Something happened today that really moved me & I thought I would reach out to the dog community and see what happens. Tell me your thoughts – also, share any resources you know about, please.
So here’s the story: I make my own dog food but sometimes I rotate to a commercial (complete) or commercial supplements and I don’t like my ingredients to go to waste – so today, I realized I had enough egg shells on hand to make about two months’ worth of calcium supplement, which I don’t need right now – so I decided to look on Craigslist to see if anyone in my dog community might need it.
On Craigslist, I accidentally came upon a post that said “I NEED DOG FOOD” – it was a few days old, but I sent a reply asking if they had gotten what they need. Turns out, this lady is sort of having a hard time financially, is renting a room from a church & most of her needs are met except dog food. She has 2 weeks before any funds come in. I told her I could bring her a couple weeks of dog food, and I said she could just “pay it forward” for someone else’s pet someday. Well it turns out that she was involved in running a “death row dog rescue” for 20 years – the 2 dogs she has are, as she calls them, “former inmates”. It got me thinking – I know that there are so many people in this country just barely getting by, and I’ve heard from shelter workers that its not uncommon for pets to be surrendered by loving families who just can’t keep up with food costs. After a little research I discovered that “ Meals-on-Wheels” have begun to include pet food delivery, particularly to low income senior citizens because they found that many of their clients were sharing their meals with their pets out of desperation.
So it occurred to me to reach out to the food pantries in my community & the local “Meals on Wheels” to donate pet foods for them to distribute as needed. Maybe someone who reads this will do the same. ..I hope so.
That’s a great program! I’ve never heard of that before. I always try it help out when I can, when I get something free or extremely cheap with my coupons. I also give coupons to others waiting in line around me. It might not directly be helping someone in need, but they may turn around and help someone else who needs it. I don’t have much to give (usually nothing, in fact, which is why I spend so much time searching for the best deals for coupons), but I do what I can when I’m able, and I do hope others do the same. My local Humane Society has such a hard time keeping pet food in their pet pantry, and there are so many people around here who really do need it, but if the pet pantry doesn’t have any food, then what…? Too many people are having to give up their animals due to finacial hardship. If you can, please donate to your local shelters! Or better yet, directly to someone who needs the help.
In my area, we have quite a few food pantries for dogs. I think they’re great.
I donate dog food regularly to those organizations as well as animal control for the country in which I work, which is a no-kill shelter.
It seems silly that it just never occurred to me that there might be dog food pantrys out there.! I donate to my local shelter, but I didn’t think about how I could support people outside the shelter system who are struggling to feed their pets. Betsy, is there a network or organization that you know of that people can seek out when they are in need? I would definitely support that! So far I only found meals on wheels in my county. Thanks so much to both of you for your feedback!!
In Australia our dog rescue group has big bin baskets outside Woolworths supermarkets so when you go shopping you can buy a bag of kibble or can food…normally on F/B they ask for “My Dog wet” Puppy formula as they say it doesnt give diarrhea to their rescued puppies, the bin always has donated food in it & is emptied once a week, the food is given to foster carers that have helped rescued puppies & dogs from pounds thru the rescue group & cant afford to feed the rescue dogs but have saved their lives & givin them a tempory home until they’re adopted out..
I LOVE that! It gives me an idea – our high school around here are always looking to do community service projects to help “boost” their college applications…maybe I can put together a little “business plan” for something like you described and send it out to the college & career center at the high schools. Retailers here (Southern California) don’t often allow soliciting or donation bins but who could say “no” to doing a bin like that!? Especially if the request comes from a student & benefits a shelter! Thanks for the idea!!
PetCo and some other pet stores here have big donation bins near the front of the store where people can buy food and drop it in there on the way out the store. Something like that would be a good idea for your plan. People hate being pressured to donate. Most people would just rather see an opportunity and jump on it, not have people chase them on their way out of the grocery store asking for money LOL Bins a great idea– no name or face to the person donating, just a good person doing a good thing.
Google Dog Food Pantries in your area (county) and you will probably find quite a few. I just did that and couldn’t believe how many there are out there across the entire country. I usually donate food to my local shelter but I will start investigating a local dog food pantry and start bringing food there also.
Hey! Also, thank you for posting your thoughts on this issue. You have brought up a very legitimate need and by waking us up to this issue that we may have forgotten about maybe more people can keep their dogs at home and not giving them up to shelters because they cannot feed them. Brava to you Corinne!
