Pet Food Banks Across the United States Offer Free Pet Food and Cat Litter to Those in Need

Did you know pet food pantries exist? Did you know they offer free pet food and cat litter to those who are unable to pay for it and need help feeding their furry loved ones? Did you know these pantries are all across the United States?


Most of us have heard about the food banks and food pantries that are cropping up all across the United States to feed hungry people as the recession deepens but how many of you are aware of food pantries for pets? That’s right… pet food pantries and pet food banks are opening up state by state to help pet owners keep their beloved “furries” and “purries” home with them and out of the animal shelters and Humane Societies.

Authorities across the U.S. are reporting an increase in abandonment of pets as people leave their homes due to a variety of reasons ranging anywhere from foreclosure to moving in search of jobs.

These people just leave the dogs and cats in the house to die, they’re broke and desperate. According to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, dogs have been found in empty houses several weeks after a person has moved away.

These dogs survive by drinking toilet water. Other dogs are left chained outside, while still others are turned loose. These are the lucky ones…all too many are found dead.

Some people give their pets to friends who later decide to take them to either the Humane Society or Animal Control because they don’t really want the animal.

Too many people are taking their beloved pets to shelters because they can no longer afford to feed them due to the recession. In 2008 the Humane Society of Kent County, Michigan reported taking in an alarming 8,000 to 10,000 animals.

In 2007 Atlanta shelters euthanized over 3 million healthy pets, while in 2008 Los Angeles euthanized 15,000.

According to Allie Phillips, director of public policy at the American Humane Association, “Abandoned pets have become a national issue. This has really become an epidemic.”

According to Phillips 8000 houses go into foreclosure everyday which puts 15,000 to 26,000 more pets in danger of losing their homes each and every day across the United States.
“Many of them will be euthanized.” She concluded.

According to the Humane Society between 3 and 4 million pets are euthanized across the U.S. annually.

Volunteers of pet food pantries say that they no longer see just lower income people coming in for free pet food. They are also seeing middle class white- collar workers, elderly -whose family members were helping with expenses but due to the recession can no longer afford to do so, military spouses who cannot find jobs, students who’ve lost part-time jobs and high earners with high bills.

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  1. We have been in this situation (still truckin along). We dont have anything like this where we live but Im happy to hear that there are places like this that exist. Animals truly are members of our family. I know I have gone without some things just to feed them. I would never give them up. Thanks for the information.

  2. Wow, what a beautifully altruistic article*

    Blessings.

    Sincerely,

    -Liane Schmidt.

  3. This made me cry.. and it was so kind of you to do the research to make the list.. (hugs, Nick!)

  4. Thanks Liane…
    I’m sorry it made you cry Deb but it served its purpose in doing so…I wanted this to hit a nerve with as many people as possible…pets and people need our help…
    Love ya….

  5. I would share my own food with my pets before I would let them go w/o food! I am so glad you posted this Nick, because I know many people are struggling, and sometimes they have to choose between feeding their children and their pets. Mine are grown, so I don’t have to make such a choice. My fur babies do not do without. I just give up things I don’t need anyway – like pop. So actually they are doing me a favor. lol

    Our city has an ordinance – it limits 3 pets per household.

  6. I’ve worried about my critters…so far, I’ve managed to keep them taken care of. PetSmart does some animal relief help. I donate when I pick up food for my animals. Beautiful article, Nick.

  7. Touching and heartfelt article. It is sad how these tough times are effecting our animals. I would love to have another dog but know we can only afford to care for the two we have, plus our Cindy Bird. Thank you for your time and research, Nick.

  8. Thank you Judy, Daisy and Pam…our babies don’t go without either, we do on occassion but they don’t. We’ve been wanting to adopt more but we’re like you in that we can only afford the ones we already have. There are so many here that are posted on Craigslist everyday and how many more wind up like in my article?

  9. This is a great way to give back to the community… People love their pets!

  10. I just finished reading an article some one sent me that said there are at least half a million stray pets in India. It also said that most people in the US are dumping their pets because they can’t afford to feed them

    s

  11. Hey Wayne!!!! Thanks so much for commenting!!
    You drive safe out there and call us the next time you pass through our area!! Love ya, brother!!

