The calls have started. Heating bills go up when the temperatures go down. The holiday season is here and some people are having a hard time trying to maintain the household budget.
Did you know this is the time of year that many pets get surrendered to shelters? I know you probably think this is the time when adoptions are up because of people wanting to give pets for Christmas, but with each adoption that happens there are 2 pets surrendered. Why would someone want to surrender their pets during the holiday season? What does high heating bills have to do with pets being surrendered? Money. The reason we hear the most is "I can't afford to feed them."
Some people have a hard time feeding themselves and their family much less their pets. It's hard to make ends meet. Have you ever had a bad month? The car breaks down, the water heater goes out or maybe you were sick and missed some days from work that were non paid. I have had friends who have had the unexpected expenses happen who were already strapped for cash. We have helped them by buying them pet food and supplies to get them through a month. Its one less thing they have to worry about.
There are over 50 million people on food stamps right now. Over 7 million pets are surrendered to shelters each year due to the fact owners can't afford to feed them.
The one thing that shelters want is for pets to stay in the home.
There may be help for those who are having a hard month. Here are some things that can maybe help you get through a tough time.
1. Ask your local shelter - Shelters may be able to help you feed your pets. They can provide a month of food and supplies such as kitty litter to help. It depends on how much they have donated to them.
Sometimes shelters may have helped many people before you so they may not have the extra food or litter to give but they may only be able to help with a week or two of food.
2. Ask your local Humane Society - If your shelter is unable to help then maybe your local humane society can. I will say again that it depends on how much has been donated to them whether they can help you for a week or a month.
3. Ask friends or family - Don't be afraid to ask for assistance from friends or family. They are more likely to help you since they know you wouldn't be asking if you didn't need it.
If you are having a hard time feeding your pets and you need to ask for assistance, there are some things you should be prepared to show. It will help you be processed faster.
1. a letter from a food stamp office stating what you are receiving
2. a current payroll check stub or unemployment statement
3. utility bills
Some places don't ask for verifications of these items mentioned above but its always best to have them to show the need is real. Unfortunately, there are those out there who want a handout but don't really need the help. I know you think that is harsh but its true. We have encountered them.
Please do not expect more than a month of help feeding your pets. Shelters, rescues and friends are limited on how much they can help.
Ways you can help?
Helping people feed their pets in hard times can be hard on shelters and rescues who have limited supplies of pet food and litter.
Donate to your local shelters and rescues -The more food and litter donated the more they can help. Shelters know about how much food and litter is needed for the animals in their care. It varies month to month but if they have a extra bag of food or litter , it could be just what is needed to get a person through a tough month.
Don't assume your donation will go to help someone - When donating request your donation to go to those who are in need. The shelter will set it aside for a couple weeks to see if anyone calls asking for assistance. Sometimes the shelter will have the need to use it for the animals in their care.
I can honestly say that I have been at my humane society when people came by and donated items. Some of the items would be stairs for pets, bags of litter or food and they have said "maybe you know someone who can use it". They know there is a need from others. I have heard ma on the phone with someone asking for help during a rough time or heard her speaking to someone who are needing to surrender their pet due to not being about to feed it. She has asked them if maybe a few weeks of food or other supplies would help to keep the pet in the home and some say yes and some say no. Those who said yes are the ones who we want to help. Why shouldn't we? If it will help keep the pet in the home that loves them then we should at least try.
I received help to get me through now what? If you received help and are able, GIVE BACK. You made it through your tough times and now you have a couple extra dollars. You see a sale on cat food for 3 cans for $1.00 or a bag of kitty litter marked down to $3.00 because it has a small tear in it. If you are able, buy it and donate it back to the shelter or Humane Society who helped you. It may not seem much to you but to another person, it could be the difference in keeping a animal in the home or surrendering it to a shelter.
If you can't afford to buy anything , donate your time. A couple hours of volunteering at a shelter to play with the animals is always welcoming to shelter staff and the animals. Take a shelter dog for a walk or brush the kitties, it shows you appreciate the help and you give back with your time.
There are also other programs who may be able to help you or help you through a longer period. Visit the links below to see if you qualify for any help through them.
*Please note that I am not responsible for the content on these sites. These are sites that I am aware of*
Humane Society of the United States
Georgia Pet Buddies Food Pantry
Pet Food Help
Pet Chow Pantry
Hopefully this information will help you. We never want to have a bad month but sometimes it can't be avoided. Ma calls it "Life".
Do you donate to shelters?
Would you be upset if you found out your donation went to someone in need?
I would love your thoughts on this.
May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and it be filled with good food, good times and memories that will leave you with a smile.
I am thankful for you my readers.