With the economy being so bad, many people are finding it hard to feed their families. Some households are receiving food stamps and going to food pantries for the first time in their life. When these same families have pets, they have a hard time feeding these pets. Some are choosing to place the pets in shelters, or worse, just because they cannot afford to buy food for them.
If you find yourself in a position where you need to choose between food for your family or your pet, there is help out there in the form of pet food pantries. Pet food pantries have been springing up rapidly in the past few years, out of necessity. These pantries are run by caring people who volunteer their time so that hungry pets can eat.
Where Do Pet Food Pantries Get the Food?
Pet food pantries are non profit organizations that depend on donations and fund raising efforts to pay their bills and stock the shelves. Many of them hold pet related activities to raise money. Some even partner with pet adoption agencies.
Pet food pantries also rely heavily on the kindness of the general public. They may work with places like Petsmart or Petco, placing a large collection box in these pet stores, hoping that customers will purchase something to drop in.
Who Qualifies to Receive Assistance from Pet Food Pantries?
Most pet food pantries adhere to their own list of guidelines. As a general rule you will be asked to show an ID to prove residency, and you will have to show proof of income. Bi-State Pet Food Pantry, in Missouri, for instance will accept a food stamp card, Medicare letter, social security letter, or even a referral letter from a grocery food bank or a pastor.
Most pet food pantries have guidelines that states how many pets they will give you food for. They also have time guidelines as well. Some only let you get food for your pet once a month, while others may be more lenient, depending on the amount of pet food they have on hand.
Pet Food Pantries Assist With Other Needs
Some of these pet food pantries across the United States will assist you with other pet needs, depending on what they have on stock. You can sometimes get treats, shampoos, collars, leashes and even toys. Most of what they have to give away depends on what has been donated.
Some pet food pantries across the United States have special funds set aside, by donations and grants, to assist low income families with veterinarian care for their pets. Veterinarians also volunteer their time, at certain pantries, for wellness checks or shots for pets. This may be a free service or the pet owner may have to pay a small fee. This will differ from pantry to pantry and not all pantries have this type of service available.
Ask for Help to Keep Your Pet
If you, or someone you know, is having a hard time buying enough food for your pets, check this list of pet food pantries to see if there is one close to you. Don’t make the heart breaking decision to get rid of your beloved pet because you cannot afford to buy pet food.
Help is out there, and it is the goal of these pet food pantries to keep pets with their owners. Even food once a month will help you afford to keep your pet with you. It will ease your financial burden and your pet can become a joy again, not just another mouth to feed!
List of Pet Food Pantries
Bi State Pet Food Pantry, Mo