Feeding Pets of the Homeless Leads National Pet Food Drive

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The week of August 6-10 is the third National Feeding Pets of the Homeless “Give a Dog a Bone” Week. The national organization, Pets of the Homeless, asks the public to locate a collection site in their community by visiting http://www.petsofthehomeless.org. Donations of pet food should be taken to one of the identified, local collection sites.

Homelessness is on the rise and between 10-25% of homeless have pets in need of food. There are over 375 collection sites across America. Donations of pet food and supplies are received at member collection sites and distributed to food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters which then give the pet food and supplies to their clients.

Genevieve Frederick, Founder of Pets of the Homeless said, “Since 2008, collection site members have taken over 124 tons of pet food and supplies to homeless shelters, food banks and soup kitchens across the country. Some of our volunteers take it to the streets where the homeless congregate. It is a combined effort to continue year-round collections of pet food. We applaud the caring, member sites who have reported their contributions. The need is great for communities to continue to donate to this on-going effort.”

As an outreach to the homeless who own pets, Pets of the Homeless, also uses cash donations to provide veterinary care to pets of the homeless at free wellness clinics as well as emergency veterinary care across the country.

“Most shelters do not allow animals, so rather than give up their beloved pets, many homeless stay on the streets.” Ms Frederick explained, “We provide pet sleeping crates, free of charge, to homeless shelters that allow refuge to the homeless with pets.”

Feeding Pets of the Homeless provides support to pet business owners who wish to give back to their community by becoming a member collection site. Helpful start-up information is available on the website.

For more information about Pets of the Homeless, visit http://www.petsofthehomeless.org

31 thoughts on “Feeding Pets of the Homeless Leads National Pet Food Drive”

  1. I have volunteered for many years in homelessness advocacy. It is unbelievable to most people who HAVE homes and HAVE jobs or another income just what leads to homelessness.

    People who are so privileged would be surprised to learn (and probably would not believe, because it would be painful to learn and accept this and the guilt might hit) that many government agencies (federal, state and local) not only often cause but deliberately perpetuate homelessness by public policies that are often shaped by special interest groups. This is a significant part of what is behind the Occupy movement.

    The second thing is that the majority of the privileged (and I do not mean the one percent I mean the average American who has a home, however modest, and an income) believe that homeless people are druggies, drunks, criminals, chose life on the streets, are mentally ill, or somehow brought about their own problems and deserve whatever they get.

    And part and parcel of this mistaken set of beliefs is that the homeless do not deserve to have any kind of a pet. In fact, I have found that most people who have jobs or income and have homes actually wish the homeless would just go off somewhere and die quietly so they don’t have to think about them.

    Unfortunately this attitude also seems to prevail in at least some of the charitable organizations that claim to “help” the destitute and homeless. I have talked with a charitable organization in western Oregon which claims to help low/no income people with vet care for their pets; in a 20-minute conversation with the organization’s director what I found was an unbelievably nasty, condescending, disrespectful attitude toward others who are experiencing poverty but “dare” to have pets. It sure made me wonder why this woman even bothered herself with running such an organization (which I know to have been founded originally by someone who was truly dedicated to the cause) when she apparently feels the way she does and is willing to mouth off about it to anyone even remotely willing to stand there and listen to her vicious remarks!

    I have also talked with a district manager of a local chapter of a highly funded national charitable organization which proclaims its faith-based mission to be one of serving the poor (hint: it is NOT the Salvation Army, but close). While stating categorically that it does not serve the no-income-at-all (e.g., TRULY destitute) because it “does not feel compelled to provide economic bandaids” and having its staff urge the truly destitute to fraudulently file for disability benefits when they are not disabled, at the same time it just signed a lease on an upscale office building to house its local administrative offices. While whining about needing ever more donations and issuing press releases with glowing self-reporting about how its programs are helping the poor, it nonetheless at the boots-in-the-field level in actually refuses help to those who need it most.

    To those who think all it takes is for the homeless to “go get a job” I can tell you that the strongest prevailing attitude EVER among the majority of employers is that they WILL NOT HIRE A HOMELESS PERSON.

    There are three parts to “employment”: a willing worker, a willing employer, and compensation paid for services performed. How much of that equation does the unemployed person or unemployed HOMELESS person have actual control over?Tell me now: HOW DO YOU FORCE AN EMPLOYER TO GIVE YOU A JOB?! So many times I have seen a homeless person who just maybe a few months or even weeks ago HAD a job (but the business failed or the boss reduced the workforce) and HAD a home (that they could no longer pay to live in because they were jobless) break down in utter despair because they were literally begging for sustenance on a street corner and some vicious privileged person drove by in a fancy late-model car while spewing insults and screams of “get a JOB!” You know you have ALL see this happen and you might even have once or twice done this to a begging person yourself – and if so, I hope you are truly ashamed because you should realize that this can happen to anyone at any time and it can happen with frightening speed. You, too, can become homeless. It doesn’t take much.

    Most people with jobs or other income and who have homes have no idea that the largest percentage of homeless (who are less visible as they have disappeared into shelters or short-term transitional housing) are WOMEN WITH YOUNG CHILDREN where the husband and/or father has simply abandoned them. The second largest category are veterans and people too old to be considered by employers as good workers but who are too young for Social Security, which is truly truly shocking, deplorable and completely inexcusable.

    The fact is this: Most people who have jobs are one or two paychecks away from the street and those people think at the same time it will never happen to them and that there is a safety net that will catch them.

    It can happen to you, it can happen in a heartbeat, and there IS NO SAFETY NET.

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