  12. this is good to know i dont have a pet but i will pass it on thanks

  13. This is so awesome! I’m glad they have programs like this available to pets in need. Tommy’s doing good by the way. No sign on Elle. School’s going great. Final’s coming up! How’re you and Jan doing?

  14. great

  15. Nick,
    Excellent article buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn\’t know there were places like this. Cassie and Binx are like our children. We would go without before they would. I couldn\’t see having either one of them put to sleep, especially when places like this exist. No one should leave their pets behind whether they\’re moving across the street, or across the nation. Leaving your pets behind would be like leaving your children behind to die. People that do this sort of thing have no business being pet owners. Cats and dogs are like humans, they have feelings too, and they love the same. Again Nick,
    EXCELLENT ARTICLE!!!!!!! Glad to see you back! Hope we\’re going to see more of your animal stories soon!!! Keep up the great work!!! And lets see some more great writing from you.

    Randy

  16. Good article about a group that provide a much needed service. Well done.

  17. I would like to get a program like this started in my community thru our local Food Bank. Not sure how to approach them with this idea……any suggestions?

  18. Can someone locate a cat food bank in New York City,I have two cats (15 years old,6years old) and I need help with cat food,my SSD checks just is not enough these days.Than You.

  19. Rene, all I can suggest is jump in there and tell them your idea. You can also talk with your local Humane Society and ask them for help with ideas. Once you have a solid footing talk with places like Wal-Mart for donations of pet food. Reach out to as many institutions as possible and write out grant requests.
    Good luck!!

  20. To Nolen- The only facility that I know of in the New York City area is Yorkville Common Pantry at E. 109th St. Manhattan, New York City. Daniel Reyes Program Director. His phone number is 212-288-3233

    Good luck!!

  21. hi my name corey f. and im starting a pet pantry in my area and i need help knowing what legal things i need to do to start

  22. This is wonderful to know! My pets are all rescues and times were different when I took each one of them in. I have been so worried lately (being unable to work) just what would happen if one of my babies get sick. I really had to scrape up change for my last bag of cat food, dog food, and litter and have not been able to be as “picky” about what they’re fed! I don’t worry so much about myself, but they all count on me and it is my commitment to them to make sure they have what they need. Giving any of them away is not an option! Thank you so much for this. I will look at this better and see if there is help of any kind in my area. Thanks again!! xo

  23. Thank you so much for sharing this! I didn’t know there were pet food banks; needed this so much. Thanks again!

  24. I don’t see any info on finding actual pet food banks, or any contact info – local or national…. am I just blind or am I missing something obvious here? I need the specific contact info that can actually help me and my cats right now, not general overviews….. does anyone have any answers? Please share! I live in Round Rock Texas. Thanks!!

  25. Kelly – you have to go to page 2 of the article.

  26. Wonderful heart felt article Nick, thank you! We don’t have any programs like this in my area but wish I could get the info and help to start one.

    I love my little English Bulldog and have given up much for her care. She just turned 12 yrs old this past Oct so I must be doing something right.

    No one should have to give up their babies because of their hardships and would love to be able to help others keep and care for their beloved pets.

  27. Hello…I have a nonprofit named Hungry Kitty that is based in Oakland, Ca. We are feeding over 200 cats nightly and desperately need donations to buy cat food. Here is a link to our website: http://hungrykitty.org/
    Through paypal, people can donate or we also have a post office box. Thanks for any help, anyone can give. Pat.

  28. I have never been in such a hard choice to make ,My husband and I was truck from behind at a stop light and needless to say we both have to have surgery on our back knee and husband neck and my shoulder. we have mounting medical bill and my husband cand work but about 17 to 20 hours plus was layed off his other part time job,I have put ad online to adopt my adult dogs but I can,t let them go I have them clinging to me when someone come and I just cand do it. We are trying to sell everthing and so far are dogs have had their meals but we are sick and down to 1 meal and a snack. I have prayed for help but to proud to ask and I don,t want anyone to try and take them so I am really stuck.Does anyone know what to do?

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