Thanks to the growing popularity of pet food pantries and pet food drives around the country, more families can find hope and help for keeping their pets in their home when money becomes an obstacle.
The cost of dog food can become overwhelming when the bills are stacking up, especially in today’s economy. As a result, financial difficulty was found to be a top reason for surrendering a pet to a shelter, according to recent animal welfare statistics from Best Friends Animal Society. It’s difficult to even think about anyone going through the experience of giving up their pet, but organizations across the country are finding ways to make a difference in keeping pets and their people together.
Running a pet food pantry or organizing a pet food drive serves the community on multiple levels. The most obvious benefit is connecting hungry pets with available food. Even with social distancing requirements due to COVID, many pet food banks have continued their services by offering drive-thru pick ups, scheduled pickup times or drop-offs by request. Bags of dog food can get pretty heavy, so volunteers who are willing to provide delivery services are a huge help to seniors or pet parents with health issues.
Pet food pantries benefit shelters and rescue groups by providing low or no-cost food for the pets in their care. Donated food fills food bowls while allowing these organizations to spend their limited funds on other expenses. Another indirect but important result is that when families are able to keep their pets, spaces in the shelter are kept open for serving homeless and other pets in need. In this way, pet food banks are helping more than just those they are feeding.
To get involved, you can start by searching the term “pet food bank near me.” You can make a financial donation, bring unopened, unexpired pet food to the distribution location, volunteer your time and help spread the word on your own social media.
Especially during the holiday season, donating to a pet food drive is a great way celebrate the season of giving. Every generous gift of time or money will be appreciated by people and pets in our community and provide for organizations who support pets in need year ‘round.