Animal shelters seek help as food donations decline

The pandemic has led to an uptick in surrenders and a decrease in donations, leaving animal shelters in a tight bind as they work to keep pets fed.

Keeping pets fed is becoming a big concern for animal shelters as pet owners continue grapple with challenges brought on by the pandemic, leading to more surrenders and less donations.

“Giving to charities has declined,” said Jean Shafiroff, spokesperson for the Humane Society. “What we’re seeing is a situation where there is great need for food. We don’t want people surrendering their pets because they can’t afford the food.”

With nearly 8 million animals currently in shelters, the need for donations has reached a new high, and Shafiroff says shelters are on the brink of a crisis.

Shafiroff says many shelters are now asking pet owners to seek out other resources for pet food and assistance before surrendering a pet to try and mitigate the issue.

“Some of the bigger food pantries have food available,” she added, stressing the need for those who are able to donate to their local shelters.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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