CLEVELAND — The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing people to line up at food banks across the country to ask for help to feed themselves and their families.
But, now there is a new problem for those out of work because of the pandemic, feeding their pets.
“A lot of calls we’re getting are people who have been laid off or unable to work, not able to provide food for themselves. So, then if not able to provide for themselves not able to provide for pets,” said Deborah Conway, Chief Dog Warden Cuyahoga County.
That’s why Friends of the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter set out to help by setting up the COVID-19 Emergency Pet Food Pantry to ensure that cat and dog owners have the means to feed and take care of their pets and keep their pets at home during this uncertain time.
“Not only are people in danger of falling ill, many are in danger of losing their jobs either temporarily or long-term,” said FCCAS Board President Becky Bynum. “We want to let pet owners know that they can reach out to us if they’re having trouble."
No-contact home delivery of dog and cat food is being made to eligible pet owners.
“We’ve had an amazing response in the last four weeks. We raised more than $6,000 and we’ve been able to go out and purchase dog and cat food,” Bynum said.
Any resident in Cuyahoga County living outside the city of Cleveland can call or text the food pantry hot line at 216-706-9363 to speak with a volunteer, who will guide pet owners through the application process.
According to Bynum, pet food assistance is also available to city of Cleveland residents through partner agencies:
- Cleveland Animal Protective League, 216-771-4616,Cleveland Animal Protective League
- Neighborhood Pets, 216-505-5853, Neighborhood Pets
Donations are being accepted. They can be dropped off at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter or cash donations can be made through their website.