Pima Animal Care Center has handed out 153,657 meals for dogs and cats with owners who are struggling financially since the program began on May 10. That’s a total of 31,023 pounds of food, all donated.
“People are having to make some tough choices during this pandemic,” said Kristen Hassen, PACC’s director of animal services. “We want to keep pets in the homes where they are loved. For some people, all they need is a couple of bags of food to make it to the next paycheck.”
Among the people PACC has helped, who wished to remain anonymous:
- One gentleman at the Primavera Foundation explained that he had been feeding his dogs hotdogs because he had no pet food and couldn’t afford to buy more. He wanted to express his thanks to PACC and all other organizations involved.
- Another pet owner at PACC’s distribution site at Flowing Wells Assembly of God Church told the PACC group that he was going to have to surrender his dog because he could not afford to feed her anymore.
- One woman told PACC staffers she had no food for herself or her pets, so staff gave her as much pet food as she could carry and told her about the programs in Pima County that could help her get some food, as well.
“People have shown us that there is a need for this program,” Hassen said. “We want to keep it going as long as possible.”
The program was able to get off the ground thanks to donations from GreaterGood.org, the Rachel Ray Foundation, local supporters of Friends of PACC and partners at Central Pet who help bag the food every week. GreaterGood.org has consistently donated food, toys, leashes, and other items to help keep the program running.
The food giveaway, run by staff and volunteers, began as a drive-thru event at the shelter, but grew into several standing locations given the need. The current food distribution schedule:
- Sunday: Drive-thru at PACC, 4000 N. Silverbell Road, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
- Tuesday: Gospel Rescue Mission, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road, and Sister Jose’s Women’s Shelter, 1050 S. Park Ave., with food available to residents while supplies last
- Wednesday: Primavera Foundation, 811 S. 6th Ave., 9-11 a.m.
- Friday: Flowing Wells Assembly of God Church, 3198 N. Flowing Wels Road, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Keep the program going by donating to Friends of Pima Animal Care Center. Friends of PACC is the official nonprofit partner to Pima Animal Care Center, and relies on individual donations to support the life-saving work of the shelter.
Other organizations are also assisting pets and owners in need. Cody’s Friends supports more than 100 human and animal welfare organizations in Southern Arizona. Email them at Codyscommunitypets@gmail.com.
Human Animal Support Services assists pet owners during the pandemic and beyond.