marks the largest pet food donation SPCA International has received in its history. 

SPCA International will be distributing Wishbone’s donation of 14,300 meals to dogs and cats in need in Michigan, New York, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Recipient organizations listed below are all experiencing financial strain from the coronavirus economic shutdown and a decrease in volunteerism due to social distancing requirements. The food donations will allow the shelters to save the cash they have on hand for emergency veterinary care and to purchase other critical supplies.

Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) has over 150 animals in its care. In addition to this sizeable donation of pet food, they will receive a grant from SPCA International to support the needs of its animals during the coronavirus crisis. 

Putnam County SPCA is responsible for enforcing animal cruelty laws, housing animals seized from unfit living conditions and community education in Putnam County, NY. This donation will help local residents who are struggling to feed their pets during the coronavirus outbreak. 

SPCA Ouest serves the animals west of Montreal, Quebec. They pride themselves on being a no-kill shelter that accepts all surrenders and rescues in need. 

Healing Animal Scars is a foster-based cat rescue in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia dedicated to saving stray cats and matching them with the best forever homes. They will use the cat food donation to feed stray cat colonies in their area.  

Quotes: 

Warren Rickard, President, USA, of Wishbone, said, “Wishbone is dedicated to providing dogs and cats around the world with highly nutritious food from New Zealand. With so many animals in need during these uncertain times, we are honored to partner with SPCA International to ensure homeless dogs and cats are not overlooked. Because pets are family!”

Meredith Ayan, Executive Director of SPCA International, said, “We are so thrilled to receive this extraordinarily generous donation from Wishbone Pet Food. These meals for dogs and cats will provide vital relief for organizations in desperate need of it in the U.S. and Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted animal shelters around the world, and we thank Wishbone for allowing us to help so many homeless pets at this time.” 

Kelley LaBonty, Executive Director of Detroit Animal Welfare Group, said, “We’re very excited to have help in this intense time and are so grateful to Wishbone Food and SPCA International for making this possible. As we struggle to pay our employees as local businesses shut down, we have desperately needed food and supplies to keep ensure our animals stay safe and well during this pandemic. This donation is a huge help.” 

Remi Brazeau, Executive Director of SPCA Ouest, said, “With the 24 dogs and 55 cats we still have in the shelter and the heavy veterinarian restrictions the government imposed on us, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. We need to keep caring for these animals, have no vetting available, and donations and revenue have now reached a new low. This food donation will most definitely help. Thank you!”

With many cities having issued shelter-In-place orders, including Seattle, where Wishbone’s U.S. Headquarters are based, Wishbone is determined to keep pets around the country safe and healthy. SPCA International is part of a growing list of nonprofit organizations Wishbone supports, including Marley’s Mutts, Labelle Foundation and numerous other pet rescue and foster groups.

SPCA International is funding emergency grants for numerous animal shelters around the world affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit https://www.spcai.org/news/press/covid-19-animals-in-urgent-need-in-heavily-affected-areas