Louisiana Pet Food Bank overwhelmed with applications; asking for donations
BATON ROUGE - With inflation digging its paws into the wallets of millions of Americans, it's no secret that times are rough.
The economic hardships are forcing pet owners to make difficult decisions, such as choosing between dog food or a full tank of gas. Those decisions often lead to owners surrendering their pets to already overcrowded shelters.
“It’s trickling down. Shelters are full. The rescues who pull from the shelters are still holding onto dogs, so it’s just a ripple effect in a negative way," said Paula Schoen with Friends of the Animals in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Pet Food Bank is an organization that aims to deter pet owners from surrendering their beloved pets by providing free dog and cat food. Recently, the food bank has seen a 70% increase in the number of applications for assistance.
“We’ve seen them break down in tears. Something as simple as a bag of food is like handing them the winning Powerball numbers," said Jonathan Henriques, Director of Rescue Alliance.
With demand increasing faster than donations are coming in, organizers at the Pet Food Bank are afraid they won't be able to keep up. What was once a supply of 40 to 50 bags of dog and cat food has now withered away to less than 10.
To keep things afloat, the Louisiana Pet Food Bank is launching a pet food drive. They are asking for donations of dry or canned cat and dog food, as well as cat litter. Monetary donations are also accepted.
Henriques says fostering and adopting animals from local shelters will also help the issue. The next pet adoption event hosted by Rescue Alliance will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at the PetSmart in Gonzales.