Pets are truly part of the family. So, given this, plus the well-known issue of overowing animal control centers, sending them away really is the last resort when unemployed. The good news is that there is help available out there to ensure unemployment isn’t the cause of your four-legged friends going hungry.
Research a More Cost-Effective Brand of Food
You might be surprised to learn that if you change to a different brand of food, the savings really do add up. Think about it; for every $5 less spent per week, you’ll be $260 better off by the end of the year! Speak to your vet or seek advice at your local pet store to see how you can save whilst tending to your pet’s specific dietary needs.
Seek the Support of a Nonprofit Organization
In recent years, the number of nonprofit organizations offering financial aid to people on unemployment with pets has really taken off. Examples of some national groups for dog owners include Brown Dog Foundation, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and Basil’s Buddies. There are also regional- and breed-specific groups around for assistance, such as the nonprofit for cat owners, Feline Outreach.
So how does it work? Each one will vary, but you apply for financial support, submit details about your circumstances and are informed of how much help you can get. And, it’s not just about filling furry bellies; you may be able to benefit from the likes of subsidized vet bills, too.
Visit Your Local Pet Food Bank
Believe it or not, there are food banks that operate for animals in the same way they do for humans. Take the Petco Foundation for instance, which has a franchise of pet food assistance initiatives with 75 animal welfare organizations across America. A recent collaboration with the hunger-relief charity Feeding America also means that donated pet food is collected and passed on to those who need a little help getting meals into their pet’s bellies. Look online to find your nearest pet food bank, or give Petco Foundation a call for support on learning where to turn.
Benefit from Pet Food Stamps
This is an area of support which is still taking off, but the idea is that it could work in much the same way as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which currently offers food stamps to people on unemployment. New York-based organization, Pet Food Stamps, is blazing the trail, and it is hoped that others will follow in its footsteps soon enough.
Ask for Help
It can be incredibly hard to admit that you are facing difficult times, but often, if you let others know you are in need of support, they will reach out willingly to lend a hand, and probably make your life a whole lot easier as a result. With that in mind, consider setting up a Facebook page letting your friends know what issues you are facing with feeding your pets. You could be amazed by how many responses you get. Or, if you’d rather keep this separate from your circle of friends, you might be able to post on a community forum through your vet’s website, or by finding an appropriate forum on Yahoo! Groups. After all, if you don’t ask you don’t get!
Do Some Fundraising of Your Own
How about a community bake sale, where all your neighbors get involved with raising a bit of cash? Garage sales are also hugely popular. And if you have any items in good condition that you are no longer using, put them on Craigslist to earn a quick buck. There are also ‘free’ listings on Craigslist and other sites like Freecycle. So, check every once in a while, to see if anyone is offering food or other items that your pet might benefit from.
Get Know-How Online
There is a wealth of information and support available online these days, and all it requires is some diligent cyber surfing. Take the Humane Society for instance. It may not provide direct support for people with pets, but it offers a full list of regional and national initiatives that you can consider for yourself. The same goes for non-profit organizations and pet food banks. There is a wealth of guidance at your fingertips – if you know where to look!