Giving pets (and their owners) a helping hand
Petfood can play a role in keeping pets in their homes, especially during times of financial need or natural disasters
While the petfood and pet care industries have continued to chug along despite the economy, still sluggish in many parts of the world, there's no doubt that some pet owners have been hit hard by loss of jobs, wages or homes. In the US, at least 5 million pets enter animal shelters each year for a variety of reasons; it's difficult to find up-to-date data on how many are surrendered due to owners' inability to afford petfood or care.
However, we know that since the recession began in 2008, more petfood banks have come into existence, and similar programs to provide food to shelters, rescue groups and pets displaced by natural disasters have grown. For example, the Rescue Bank was born in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, when Elizabeth Asher and John Kane of Houston decided to create a program to match up donations from petfood companies with rescue groups and efforts needing help at a given time.
Since then, the Rescue Bank has distributed millions of pounds of food and supplies to needy pets through pre-approved groups of all sizes throughout the US. The community-based petfood banks and pantries it supplies help families keep their pets in their homes, the Rescue Bank said.
Of course, such a program would not be possible without the generosity of petfood manufacturers and marketers; nearly every company in our industry around the world has a…