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Life is a constant cycle of ebbs and flows, and try as we might, it’s not always easy to avoid the low points. When families and kids are involved, even the little things can feel like overwhelming struggles. Add a dog into the mix, and sometimes tough decisions turn into the impossible.
When a family has hit a rough patch in life, whether it’s a friend’s, stranger’s, or even your own, what happens to the pets when necessities simply can’t be provided? What happens when a budget has no extra room for dog treats, much less dog food?
Should a family be forced to give up their pet just because they’ve hit a low point? If your dog is family, just like ours are, you’d probably answer “no.” Setbacks or financial struggles shouldn’t have to force you to part with a family member.
Fortunately, organizations with the exact same mindset exist. Just like food banks and nonprofits are in place to help humans, caring individuals have set them up to help pets, too. Whether you’re in need of help yourself, or are anxious to start helping others, the following information will guide you through taking the next steps.
What are Pet Food Banks?
When someone in the family loses a job, becomes sick, or can’t provide an income for some reason, help is available. However, assistance like food stamps, for example, won’t cover the whole family - specifically, the pets.
If you’ve formed a strong bond with your dog, you know there’s a reason to stay together during tough times - for both of you. Organizations who realize and respect those bonds have sprung up across the country and are actively providing assistance for pets in need.
The Colorado Pet Pantry, a pet food bank located in Boulder, Colorado, for example, offers help to families in both Denver and Boulder. They team up with human food banks who already have strong reputations in those areas and offer pet food to visitors in need.
Other pet food banks, like the Animal Haus Mobile Pet Food Pantry, operate independently of human organizations. The Mobile Food Pantry delivers pet food to neighborhoods in the Denver Metro area once per week.
How to Help
As nonprofit organizations, pet food banks are consistently in need of donations and support from the community, businesses, and individuals.
They seek help in the form of:
Pet toys, bones, and treats
Collars, leashes, crates, etc
If you’re looking to help, donating a single bag of dog food can go a long way in feeding another family’s pet. Old toys or collars your own dog has grown out of can be dropped off and reused.
Volunteering weekly or monthly is another excellent way to support pets in need. Food banks are always in search of people to sort and deliver donations, for example, among countless other tasks.
Beyond individual donations, pet food banks also operate with the assistance of pet stores and pet food companies. Often, if a bag of food on a pet store’s shelf is nearing expiration, they’ll donate to food banks. Products with torn or damaged packing can also be sent along.
Or, if a pet food company is rebranding, an entire aisle of perfectly good dog food might be pulled from the shelves.
When Red Barn Pet Products changed their logo, $130,000 worth of pet food would have been wasted had they not chosen to donate it to The Colorado Pet Pantry. In this pantry’s case, due to a lack of warehouse space for such a large donation, it was shared between 15 partner organizations across the whole state of Colorado. The food helped hundreds of dogs stay healthy and fed.
To find out how you can help, whether it’s by making a donation, volunteering, or even helping a local pet store connect with an organization, check this list for local pet pantries in your area. Alternatively, you can also contact your nearest animal shelter to be connected with a food bank.
If you’re in Colorado and wish to donate, the Colorado Pet Pantry has an extensive list of partner organizations that accept contributions across the state.
How to Receive Help
If you’re in need of a little help to get by, there are a number of ways to receive support. The easiest way to start is by reaching out to your nearest animal shelter, who will gladly put you in contact with a local pet food bank.
Most food banks require an application and proof that the pet is yours, like shot records. They might also ask for proof of address and other details, like whether or not your pet is spayed or neutered (many organizations offer free vouchers or discounts for this).
The Mobile Pet Pantry, like other food banks, has an easily accessible online application for one-time or ongoing help (the requirements for each vary). If you know of a nearby food bank, simply checking their website for a similar application might be the fastest way to receive help.
Why Giving Back Matters
We all know life happens. Your ability to come out on the other end after setbacks and pick back up is highly dependent on the kind of support you receive throughout.
We hope you’ll share our values and contribute as well. And remember, whether you choose to help a pet food pantry or some other organization, always keep the pups in mind. They need us, too.
All of Safe Bones Company dog bones and dog treats are 100% Natural and Made in the U.S.A. at our facilities in the beautiful state of Nebraska.
You’ll never need to be concerned with low quality imported products, or overly processed dog bones, jerky, or other treats. Shop now and treat your dog to something special.
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