AF Cares, Organizations

Take Action For Homeless Pets!

An animal in a shelter is killed every 1.5 seconds.

An animal in a shelter is killed every 1.5 seconds.

 

Homelessness can be one of the loneliest lifestyles around. Pets have consistently been used to remedy and enliven those who have a void in their lives. Dr. Boris Levinson, who is a Psychology Professor at Yeshiva University has stated in his research that “A simple addition to these lonely lives can sometimes accomplish major changes. The possession of a pet, who eagerly awaits one and responds to one’s care and attention, may mean the difference between maintaining contact with reality or almost total withdrawal into fantasy. Literally, a pet can occasionally represent the difference between life and death.” Domesticated animals are helpless, but when their owners are just as helpless, the result is one dangerous dichotomy. A new organization, Feeding Pets for the Homeless, understands this dichotomy and has been quick to take action.

Feeding Pets for the Homeless is a new program with a simple mission statement: “Helping to eliminate hunger of pets who belong to the homeless and the less fortunate in our communities across the country.” Founder Genevieve Frederick explains that the “the program’s name may be misleading” because it branches out to “not only the homeless but [also] families at poverty level, the disabled and elderly.” Frederick, who is the founder of Paw Publishing, set up an outstanding program that is designed to allow veterinarians and pet businesses to collect pet food then distribute it to local food banks who in turn allocates it to needy pets. But the help is not exclusive to pets. Part of the Feeding Pets for the Homeless mission statement includes a promise to “[speak] out on the issue of homelessness and pets of homeless and disadvantaged.” By partnering with other charitable organizations such as Meals On Wheels, Feeding Pets for the Homeless helps already established organizations give aid to the needy pets and people.

Once Feeding Pets for the Homeless began working with Meals on Wheels in Carson City, Nevada, where Frederick currently lives, she quickly saw the importance of the charitable duality. “If you are a client of the Wheels on Meals program and have a pet, ask your volunteer if they can provide pet food along with your meal.” Other organizations have indeed been working with Meals on Wheels to prevent their clients from sacrificing portions of what might be their only meal of the day to feed their pet. Banfield Charitable Trust, and Banfield, The Pet Hospital have joined the effort in their Season of Suppers campaign. The campaign has even brought on U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, where Banfield, The Pet Hospital originated, to serve as this years spokesperson. “I deeply appreciate Banfield, The Pet Hospital and my friends at Meals On Wheels for teaming up to keep pets healthy so they can give their human companions many years of friendship and good health” says Wyden. The Banfield-Meals On Wheels partnership is the first of its kind to go nationwide, working out of Banfield’s 700 plus hospital locations across the country.

Animal Fair has always supported the effort to give back to less fortunate pets. In December of 2006, Animal Fair hosted its first ever Toys for Dogs drive to benefit The Humane Society of New York to ensure that every homeless dog had a toy for the holiday. So join the movement to help the nation’s needy pets, who have no voice of their own.

For more information on Pets for the Homeless, including how to join, visit: petsofthehomeless.org. For more information on Banfield, The Pet Hospital or Banfield Charitable Trust, visit: banfield.net.

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