Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

 April 1, 2014

A duck tangled in a six-pack ring, unable to fly. A skunk stuck in a plastic jar, slowly starving to death. Every day, wild animals are hurt or killed by our trash.

“Some people just don’t see the harm in littering,” says Meghann Cant, BC SPCA animal welfare educator. “The truth is even a single piece of litter can be very dangerous.” Trash on the ground harms birds and land animals, but can also wash into storm drains and eventually end up in streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, where it causes further injury to aquatic animals.

With Earth Day approaching, now is the perfect time to take action for wildlife. Why not start with a community clean-up? “Ask your family, friends or coworkers to join you in a shoreline clean-up, and be part of the global effort to rid our beaches and oceans of trash,” suggests Cant. Visit for details. “You can also commit to picking up litter by adopting a street, trail, park or section of highway,” Cant adds. Check out your city’s website for more information on your local Adopt-a-Program.

For other ways to make a day-to-day difference for wildlife, Cant suggests taking these simple actions:

  Support bees. Plant a diverse selection of native vegetation. Bees like visiting gardens where there are many different types of plants to gather pollen and nectar from. Planting flowers that bloom at different times of the year attracts different types of bees. Large patches of a single type of flower allow bees to forage in one spot without having to fly very far from flower to flower.

Help migrating birds. Turn off the lights in your office building when everyone leaves for the day. During the night, birds are drawn to the artificial sky glow produced by excessive overnight lighting. They flutter around the lights until they drop from exhaustion or collide with the buildings themselves. Find out more at

  Dispose of oil properly. Wild animals can become oiled, even in the city. Take oil and other harmful chemicals to your local hazardous waste or recycling depot. Remember, anything dumped down street sewers – oil included – goes directly into waterways without treatment.

Keep cats indoors or create a screened outdoor cat enclosure. Marauding outdoor cats indiscriminately kill thousands of birds, mammals and reptiles every year. Spring is when baby birds and mammals are especially vulnerable to cat predation.

Conserve water. Take short showers instead of baths and only turn the water on for brief periods while brushing your teeth or doing the dishes. Wildlife relies on water, just like we do!

  Support Wild ARC. Wild ARC is the BC SPCA’s wildlife rehabilitation centre on Vancouver Island. The centre cares for more than 2,000 injured and orphaned wild animals every year, 80 per cent of whom have come into conflict with people. Wild ARC runs exclusively on public donations. A gift of only $25, for example, will help care for an orphaned baby squirrel.

When your actions reduce the risk of a wild animal getting hurt or even killed, you have made a difference, Cant says. “Keeping up the good habits you adopt for Earth Day will benefit wildlife year-round!”

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

Don’t have email? Don’t worry! Call us at 1-800-665-1868


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