Animal Food Bank challenges BC SPCA on transparency
Nearly one week after the Animal Food Bank reached out to the BC SPCA to express concerns over their food bank and fundraising efforts, many questions have still been left unanswered.
Nicole Wilks, Founder of the Animal Food Bank was left disheartened after reading a recent article about the BC SPCA seeing an increase in demand for their pet food banks.
The article suggests that more than 34,000 animals were assisted through the SPCA pet food banks last year alone and urges readers to donate.
However, the Animal Food Bank believes that the SPCA is not being transparent to donors about where their funds are actually going once received.
This is because the Animal Food Bank which is one of the SPCA’s partner organizations has never received a dollar from the SPCA, despite their food bank campaigns.
“We are looking for clarity from the BC SPCA”
“We are looking for clarity from the BC SPCA,” says Nicole, adding that since the article was shared, she’s requested information on how much money has been raised for the SPCA pet food bank programs and where it has all gone.
According to the SPCA, they currently serve 135 partner organizations but it’s unclear exactly who these organizations are.
Nicole, who has reached out to the SPCA about these concerns through multiple emails has had some replies but she says many of her concerns have not been addressed.
“The more I interact with the provincial office, the more I realize this is a problem with their leadership there,” she says.
“The branches themselves seem to have a good understanding of their programs. The issue seems to be that the delivery of those programs is routed through the provincial office.”
When asked for a full list of partners and total monetary donations raised for their pet food bank efforts, the SPCA would not give Nicole this information.
As a result, Nicole and the Animal Food Bank team have started a petition to push for transparency from the BC SPCA.
“I’ve received a lot of messages from other organizations in BC who have also had the BC SPCA try to intimidate them when they spoke up. I will not be intimidated,” added Nicole.
“My hope is that we will gain clarity for clients, ourselves, other partner organizations and donors on these programs and how they work.”
Nicole hopes that anyone who does support the BC SPCA starts asking the same questions in order to hold them accountable when delivering programs and raising funds.
“They’re very competitive with their donors and so they want to dangle organizations like ourselves in front of their donors in order to get that donation,” said Nicole.
“We are the pet food bank in Kelowna,” she said, referring to the Animal Food Bank.
Additionally, she hopes the BC SPCA will release guidelines on donated food and where it actually goes because she believes that most food donations do not go to shelter animals because they are on strict/specific diets.
“This is a little known secret of the SPCA. People should be made aware that their food cannot be used in shelter, and if they still wish to donate food, to let them have transparency on the organizations who will likely receive it,” explains Nicole. “Or, provide people with a list of organizations to direct their food donations to directly.”
We have reached out to the BC SPCA for comment but have had no response.
To sign the petition, click here.