The Humane Society Silicon Valley in Santa Clara County, California has been helping cut down the number of abandoned animals by enabling financially distressed families care for their pets with donated pet food and supplies.
As the economic downturn continues to make life difficult for many households, abandoned pets are no longer found only in single-family or townhouse foreclosures, they are also now found in parks, forests and open areas. A number of pet owners no longer have the money to buy pet food or to have their pets examined by veterinarians.
To help these financially-distressed pet owners continue to have their pets with them at home and at the same time control the number of animals being left at shelters, the Silicon Valley Humane Society recently launched its Pet Pantry Donation Program. This initiative gives pet food to owners who no longer have the money to buy food for their animals.
According to Sue Burbank, customer care associate for the humane society, she noticed that more and more pet owners were calling the facility desiring to surrender their animals because they can no longer afford to buy pet supplies.
So rather than reject some calls due to lack of space at the shelter and increase the number of abandoned animals in the county, the humane society, through the leadership of its animal care manager Mike Foltz and his associates, launched the pet pantry program.
Since the launching of the program, the humane society has received donations from individuals, pet supply stores and corporations. They have also received large donations from organizations and schools that have launched fund raising or pet food drives in their facilities.
Among these big donors is the Sixth Division of the California Retired Teachers Association. Foltz said he is amazed at the level of generosity being shown despite the hard times.
Laura Fulda, marketing and communications vice president for the humane society, said she identifies the recipients of pet food supply through the detailed questionnaires that pet owners are required to fill out when they surrender their animals to the shelter.
People desiring to donate pet food and supplies can fill out the donation form at hssv.org so that they can be contacted by society officers.
In addition, the humane society has also launched its Prevent Unwanted Pregnancies initiative to help solve the county’s pet overpopulation problem and help cut the number of abandoned animals in the county.