spcaLA animal shelters are facing food shortages

An animal care tradition dating back to the 1800s is in jeopardy during the 2023 holiday season as food shortages risk serious issues for the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (spcaLA).

The non-profit animal welfare organization has been serving Southern California since 1877 through a variety of services. At offices throughout the region, spcaLA donates to the nutrition, health, and enrichment of a multitude of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens. The most important task, keeping the animals fed, is in increasing danger as the holidays approach.

“With the growing number of homeless and abandoned pets in our care, we are facing a critical shortage,” said spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein. “We need about 33 tons of food to make it through the year.”

The organization is making an “urgent appeal” to local residents to donate pet food or the funds to look for food. Food donations can be dropped off at any of the four spcaLA locations during business hours, and the group has a “wish list” Website dedicated to the essentials.

“In some of these wish lists, we indicate the kind of food we might like,” said spcaLA marketing and communications director Ana Bustilloz. “But frankly, if it’s sealed food, of decent quality, we’re more than happy to take it… of course, the better quality food, the longer it lasts and the better for our animals, but when we’re talking about human generosity, we’re in happy to take what they have to offer.”

Bustilloz added that spcaLA “had a really big year” like other shelters, and has seen recruitment numbers steadily increase.

“We have a lot of animals on hand to feed, especially a lot of large breed dogs that eat a bit more,” he said. “And we’ve assessed how much food we have and how much we need, and we’ve run out. We thought this would be a good time to reach out to people this season in hopes that they would support our shelter pets.”

Local help is also needed during the holidays, including the city of Santa Monica’s animal shelter, which takes in about 500 each year. The Santa Monica Animal Shelter Foundation recently launched a pet sponsorship program on her website where anyone can donate to a specific animal that will help with veterinary care, medicine and food.

Shelter Foundation President Elizabeth Noble told the Daily Press in November that they had to “reach in more than ever” late to buy food and supplies, as well as cover the cost of spaying/neutering and veterinary care. Donations to the group can be made atsmasf.org. For more information about spcaLA, visitspcala.com.

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