About 55 Victoria Humane Society (VHS) clothing donation boxes will be removed across Greater Victoria after vandals started removing the boxes’ contents and leaving the donations in disarray on the ground.
VHS Executive Director Penny Stone says before COVID-19, the organization received about 10 per cent of funding from the boxes, but during the pandemic, with fundraisers and events cancelled, the boxes became an even more vital source of income.
But when the businesses and organizations who provide rent-free spaces for the boxes started finding the contents strewn about each morning, VHS was forced to begin removing them.
“We were already getting nailed with not being able to have fundraisers… where we usually make enough money to survive for the year,” Pound said.
Donations are down but Stone speculated that COVID-19 is causing a growing need for the non-profit’s services. In one month, 12 animals were surrendered because owners could not afford required emergency medical care. It’s a need Stone expects to continue, if not rise.
“People who normally, maybe would have kept their animals, they can’t anymore. They have car payments, mortgage payments. And most of these animals will need longer term care down the road.”
Stone points to Elliot, a golden retriever puppy brought in with pneumonia in July. If he survives, the pup will need life-long medical support for reduced lung capacity and scarring.
“You’re committing to a long-term commitment of health care needs,” Stone said of a potential forever family for Elliot. But for now, VHS is picking up the tab.
For those who can, Stone encouraged contributing a monthly donation to VHS.
“Even $10 a month goes a long way for us,” she said.
For more information visit victoriahumanesociety.com.