If you're having trouble affording dog food and cat food, there are resources available to help you get free dog food and free cat food.
What is the Problem?
For some people, getting rid of the cats and dogs is the first step during tough economic times. For others, it's the last step. Either way, the animals and/or the people are at risk.
Animals get turned into shelters for a variety of reasons, one of which is when people get into trouble financially. This, of course, leads to cats and dogs being killed when the shelters are filled to capacity, when their time is up, or if they are deemed unadoptable. But for some people, giving up their cats and dogs is unthinkable, and Hurricane Katrina showed the world that people will risk their own health and safety to save their animals. A local Meals on Wheels program in Ohio found that seniors who couldn't afford cat and dog food were sharing their meals with their animals, putting their own welfare at risk.
Where to Get Help
First, contact your local shelter, rescue group or humane society. Many of these groups have programs that distribute free cat food and dog food to those in need. The best place for your cats and dogs is with you, so they will do what they can to help you keep your pets.
If you are also having trouble feeding yourself and your human family, ask your local food bank or Meals on Wheels program if they offer dog food and cat food. Recognizing that pets are also a part of the family, some food banks distribute dog food and cat food, as well as human food. Meals on Wheels found that pets are the only family that some seniors have, and that some of their clients were sharing their meals with their pets when they couldn't afford pet food. In 2006, Meals on Wheels started the We All Love Our Pets (WALOP) initiative. Not all local Meals on Wheels programs offer pet food, so check with your local program.
Also, the Humane Society of the United States maintains a list of national and local organizations that offer free pet food, low cost spay/neuter services, and temporary foster care if you need help.