American Food Banks for Pets. Can it Happen in the UK?Keith
Imagine not being able to feed your pet, for a full day. How would you feel?
If that one day turned into several would you put your pet up for adoption?
That’s what many pet owners in the Snoqualmie Valley USA face daily. Caring for a dog or cat can become difficult when living on a meagre income. Some people sacrifice their own medical and food needs to keep their pets eating. Others have to give up their loved ones because they simply cannot afford to feed them.
This is where the Snoqualmie Valley Pet Food Bank comes in – keeping pets with people. Once a month they hand out supplemental pet food to clients at the Mt. Si Food Bank.
In 2008 they began providing pet food to 17 pets. Today they serve 300-350 dogs and cats by providing up to 2,700 pounds of pet food per month.
A pet can make a significant difference to their owner’s lives. Studies show that owning a pet can reduce stress, improve physical and mental health, and most importantly provide a precious source of love and friendship; everything important to help a person get through tough times especially if they live on their own.
Our patrons love the pet food bank and tell us often what it means to them.
“It’s a lifesaver because we only have one income in our household right now,” said one woman.
A man said, “I appreciate it and so do my dogs.”
Community partnerships have been the key to the pet food bank’s success.
Most recently, Brownie Troop 42538 of Fall City held a bake sale raising enough money to purchase 500 pounds of food for the pets. It is volunteers’ creative efforts like this that makes a big difference.
Additionally, each month the Humane Society of Seattle/King County provides a portion of the food we hand out. Pooch-n-Play transports the pet food from the Humane Society in Bellevue. Pet Place Market collects donations from their customers. Mark’s Pet Pals hands out pet food.
The Pet Food Bank couldn’t survive without our animal-loving volunteers.
This spring we will be adding a new event to our fundraising efforts, the Bow Wow Easter Egg Hunt. Join us with your pooch at 11 a.m. April 19, 2014 at the Three Forks Off-Leash Dog Park in Snoqualmie. Dogs will be able to hunt for eggs filled with doggie treats and prizes.
The Snoqualmie Valley Pet Food Bank is a non-profit organization of Community Connections of Snoqualmie Valley. To feed a pet-in-need, or find out more information, visit www.svpetfoodbank.org and www.facebook.com/svpetfoodbank.
Here in the UK we most supermarkets have a collection box for pet food which normally goes to local pet rescue centres but, will pets eventually have food banks similar to the ones for humans. Time will tell.