Humane Society pet food pantry helps keep people and pets together

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Financial strain brought on by the pandemic is not only affecting Minnesotans — in many cases, it’s hurting their pets, too.

The Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley said it has worked with several families forced to surrender their pets because they can no longer afford to care for them.

"What we’ve learned through the COVID-19 pandemic is, ultimately, the need is so great that we really felt like we wanted to do more," said Anne Gass, rescue relations manager for the Humane Society.

In a time where people lean on their pets to provide emotional support, Gass said the Humane Society wanted to do everything it could to help keep people and their pets together.

"I think it’s more important than ever, honestly. We served a client this morning who said she’s suffered multiple job losses as a result of the pandemic," Gass said. "And what she shared is the only thing that’s gotten her through the last year has been the love and support of her pets."

On Sunday, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., pet owners could stop by the pop-up pet food pantry to pick up one month’s supply of food for the pets in their house. More than 2,000 pounds of pet food was donated, helping 48 different families and even more pets.

Kerrie Brown worked in the cat rescue community and came to pick up food for a friend.

"I know a lot of people that are really impacted right now. [They] don’t have the money to feed their animals and the risk of having to surrender their animals," Brown said.

Having access to free pet food is a huge relief for many families.

"It takes the pressure off," Brown said.

The Humane Society is seeing such a demand that they’ve opened up three more pet food drives in April and May. If you’d like to donate or would to sign up for assistant, visit their website.