It is estimated that one in eight Americans are taking advantage of food bank programs around the country, but often these food banks don’t offer pet food or other essentials such as cat litter, resulting in difficult decisions for some families. According to PETCO, some families have had to make the heart-breaking decision to relinquish their pets when they are struggling to support even themselves, and the company wants it’s stores to become the nation’s largest network of pet food banks.
The PETCO Foundation is placing pet food collection bins in PETCO stores across the country. All food donated to the PETCO Foundation Pet Food Bank program will be distributed to local pet parents struggling to feed their pets. The pet food bank bins will be clearly marked and designated for pet food donations and serve as a collection point for customers to drop off food or cat litter donations brought from home or purchased during their shopping trip. Each PETCO store will partner with an existing food bank that has a pet food component, or with an animal welfare group that has set up its own pet food bank, to donate the food directly to economically stressed pet parents in that store’s local community.
"Today, more than ever, pets are part of the family; and we don’t believe anyone should have to go through the pain of giving them up because of financialdistress," said Paul Jolly, the PETCO Foundation’s Executive Director. "With PETCO stores across the country visited every day by people who love and care for pets, we saw a huge opportunity to help prevent people from having to make such a heart-wrenching choice."
The pet food collection bins are already available in 250 PETCO stores in San Diego, Chicago, Orlando and New York City, and all stores will accept donations through the Pet Food Bank program by the end of spring.