Pet food pantry overwhelmed with families in need

Animal Advocates of Greater Lafayette's first pet food pantry brings out around 200 families.

Posted: Apr 18, 2020 7:51 PM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — While food pantries are working to keep people fed in Greater Lafayette, one animal activist group is focused on the pets. Animal Advocates of Greater Lafayette hosted its first pet food pantry Saturday morning and it brought a big turnout.

"A lot of people are unemployed right now, they may barely have enough money for their own food and the rent and the utilities, so if we can relieve some financial stress in people's budgets, that's a big goal," said Animal Advocates of Greater Lafayette President, Nadine Dolby.

Dolby said food insecurity among pets can directly impact an owner's diet as well.

"As research indicates, when people don't have food for their pets, what happens is they give them the food that they were going to eat," said Dolby.

Dolby, like many pet owners, agree that their animals are just another member of the family. That's why she doesn't want pet food insecurity to be a reason people surrender their pets to a shelter.

"That puts a huge strain on the system in the city of Lafayette, particularly, that is already operating at capacity," said Dolby.

The group was expecting around 100 families to come to their first pet food pantry, instead, it brought out at least 200.

"Twenty minutes in we ran out of cat food and we had probably 40-50 pounds of cat food available," said Dolby. "That tells us something about the need in the community."

Dolby said Animal Advocates is the only group providing a pet food pantry in Greater Lafayette currently, and it's only been able to work through pet food donations from the community. She's hoping they can continue.

"We are willing to do these drive-in pet food pantries as long as necessary through this crisis," said Dolby. "We need people to donate, we need people to help."

This pet food pantry is 100% run through community donations and it mainly provides food for cats and dogs. Dolby said the group is also willing to help provide food for other animals upon request. She said with Saturday's turnout, they were not able to fully supply families with the pet food they needed. 

If you'd like to help donate toward the next pantry, you can do so through emailing animaladvocatesGL@gmail.com. You can also keep up with the group on its Animal Advocates of Greater Lafayette Facebook page.

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