With inflation dinging so many people’s pocketbooks, many pet owners are feeling the squeeze this fall, and experts in the animal welfare community are concerned things could get worse for pet parents as winter approaches. The winter months can be a difficult time of year financially, even under normal circumstances. There are the holidays, with food and gifts eating into our bank accounts, and it’s a time of year when many are out of work in states that see regular snowfall. Add to that unexpected colds and injuries that force us to take time off and incur expensive doctor visits, and it can be tough.
Pet Food Donations
Fall is the time of year when most rescues and shelters have pet supply drives to cover the months ahead. This year, unfortunately, donations have been down, and more and more of these facilities are seeing pet surrenders due to financial hardships. These surrenders lead to overcrowding, difficulties keeping supplies topped off, and, sadly, euthanasia. If communities band together and are able to make donations, many of these serious issues can be avoided. That’s why it’s so important to donate pet food and other supplies if you’re in a position to do so.
Tis the Season to Pay it Forward
So, where does one get started if you’re a first-timer? Contact your local shelters and rescues, animal food banks, and any charities that give assistance to people in need with pets. Depending on the size of the city or town you live in, there may be a number of them. Larger groups, like the Humane Society or your local government animal intake facility, will have regular drives for collecting food and distributing it. You can contact them and ask about making a donation of goods or cash. While you’re at it, you can inquire about other supplies they may need, either for themselves or members of the public they support.
Form Your Own Relief Program
Another idea is to start your own relief efforts in your area if it isn’t large enough to have organizations that support this kind of work or if they are but are currently overrun. You can do it via a community drive that you headquarter from a social media platform such as Facebook. Sometimes schools will get involved, and children can help out. Or maybe you belong to a women’s or men’s group where folks might be interested in putting together a community drive. People belonging to athletic or sporting groups frequently organize toy drives, so there’s no reason the focus couldn’t be on pets.
Senior Centers & Lodges
A few more ideas for getting folks on board is to reach out to your local Elks or Moose lodges. Veterans, Masonic, and Shriner lodges work to help the community, too, and they often know of individuals that could use help within your community. So do members of your local police or fire stations. Senior centers and churches are another excellent resource for not only help, but knowing where to direct it. The point is, there’s so much we can do to lift each other up if we come together in the spirit of giving.Whizzco