It's the start of a new year and forecasts lead us to believe that 2009 may be even tougher financially than 2008. With this comes an on-going concern not only for the families who are trying to make ends meet, but also for their pets who are more often than not considered part of this family. With the overwhelming increase in home foreclosures the number of pets being abandoned is soaring and even those who are able to keep their homes are struggling to keep their pets well fed, safe and healthy.
A woman I've become acquainted with is stepping up to help minimize the number of pets that go hungry by opening a pet-food bank, Save Our Pets, in Atlanta. Ann King opened the food bank because she learned that hundreds of pets were being abandoned or left at Atlanta-area shelters because their owners were in financial straits. According to King, demand has grown 20% every week since they opened the food bank last summer. They're currently giving away more than 3000 pounds of cat and dog food per week and on distribution days, as many as 200 people show up to stock up on a month's supply of pet food.
There are similar initiatives popping up across the country and it warms my heart to know there are so many pet lovers that are willing to step up and take care of our furry friends. Imagine what could happen if we, as a pet-loving country, came together to start a national network of pet-food pantries. We've seen the power of these humanitarian efforts through human organizations like "Feeding America". Maybe, just maybe, if we put our minds to it, we can take the model that Ann King and others have created locally and turn it into a movement. A movement to share the same love and compassion we bestow on people with our pets.
Just a little food for thought.