COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdowns have been hard on a lot of people — but they've also been hard on their pets. Harbor Humane Society
has seen record numbers of people requesting food for their pets at its monthly pet food pantry, says Allyson Huttenga, Harbor Humane’s community relations manager.
“It has been gradually growing over the course of the pandemic,” Huttenga says.
Now a donation from Land O'Lakes has provided 10,000 pounds of dog food to the nonprofit. The company was revamping its inventory and put the older stock to good use.
A lot of mouths to feed
“We have a lot of mouths to feed, but it will definitely sustain us for a while between the dogs at the shelter and the pantry,” Huttenga says.
Land O'Lakes donated 10,000 pounds of its dog food to Harbor Humane. The food will serve pets at the shelter, in foster care, and at the pet food pantry.
Harbor Humane Society has about 30 to 40 dogs at its no-kill shelter at any given time in addition to those in foster care homes, for whom it also provides food. The nonprofit shelter relies solely on donations of food to feed its animals. Some of the food comes from area pet stores, some from individuals, but this 10,000-pound donation will feed a lot of hungry dogs for a long time.
Piers Feed & Country Store facilitated the donation, and Boer’s Transport offered one of its trucks to move the food to Harbor Humane’s off-site warehouse, 100 Aniline Ave. N., Holland Township, where the pantry takes place every month.
The pet food pantry is relatively new and has been in operation for about 18 months, Huttenga says.
It takes place on the second Wednesday of every month. Families receive enough food to feed their pets for the next month. In each of the past two months, more than 200 pets have received food. The pantry has no prerequisites except for documentation of financial hardship such as a Bridge card, unemployment record, pay stub, etc.
Harbor Humane Society also offers low-cost spay/neuter services and a monthly low-cost pet vaccine clinic at its shelter, 14345 Bagley St., Olive Township.
“We want all these people who are already pet owners and are caring for pets to be able to keep the pets in their home instead of turning to surrendering,” Huttenga says.