Akari- I agree. Hound me at a store, have your kids approach me screeching for me to donate, and you will never get a donation from me. The Petco by us is annoying as well. Don’t ask me while I am checking out if I would like to buy a can of cat food for the group that does adoption clinics at your store-
The only ones who can chase me down for a donation are the Girl Scouts LOL
PetCo here isn’t too bad. They do ask on the pin pad if you want to donate a dollar (so does PetSmart) and a few times a year they’ll ask if you want to donate something more, like some food or a bag of toys and other goodies. But it’s not all the time, or I wouldn’t shop there. Bugs the heck out of me. If I could/wanted to donate something, A) I’d do it, B) I’d do it somewhere that I knew it was going straight to a family on need, and C) I wouldn’t do it just because I don’t want to feel guilty about telling you no! Lol I have a hard enough feeding my own animals, but that’s something I brought on myself, and I can handle it just fine with some time and coupons coupled with sales.
Speaking of coupons, I actually think it would highly beneficial if families in need where taught how to properly use coupons (“need” meaning both human and animal based). I spend about $40 a month (sometimes more, if I get really feisty and find good deals) feeding 2 large dogs, a cat that eats me out of house and home, three leopard geckos, a uromastyx, and about a bazillion fish in 4 aquariums and two ponds. It takes a certain amount of planing and stocking up, but I make it work, and on good food. And anything I don’t absolutely need, I share or donate.
Akari- I call that being frugal. Hubby and I are the same way. If we find a bargain on something we use regularly, we stock up and take advantage.
Well when you only make about $200 a week, and $150 of that goes to bills and $40 to gas, you have to do what you can lol Even if I did have more money, I love the challenge and I would still do it :3
I actually just spent the whole months worth of pet food money of cat litter yesterday. But I was down to one jug, so I needed it, and it won’t go to waste. And with 200 pounds of it, I have plenty to share 🙂 And the dogs have plenty of food, as well. The cat however, is down to 10 days of food. A bit stupid of me to spend all that money on litter, but oh well, I’ll make it work lol The cat does have about two weeks worth of Sheba, but I don’t want to feed him on that alone if I don’t have to. I just hope we fix our printer soon @[email protected]
I recently went on a trip to Bulgaria (where I’m from) and took 15lbs of decent food (TOTW – 2 5-lb bags; Nutrisource Grain-Free – 1 5-lb bag), as well as a bunch of Meow Mix small cat foods and a bunch of toys and chews. I always give coupons to friends and try to educate them on smart shopping for good dog food, and I agree with Akari, I would love to teach others how to coupon some and hunt for deals and feed their pets top notch foods for a fraction of their retail prices, and on a budget that a lower-income person like myself has. I am happy to hear about dog food pantries though and I would love to donate to those or directly to people in need some day.
I still can’t believe they let you on the plane with all that food LOL
Akari, I was a bit worried too, but I did find a note from TSA that they opened and inspected my bag – I guess it passed! Glad I managed to take them though! ^_^
I usually donate to a few rescue/foster groups where I live. My husband is a pastor of an inner city church and some of the congregants can’t always afford to buy good food for their dogs and cats so I give food to them, and also to their neighbors and relatives that have dogs. I give supplies, too. I’m going to look into pet pantries here, I’m sure there are some. I would like to give there, too.
Our local County shelter has quite a large pet food pantry for pet food/supplies. As well as a program to help out Military families. There are also donation bins at my local feed store and Petco. Our County Food Bank (human) also accepts pet food for the families that need it – one stop for all – that is where I usually take my donations (human & pet).
There is a church in the inner city here with a food bank. As I was sitting at a red light I couldn’t help but notice all the leather brand name new sneakers and smart phones being used while waiting for the doors to open while smoking $10 packs of cigs. I think perhaps a class in budgeting and priorities would be of more benefit to those people.
Way back when my kids were toddlers, we qualified for WIC. I felt bad going because life was nice, til it wasn’t. I had a car, leather jacket & wondered what people thought of me.
Now, I agree with you. I get so po’d when I see people I personally know are on public assistance walking around with iPhones and they have huge big screen tv’s in their houses. At Christmas, they get gifts for the kids because they’re needy. They have it easier than my hard working kids do.
I have no problem donating to those that need it. But if you can afford your beer and cigs and smartphone you can afford to feed your dog.
Oh come on Melissa! It’s just a dog! I’ve heard that & it po’s me off to no end.
Lol. A guy in tractor supply one day made a snide comment about my shihtzu that I was carrying..he felt the need to put his two cents in and comment about stupid spoiled dogs..he didn’t like it much when I loudly told him…my dog is cleaner and better cared for then your two kids..are you feeding them doggy bag too???
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