Up to 12,000 pounds of pet food is on the way for communities such as Lytton, 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House, Williams Lake, Burns Lake, Kitwanga and Gingolx. (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo) (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo)

Up to 12,000 pounds of pet food is on the way for communities such as Lytton, 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House, Williams Lake, Burns Lake, Kitwanga and Gingolx. (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo) (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo)

From Delta with love, Maggie Ferguson helps northern pet owners with food

Animal sanctuary owner leads efforts in delivering thousands of pounds of pet food

Lower mainland resident Maggie Ferguson works hard to ensure cats and dogs in B.C.’s Central Interior and North do not go hungry.

After distributing roughly 27,000 pounds of pet food last year, the Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary owner in Delta is preparing to deliver by mid-March to Lytton, 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House, Williams Lake and Burns Lake.

Dry and wet food is also bound for the Indigenous communities of Kitwanga and Gingolx located more than 1,200 kilometres away.

“I did animal rescue for 40 years now and what I saw was that the northern communities weren’t getting the help that they needed with food,” Ferguson said.

“People were having a difficult time—they don’t want their animals to starve, and instead of letting that happen, they would share whatever meager amount they had with their animals,” she said, calling it a double-edged sword.

“They would also go hungry trying to feed their pets, so I decided that I was going to try to do something about that.”

READ MORE: B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

With her unwavering dedication to helping four-legged friends in need, Ferguson approached various stores and distributors asking if she could take their pet food products that were either damaged or nearing expiration.

This will mark the twelfth year Ferguson has collected pet food in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley and hauled it back to her Delta farm, where it is sorted, packaged and placed into large white bulk sacks by volunteers.

The sacks measuring nearly five feet high and four feet wide hold thousands of pounds of pet food and are placed on pallets in the back of a rented truck where drivers make their journey.

From there, it goes to women in various communities who store it on their properties and help get it out to pet owners who are in need as well as First Nation communities and organizations such as churches and food banks.

“I’ve made friends with women in all the communities up there,” Ferguson said.

“They’re hard workers, and they take their own time and their own vehicle, and they know their communities and who needs help.”

READ MORE: Dog’s surgery costs covered by generosity of residents in the Cariboo and afar

Ferguson not only does a pet food drive but provides loving homes to those either temporarily or permanently in need of one.

She works with Northern B.C. pet owners to have their pets spayed and shots up to date with their litters weaned before being adopted out in the Lower Mainland.

In 2019, an eight-year-old dog Rotweiller Bullmastiff named Dobby recuperated on Ferguson’s farm after Ferguson helped with the Cariboo-wide efforts and beyond for his owner Susanna Crocker to afford his life-saving surgery for a perineal hernia.

“Without the rescue partners I have up in the northern communities, I couldn’t do it,” Ferguson said.

“It wouldn’t work.”

We brought Tangerine down from up North and found her to be pregnant. She is with her foster mama right now and having her babies

Posted by Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary on Monday, February 22, 2021

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