VICTORIA -- The B.C. government is now offering financial support to animal care facilities and attractions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province says that the funding will go towards feeding animals and ensuring that all medical necessities are covered, as many facilities in the industry have had to close due to physical distancing guidelines.

“Facilities have been reporting a dramatic decrease in the donation of food, supplies and volunteers, and have been unable to hold fundraisers that support feeding their animals,” said the Ministry of Agriculture in a statement Tuesday.

Since the pandemic first began, wildlife recovery centres across Vancouver Island have called on the community to assist with donations.

The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRA), in Errington, recently turned to the community for help in taking care of more than 100 animals, including two orphaned black bear cubs that were taken into the facility this past month.

Meanwhile, the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin is also looking for financial donations or volunteers to assist amid the pandemic.

Animal facilities seeking funding from the province are asked to email to review their eligibility.

“Funding will be available for animal hygiene, habitat upkeep, veterinarian care, limited transportation and repairs to equipment required to ensure the welfare of the animals in care,” said the ministry.

“B.C. animal refuges and rehabilitation centres that lack the revenue to ensure animals in their care will not be in distress will also qualify for funding. This will allow their animals to have a stable food supply and any medication they need.”