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Kamloops' pet food bank suspected theft at evacuation centre

The Four Paws Food Bank at the Kamloops evacuation centre has been hit by an apparent theft.
August 04, 2017 - 2:49 PM

KAMLOOPS - A group of Kamloops volunteers who have been providing wildfire evacuees with pet supplies for the past few weeks has been hit by an apparent theft.

Four Paws Food Bank co-founder Bonnie McBride says overnight between Wednesday and Thursday this week, someone picked up all of the food bank's cat litter, dog food and cat food from their makeshift donation centre at the Sandman Centre.

"I would say definitely a truckload, at least, went out overnight," McBride says. "All of our litter, which is unusual because it was definitely the least valuable of all of the things that were there, but it was closest to the stairs. All of the dry cat food that was out, and a good amount of dog food was taken."

McBride says an evacuee staying in the parking lot of the Sandman Centre with his pet approached the group yesterday, Aug. 4, to say he had seen someone with a truck and trailer loading supplies overnight.

Although the service was set up to be as low-barrier as possible and for people to be able to access food and supplies after hours, McBride says it ran on the honour system for those who truly needed it. She doesn't believe this could have been someone loading up supplies to bring to areas where evacuees are now allowed back home.

"We’ve definitely had people reach out to us and say 'I am headed to the Ashcroft band, can I take stuff with me'," McBride says. "We’ve already been doing lots of that and working with other organizations and individuals, and this doesn’t seem quite like that."

The RCMP is aware of the alleged theft, McBride says, and they are anticipated to do extra drive-bys of the food bank's set up at the Sandman Centre.

But now that Four Paws is about four weeks in to giving out pet supplies and food to evacuees, they were already running short on food and cat litter before the thief or thieves struck.

"If they had taken a truck load of things two weeks ago we probably wouldn’t even have been able to notice," she says. "When they took it, we were already struggling to meet the demands of the people from Clinton who have been coming in, as well as the people from... areas that haven’t been allowed back yet and are coming in every couple of days."

Absorbent Products in Kamloops has already donated seven or eight pallets of cat litter in the weeks prior, McBride says, but they're set to deliver more now that Four Paws is running even lower on supply. The SPCA in Kamloops has also stepped up and is sending down cat food today.

If you want to donate to Four Paws, head down to the Sandman Centre with cat, dog, kitten or puppy food, or cat litter.

"We’re disappointed that this would happen but this is a service we provide," she says. "If someone needed that stuff, we would have given it to them. It’s not going to deter us from keeping our service at the park. We have no intention of changing it in any way."

"Onward and upward. We’ll make out alright. We’ll continue to support evacuees even if we have to buy them food."

The alleged theft was brought to Purina Canada's attention, and they have offered to help.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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