RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Meals on Wheels has a "Meals for Pets" component so that recipients can feed themselves and their dogs or cats. Trouble is, donations are down for all food, and pet food in particular is low.
Richmond Animal League is collecting unopened dry and canned food for both dogs and cats. Donations will benefit Meals on Wheels, so they prefer canned food be "pop-top" for easier access by many of the program's elderly clients. A spokesperson for Meals on Wheels says they started this program after realizing their clients with pets couldn't provide for them.
"After the volunteers were coming back and consistently seeing that the clients were sharing their meals with their pets that's how the Meals for Pets program began back in the mid-80s," said Kristen Van Story, Meals on Wheels.
Meals on Wheels touches the lives of hundreds in central Virginia each weekday, and many of those people have companion animals.
"The companionship that pets provide our clients is so important because our clients are homebound, they are elderly and disabled, and many times the only person they see all day is the volunteer bringing them their meals, and of course having their pets around often fills in those lonely gaps because they can't get out and have those interactions with other people," said Kristen.
People who can't afford their pets often give them up to places like Richmond Animal League, so it's a win-win for RAL to do this pet food drive.
"It's so heartbreaking to think of a person so loving of their animal that they are willing to give up their own food--I mean it just breaks our heart, and it just reaches out to all those many, many dog and cat lovers in the Richmond area," said Susan Kelly, Richmond Animal League.
This pet food drive will run from now through Friday, September 19. You can drop off food at Richmond Animal League which is located on International Drive: one block off Midlothian Turnpike across from Chesterfield Town Center. Richmond Animal League will make regular drop offs to the Meals on Wheels office.