Billions of children and nine reindeer keep Santa busy every Christmas but he never forgets the cats and dogs of the Downtown Eastside.
“It started out as a small enterprise and it’s really grown over the years,” said B.C. SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk.
“It’s really about making sure people who maybe don’t have the same resources as others but really love their pets are able to provide for their pets.”
For Christmas, the food bank holds a special event (it was on Dec. 19 this year) but it also opens its doors every Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon. It runs a free veterinarian clinic on the last Thursday of each month. About 200 people come by for food and supplies each week.
Veterinarians volunteer their time, running a free clinic where they provided vaccinations, exams and pet care tips for each cat or dog’s needs.
“It’s really fun to see how much joy people get out of having their pets’ photo taken with Santa,” Chortyk said.
“Anyone who has a pet knows how much joy they bring into our lives and so to help these people just have a merrier Christmas with their pets, it’s really a good feeling.”
Chortyk said the B.C. SPCA is grateful for any donations of food or supplies to its Vancouver branch. Cash donations can be made at any branch.