When times are tough for people, times are just as tough for their pets.
In fact, sometimes personal budget issues get so bad that people and their pets are required to part ways. If a family is struggling just to put food on it's own table, that sometimes means Fido and his food dish have to go.
The struggle to keep beloved pets properly fed and at home, is the driving force behind a new wave of free pet food programs which is beginning to take hold across the country.
In some instances, the free pet food programs are initiated by local animal control and animal shelter agencies. Such is the case with a well received pet food program thriving in Floyd County, Ga.
Floyd County Animal Control was witnessing a startling increase in the number of surrendered animals due to economic conditions. It was decided that a free pet food assistance program might help many people keep their pets fed and at home.
With generous assistance from a Georgia based food company, Floyd County Animal Control now makes free pet food available to people who can verify their income difficulties in any of a number of simple ways.
In Muskegon, Mich., a free pet food program was born through the efforts of a couple of full-time students who were having trouble affording the expense of feeding their two dogs. In addition to making free pet food available to owners of dogs and cats, Pet Pantry of Michigan accepts donations of food for other small mammals, aquatic pets, and reptiles.
Through it's network of donation centers and drop-off sites, Pet Pantry of Michigan also accepts donations of a full range of animal care products and also makes those items available to financially struggling pet owners. All a pet owner needs to do in order to take advantage of this free pet food program, is to show simple documentation which verifies their financial hardship.
The Food Bank for New York City, which has provided hunger relief to thousands of people, has also recently begun to provide free pet food to pet owners in dire straits. Staff there has recognized the importance of keeping families together with their pets.
The organization has indicated that the success of the program will be dependent upon a blend of donations and demand. At this point, Food Bank for New York City indicates that there is plenty of demand for the service.
It has been recommended that pet owners who are having trouble bearing the cost of feeding their pets should fully explore their options before parting with a beloved animal friend. Free pet food programs sometimes remain hidden in the shadows until you carefully look for them.
Local veterinarians and animal shelters should be contacted first about possible free pet food programs. Pet owners could also consider contacting local pet food retailers, animal control agencies, feed dealers, churches and even the local area chamber of commerce.
If all else fails, and a pet owner finds it necessary to surrender a household pet, it absolutely must be done in a controlled and responsible way. Please contact your local animal shelter or humane society for guidance in surrendering any domestic animal.
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