New program for homeless pets in City

Last month Alberta Animal Services and the Red Deer Food Bank joined forces to become a part of the ‘Pets of the Homeless’ program.

The non-profit program is an ongoing North American effort to regularly supply donated pet food through food banks to local people who cannot afford to properly provide for their pets.

“We were throwing around ideas on how we could try and give back to the community. This was one of the ideas that came up. The goal is to provide proper nutrition for the homeless pets so they don’t just have to eat out of the dumpsters,” said Dezerae Jenkins, animal care manager with Alberta Animal Services. “We are a drop site for food – it can be any kind of dog or cat food – kibble or wet canned food. We also accept cat litter.

“People can also make cash donations to Pets for the Homeless and that money will go into a veterinary fund if someone’s pet gets sick. We can apply for them to have their vet bill covered as well.”

Over the course of a year, millions of people become homeless in North America and as the economy worsens the numbers will increase. Most people who experience homelessness (80%) are homeless for a short period of time and usually need help finding housing or a rent subsidy. But, for those with pets, it becomes more difficult.

The disadvantaged are forced to choose between their pet and a roof over their head. Most choose to stay on the streets with their pets for longer periods of time. Their pets are their comfort, provide an emotional bond of loyalty, and are nonjudgmental. It is estimated that one in four homeless and disadvantaged people have a pet. Pets of the homeless do not choose their guardians. A difference can be made to aid these defenseless pets.

“We called the Red Deer Food Bank and they said they have about 1,200 people asking for pet food. It is quite a high number. They have a program called Kibble Kitchen so through that pet food is collected and then given to those in need,” said Jenkins.

She added for the homeless, their pet provides a sense of comfort and companionship.

“There are people that will refuse housing because they have pets and there is no available housing that will allow pets. It’s a huge thing for these people where they don’t have any family or friends and that is their only lifeline.”

In the future as the program progresses, Jenkins said it is the goal to develop wellness clinics and spa and neuter clinics for those in need.

Pet food can be donated at Alberta Animal Services (4640 61st St.) or at the agency’s Adoption Centre located at Petland. For more information, call 403-347-2388. Those needing pet food or assistance can visit the Red Deer Food Bank at 7429 49th Ave. or by calling 403-346-1505.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Ronnie Dixie gets another chance at life from a liver transplant

Red Deerians invited to annual Stroll for Liver charity walk June 3rd

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Individuals face 84 criminal charges related to stolen, counterfeit credit cards

Investigation and search warrant executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP

Red Deer’s Stephanie Essensa back in the ring May 26th

Essensa joins Dekada lineup in Calgary

Norman Wiebe has registered as a nominee for the UCP in Red Deer South

Hospital and courthouse among pressing concerns to Wiebe

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

Plane with 104 on board crashes on takeoff in Cuba

Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport

UPDATED: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing up to 10

Santa Fe High School which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. Friday

Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims, release of name

A coroner involved says it wasn’t until an injured player woke up in hospital and said he was a different person that officials realized the mistake

‘Nowhere near close:’ U.S. rebuffs Trudeau hope for quick NAFTA deal

The United States declared the NAFTA countries were nowhere close to a deal in a statement Thursday

Prices at the pump spike as long weekend brings out Canadian drivers

Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Humboldt Broncos resolve trademark issue with junior hockey league

The Humboldt Broncos hockey club says they will have a team ready to hit the ice for the 2018-19 season.

Most Read