The holidays are a time for giving, whether it's a gift for a loved one or giving back to the community, including furry friends.
Those looking to give back over the holidays can help out pets and their owners through a local pet food bank and toy drive.
Charlie's pet food bank provides free and low-cost pet services for homeless, low-income, and senior pet owners in the Downtown Eastside.
The pet food bank is a community-based, volunteer-operated initiative created by BC SPCA and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank in 2000, and is named after a starving dog that came into their animal hospital in critical condition.
"Sadly, we weren’t able to save Charlie, and he passed away after three weeks of intensive care," writes the food bank web page. Yet, Charlie's memory continues to live on through helping other pets in need.
All pet food and supplies that Charlie's provides, including treats, litter and litter boxes, toys, collars and leashes, beds, pet carriers, and dog coats, are donated. The pet food bank also offers pet services including grooming, dog training tips, and subsidized spay or neuter for pets who qualify.
BC SPCA is also accepting donations to a holiday toy drive that go towards Charlie's. Those wanting to donate directly to the food bank are welcome to drop off pet food, cat litter, hay, or cash donations.