Whether they talk with their beaks or walk on four feet, our pets are cherished parts of our family and they need just as much help, love and nutrition as we do.
Every day we receive requests from clients for pet food, which is housed in a small corner of our 60,000 square-foot warehouse. The requests are numerous and it’s not uncommon to hear clients deny their own need just to get a few cans of pet food or a bag of kibble.
We’ve been very fortunate to have several donors contribute to our pet supply at the food bank, some even designating their donated dollars to just that cause.
Pet food retailers, grocery stores, as well as Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) have also played a big part in contributing to our animal food.
In December 2014 we received enormous support from non-profits like AARCS, when they donated dog and cat food as well as milk bones during the busy Christmas season — and after seeing the need, has continued to donate all year round.
Sometimes, the unthinkable does happen and people are left to choose whether they feed themselves or their fur baby.
Companionship is a huge part of making it through the tough times. Whether it’s the love of our friends and families, or snuggles from a family pet, it’s nearly impossible to go through life’s hardships alone.
“There’s this sense that if you are having trouble feeding yourself, you should not have a pet — and yet that denies people the relationship that often can be a lifeline or that can bring so much joy,” says PhD student, Ann Toohey from the University of Calgary.
Toohey is currently researching pets and the aging population in terms of the mental and physical implications companion animal relationships have on the seniors.
“Sometimes people find themselves in poor circumstances unexpectedly. So many people view their pets as a family member and so as a society we are more or less asking people to disrupt their family to get through this period,” says Toohey.
We’re big pet lovers here at the food bank and if you’ve ever been to our offices, you’ve probably seen our furry babies posted all over our walls. Though pets are not a part of our official mandate, we understand that they are parts of our families, too.