By Nicole Wiseman, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- When we hear about the economy in crisis, we often think of struggling businesses and unemployment.
But there's another reality of hard times, and that's the effect it's having on family pets. Many have had to part ways with their four-legged friends, but before you do, there's new help available.
The Humane Society Of Tulsa has developed a program called the Oklahoma Pet Food Pantry. Their goal is to collect pet food and then give it away to families who are struggling to provide for their pets and who may otherwise be forced to find them a new home.
The Humane Society Of Tulsa is brimming with dogs and cats.
"We have a ton of purebred Shih Tzus and Pomeranians and Min Pins, everything that these people have bought from breeders that are spayed and neutered and shots and perfectly healthy, and they just need good homes," said Kiley Roberson of the Humane Society Of Tulsa.
Several of the animals had good homes until a poor economy took a toll on their owners. In fact, the Humane Society has taken in about five to 10 pets a week since spring, including a Min Pin named Holly Berry. Its owner lost her job, lost her home and then had to give up her furry friend.
"She just couldn't afford to take care of her anymore and it was absolutely heartbreaking to see them come in here and say, ‘I need help and there's nothing more I can do. Can you please take care of my pet? This is my family. It means so much to me and I know that I can't care for them anymore,'" said Roberson.
But the Humane Society is trying to turn that heartbreak into joy with The Oklahoma Pet Food Pantry.
"You know, bringing us a bag of dog food, a bag of cat food, a pallet of pet food, anything helps," Roberson said.
And it's making it possible for innocent animals to stay out of rescues and shelters and at home with their owners.
The first Oklahoma Pet Food Pantry event was held Sunday, June 13 at the Humane Society located at 60th and Sheridan. Oklahoma Pet Food Pantry events will be held the second Sunday of every month as long as the Humane Society is receiving pet food donations.
To receive aid you'll need to show identification and provide proof your pet has been spayed or neutered. If your pet hasn't been spayed or neutered and you are in need of help, the Humane Society will direct you to a low cost option.
Pet owner participation in The Oklahoma Pet Food Pantry is meant to be temporary. The Humane Society will offer aid to a person for six months. After six months of being in the program, your status will be reevaluated to see if you're still in need of help.
Get involved with the Oklahoma Pet Food Pantry:
If you would like to make a donation, volunteer or have a collection bin placed at your company e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.