Organizations That Feed Dogs When Owners Can’t

By Rose Springer

Organizations That Feed Dogs When Owners Can’t

In difficult times, dog lovers all over the country have separately rallied to make sure that no canine is left unfed. Grassroots pet food banks have sprung up in most regions, with local humane societies offering contact information for needy or infirm pet owners in their communities. Below, organizers and satisfied customers tell their stories and share tips on how to receive food bank services.

The Central Florida Animal Pantry
When Erica Wilson and her 9-year-old son, Zach, went to a Florida shelter to find a companion for their German shepherd-Labrador mix, Brandi, Zach found himself face-to-face with a problem he never knew existed: homeless dogs abandoned because their owners couldn’t afford to feed them.

“We knew we needed to do something,” says Wilson. What began as a Cub Scout food drive grew into a full-on food pantry in the spring of 2009, when a distribution location in Longwood, Fla., was donated for their use. They distribute an average of 600 pounds of food a week, much of it donated by major manufacturers.

“We meet people from all walks of life here, from those who’ve struggled all their lives to those who aren’t used to asking for help, but now have no other choice,” says Wilson. The organization provides food to the disabled and elderly as well.

We All Love Our Pets (WALOP)
Meals on Wheels has a reputation for feeding homebound seniors, but since 2006, they’ve also offered the same service to their clients’ pets. WALOP was founded in recognition of the fact that companion animals are vital to the well-being of the elderly. It is a national initiative to focus attention on that vital relationship.

Estelle Bergman of Forest Hills, N.Y., has been relying on Meals on Wheels since she broke her ankle three years ago. “I am in no shape to carry home a 10-pound bag of food from the grocery store, and on a fixed income, it’s not easy to afford either. WALOP has taken care of my dog, Popcorn, as Meals on Wheels has taken care of me,” she says.

Save Our Pets Food Bank
In 2008, former CEO Ann King of Atlanta, Ga., had a 30,000-square-foot building and a dream. She wanted to fill her warehouse with pet food and hand it out to people who could no longer afford to feed their animals. King approached a local food pantry -- specializing in feeding people -- and asked if they could help her to distribute her wares. “They told me they didn’t think there was a need, which I knew was crazy,” she remembers.

King got going without them, and in the last three years her food bank has helped over 700 families and 200 rescue organizations and shelters in Georgia through donations from independent supporters and pet food manufacturers alike.

“I hear stories about the lengths people have gone to try to keep their pets with them,” says King. “One woman was boiling chickens and ladling the broth over rice she had for her dogs, just to provide them more protein. Meeting our clients makes me feel grateful.”

Getting Help

  • Locate a pet food pantry near you by calling your local humane society for contact information
  • Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered before applying, as many banks make this a requirement for membership. They will connect you to low-cost spay and neuter options if your pet has never been fixed.
  • Provide proof of income (or lack thereof). While the income caps at different pantries vary, most require some type of proof of financial hardship, be that a copy of your latest income tax return, a copy of your most recent pay stub, or papers such as a social security reward letter or a disability check stub.

Rose Springer is a New York City-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to The Dog Daily. She has been writing about pets for a decade. 

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Posted on March 10, 2012

Yulikuswanto says: Do you know , from a Vet . it is really mange ???It sodnus like my cats , have . toxin poisoning from the pet food , it is . milamine poison plus other toxins in the pet food , there was a recall , on .. 127 brands , & don't be fooled , because , the pet food is still on the shelf in the store , it doesn't mean , it wasn't recalled , it means , the pet food Co.'s , don't want to lose money . The cat will scratch , Her skin raw , losing , Her fur , small , crust , hard scales , around there neck & headthe Vet can't cure them , only treat the cat, to stop the itching , they used to think , it was a lot of things , hot spots , allergy to food , they know , now , it is toxin from pet food. FIRST .stop all pet food , feed only salmon .. on lable .make sure it say's ( wild catch .& made in the U.S.A. )SECOND ,,,,,,,,, your cat . needs medication, Steroids ,5 MG. & Atrax.. for the itch because , She is miserable ,you can feed Her . chicken livers , are cheap, chicken , hard boiled eggs , mashed up , Tuna fish .with .. No soy it , read your lables , I never used to , I do now , with 3 ill cats , one died this week , & we have to dogs , sick , but doing better , after the food change . Vasline , very lite on Her sore spots , & brush gentel , ( NO PAIN PILLS ,WILL KILL HER ) it is a hard , painful road , for your , Dear cat , but , I am still fighting to save the lives , of our animals , you can also buy ..grown turkey , they have .grown ."breast meat ", & the cheaper one , is grown turkey , just fry it up, cats have to have meat or fish , not a lot of fillers. I wish I could tell you a home cure , there is none , but , I want you to go to this sigh .. it will show you all the recalled pet food , was 127 , there are links to go to , to fill you in . there will be more recalls , as they test the food. there is a sight there , will help you , with , what to feed , you cat , putting itch cream , on Her , WON"T STOP , THE ITCH , on the ," IN SIDE ". I am learning too , I can tell you this , thousands of people will never trust Pet food again .the sight is . htt://wwwitchmoThere is also a link , bad food , for dogs or cats . I am praying .. for all our animals , keep searching , your cat is worth it , She has a soul too. ThelReferences : Vetitchmofriends

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