What Did Poor Pets Get This Christmas?

One of Freekibble's Top 10 Dog Pictures for December 2011: image via freekibble.comOne of Freekibble's Top 10 Dog Pictures for December 2011: image via freekibble.comThough it's reported that British pets suffered, gift-wise, from the downsized economy this Christmas, the American Pet Products Association estimated that 53 percent of dogs and 38 percent of cats in the U.S. received Christmas gifts - a relatively good stash for them, I'd say.  But what about pets from families who can hardly afford to feed them, let alone buy Santa hats for them?

Pet shelters are overwhelmed by providing food and shelter to the number of dogs, cats, and other pets that have been given up by out-of-work or severely downsized families since 2008.  But pet owners and other animal lovers who can afford to do so have provided donations to hundreds of pet food pantries around the country who opened their cupboards to thepets whose owners qualify as needing such support.

McKamey, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of the shelters that opened its pet pantry this Christmas season to help support pet owners who just could not give up their pets, in spite of financial hardship. 

The McKamey shelter set up its pantry in 2009 and it has helped hundreds of families in the Chattanooga area feed their pets in times of need.  In addition to supplying food at Christmas time, the shelter was able to help feed pets last spring when the area was hit with devastating tornados.

The Idaho Humane Society has been supplying pet food for years to struggling families and to home-bound seniors, some of whom only get their own nourishment from Meals on Wheels. The Society's development director, Christine Wiersema, told the Idaho Statesman that the pantry provides another "sense that we can all take care of each other."

Individuals as well as corporate donors participate in giving pet food and financial donations to pet pantries across the country.  There is even an online site that gets corporate food donations every time a visitor to the site and plays a game, usually Bow Wow Trivia, a delight!  The site, FreeKibble.com was started by a young lady, Mimi Ausland, who began volunteering at an Oregon animal shelter when she was 11 years old.  Her official "kibble sponsor" is Halo, Purely for Pets, whose co-owner you might recognize: she is Ellen DeGeneres.  Visit the site; the games are fun and you will help raise kibble for poor dogs and cats without even spending your own dime.

But if you can afford to, especially if you own pets and know how special relationships with pets are, help out your local pet food pantries by providing kibble or cash so that poor dogs and cats can remain with their families... and eat well too.


sources:  American Pet Products Association, Chattanoogan.com, IdahoStatesman.com, FreeKibble.com

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