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  • Cheryl Cole

Purchase a kit filled with local pet products and get one given to a local rescue of your choice

With many Vancouverites actively looking for ways to support local right now, a new initiative by PawSwap has come up with a solution that allows dog owners to treat their pup to a package full of treats while also helping those in need in our community.



Dogs Supporting Local, which launched last week, was created to make supporting local easier than ever and to unite the dog community of Vancouver to make a real difference to those impacted by COVID-19.


Part of the initiative is monthly Dogs Supporting Local Kits, which are packed full of doggy essentials from local pet businesses. With each kit purchased, dog owners will have the option to donate a kit to a local rescue or pet food bank of their choice.


This month’s kits officially go on sale on Thursday, June 18th, but pet owners can join the waiting list today to secure one of a select number of kits available - and they are expected to sell out fast.


Each month, the kits will have an amazing selection of full-size local products from categories including Treats, Food, Poo Bags, Toys, Shampoos, Accessories and Supplements, all donated by local businesses that are in a position to help right now.


Although restrictions are beginning to loosen up across the province and stores are slowly reopening, the impact COVID-19 has had on the pet industry and dog community is here to stay. Reports that one-third of local businesses may not reopen their doors again due to the impact of COVID-19 inspired the PawSwap team to take action.


“COVID-19 has affected so many people in our local community here in Vancouver, whether it’s small businesses who are struggling to keep their doors open, or a friend or family member who has lost their job due to the pandemic,” explains Aliya Bhatia, CEO and Co-Founder of PawSwap. “We are so passionate about our community so obviously, we wanted to do something to help, which is why we created Dogs Supporting Local.


“We want as many dog owners as possible to be able to get one of these kits, and we understand that many people are struggling financially right now. So we are offering two different price points - $45 for those who only have the means to provide for their own pups right now, and $65 for those who are able to help," adds Bhatia.


"The products inside these kits are all full-sized doggy essentials from local BC companies with a value of over $85, and we know dog owners are going to love them!"


With the purchase of a kit at $65, dog owners can select a local rescue organization or pet food bank to receive a free kit.


Each month, dog owners will have the choice of three local rescues or pet food banks to donate their free kit to.



One of June's chosen organizations is the BC SPCA's Charlie's Pet Food Bank - a community-based initiative created to improve the lives of pets living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Charlie's provides free and low-cost pet services for low-income and senior pet guardians in downtown Vancouver.


Sarah Chee, Coordinator of Charlie’s Community Pet Resources at BC SPCA Vancouver Branch, explains how the purchase of Dogs Supporting Local kits can really help make a difference to the local community. "I am so excited to be working with PawSwap and Dogs Supporting Local! This will mean a great deal to the clients of Charlie's Pet Food Bank as their animals are able to get more support from our local community," she explains. "This initiative will be helping them through each day and the ability to provide the love and care for their animals that they deserve. I am truly excited for what is to come and I am sure our clients and their animals are too!"


Also Read: 7 dog-friendly Vancouver beaches you can enjoy this summer

The Dogs Supporting Local website is also accepting nominations for dog owners who need a little extra love right now to receive a kit completely free of charge. So if you have a dog-owning friend or neighbour who has been hit hard by COVID-19, and deserves something special, share their story and make their day with a kit that both they, and their pup, will love.


“The reaction so far has been great and we're delighted to see how much excitement there has been about the initiative, and about the kits especially," adds Bhatia, who is a Vancouver dog-owner herself. "The kits have such a great selection of high-quality local products that any pup will love, so we know they are going to be popular and we can’t wait to see the impact we will be able to make in the local community when we all come together.”


Join the waiting list today to secure your kit ahead of tomorrow's launch, and say thank you to your pup for being the best quarantine buddy with a Dogs Supporting Local Kit while helping someone in need.


Did you know that Dogs Supporting Local also provides an online Shop Local Guide to easily identify local pet businesses? Check out our recent article: Vancouver-based company provides dog owners with a guide to support local