With the economy what it is, animal shelters have been seeing a large increase in people dumping their pets off because they can’t afford to feed them. Of course, nearly all of said pets are euthanized. In light of that situation, a few years ago an organization was formed here in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area called Bi-State Pet Food Pantry. Like pantries for people, they accept donations of food, cat litter, blankets, and the like, and give it out once a month. Participants must provide a list of pets owned, proof that the animals were spayed/neutered and vaccinated, and sign a statement saying that they won’t get any more pets (there might be a waiver if one of your pets dies; I don’t know). I imagine some sort of proof of low-income status must also be provided. I think they even deliver supplies to the disabled.
At any rate, it’s been a success, and I hope it serves as an inspiration to other communities. I’ve mentioned it on here in the past, but what made me think of it is that the other day I read about another program to keep people and their pets together. This one is aimed at keeping victims of domestic violence together with their pets. “Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T)™ is the first and only global initiative guiding domestic violence shelters on how to house families together with their pets. SAF-T enables more domestic violence victims to leave abusive households without leaving their pets behind and at risk. SAF-Talso recognizes the human-animal bond and that family pets can provide comfort, reassurance and healing to adult and child survivors.”
What a brilliant idea! Just the sort of thing we need more of. To read more about the program, and look at the rather horrifying statistics, check out their website, http://alliephillips.com/saf-tprogram/, and perhaps inform your local violence shelter about it.