Launching a Pet Food Bank
Démarrage d'une banque alimentaire pour animaux
The Kibble Pet Food Bank Network is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada. We strive to help pets and livestock BEFORE they are surrendered to an SPCA animal shelter or abandoned. By providing information, pet food, and supplies to owners facing financial challenges, we are helping keep animals in the homes that love them. This is far less stressful on the pets and the people who care for them, and helps ease the overcrowding at SPCA shelters. Donated pet food and supplies are distributed to the public, and are not used to feed animals at the shelters.
Our goal is to assist pet and livestock owners during emergencies with information, food, supplies, and related resources. With the emphasis on preventative care, we strive to help animals enjoy a higher quality of life in a cost-effective manner.
Designate a closet or set of shelves separate from other food sources to store the pet food and supplies. Having a stash of margarine/ice cream or other plastic tubs is handy to put food in for freshness, too, especially for cats or small dogs. Pet equipment such as collars, bowls and blankets are offered when available.
Signs, posters and other display material at the venue entrance are a good way to alert visitors of the service.
Share word of the pet food bank slowly in the first couple of months you secure food sources and determine the level of demand. All pet owners are eligible to receive help at our facilities. Priority is given to seniors, the disabled and low-income singles for whom their pets play an extra important role in their lives. Owners are encouraged to approach the Kibble bank for help, as this shows responsibility with the pet food more apt to go where it is most needed.
We are working hard to establish a reputation of always having food available when necessary. Private donations have kept up with demand to date, and we are working to establish ties with food manufacturers to build a steady supply of food.
Once the pet food bank is well established, promotion through your web site, pamphlets and general PR efforts will help it grow.
We encourage donations of the smaller 5 lb bags of food for freshness, ease of handling and less repackaging of the food. The 8 kg bags usually serve three medium dogs for a week.
You may wish to approach pet food vendors, grocery stores, etc. to allow collection bins to be placed in their businesses.
Any cash donations are kept in a separate fund from the main venue to help purchase supplies as needed.
What a Kibble Pet Food Bank offers
Kibble pet food banks offer one week’s worth of food for up to two animals per request per month as supplies allow.
This works out to one box of cat food per cat, and half a plastic grocery bag of dog food per medium size dog. Pet equipment such as collars, bowls and blankets are offered when available.
All pet owners are eligible to receive help. Priority is given to seniors and low-income singles for whom their pets play an extra important role in their lives. Spaying and neutering is strongly promoted, especially with owners with multiple pets. Those asking assistance must agree that pets are for companionship and not for breeding or any illegal activities. The Kibble Pet Food Bank Network will not be held responsible for any illness in animals helped.
Information on how to reduce pet care costs is available through the Kibble web site and a growing collection of pamphlets. Owners are encouraged to learn more about how the emphasis should be on quality food and care over pet toys.
The network is expanding to include resources for livestock, the first being a growing list of hay and forage sources. We are also developing ties with the EMS community to provide pet food for pet owners who suffer from a house fire, women escaping abusive relationships, etc.