For some people, the strange effects of the coronavirus have made it a perfect time to adopt a pet or become a foster home for pets not yet ready to be adopted. Those who are suddenly working at home every day and feeling lonely because of social distance might have the urge to fill the void with a puppy. But for others, the sudden loss of income might mean choosing between buying food for their families, and food for their pets.
The Humane Animal Rescue originally encouraged foster home applicants, especially to prepare for the possibility of an employee getting sick and needing to transfer animals out. But now, Humane Animal Rescue has received so many foster applications — 240 applications since March 17 — that the rescue center is now shifting its focus to its pet food pantry.
Ellie's Pet Pantry, a Humane Animal Rescue program, assists local owners in feeding their pets, who without assistance, might otherwise have to surrender their animals.
"As families struggle with the loss of jobs and other sources of income, individuals can make an enormous difference by sparing children, parents, and family pets the heartache of separation," states a press release from Humane Animal Rescue.
Melissa Smith, Director of Communications at the Humane Animal Rescue, says they have seen an increase in calls about the food pantry, which she expects will continue in the coming weeks and months as coronavirus shutdowns continue. Requested donations include bagged and canned food for cats and dogs, as well as purchases off of their Amazon wishlist
or financial donations to the rescue. Donations can be dropped off at the East End location (926 Hamilton Avenue, Homewood) or the North Side location (1101 Western Avenue).
For a limited time, during this period of social distancing, those wanting to donate food to the pantry can place an online order
at select Petco and Market District locations, and a Humane Animal Rescue staff member will pick it up. Families in need of assistance with feeding their pets can contact the Ellie's Pantry team