Faithful Friends in Wilmington, Delaware opens pet food bank

New Pet Food Bank in Wilmington, Delaware

By isak, July 17, 2009

mouser 224x300 New Pet Food Bank in Wilmington, DelawareI get so excited when I read about another community pet food bank opening. This time it’s through Faithful Friends, a no-kill animal shelter in Wilmington, Delaware.

The service these pet food banks offer can be the very thing that helps a family keep their pet. Sadly turning a beloved companion in to a shelter is often a death sentence. There are not enough no-kill shelters and there are so many pets being turned in. If you or someone you know needs help, maybe this article will help.

If you are in a good place during these difficult times, perhaps you can make a donation to your local pet food bank or no-kill shelter.

Hungry pets can get free food at this bank

Shelter, donors help animal lovers in need
by Angie Basiouny • THE NEWS JOURNAL • JULY 12, 2009

Pet owners struggling to pay the bills during this recession can get some help from Faithful Friends.

The no-kill animal shelter in Wilmington has opened a pet-food bank to offer free dog and cat food for residents who are in financial need. The idea, said Jane Pierantozzi, executive director of Faithful Friends, is to keep pets and their people together.

Since the recession began, the shelter has seen a four-fold increase in the number of animals being given for adoption. Cash-strapped families are finding that they just can’t take care of their pets while trying to take care of themselves, Pierantozzi said.

“When we started doing work in the community with our free and low-cost spay/neuter clinics, we realized there was a need,” she said. “And with the foreclosure crisis, it became more evident.”

Residents who come in for the pet food are asked to fill out a short application stating their need. The shelter staff doesn’t screen the applicants or run a credit check — they rely on honest answers.

“We do not turn people away,” Pierantozzi said. “And nobody is abusing it. People who need help are coming out for help.”

Andy and Naomi Lancaster of Middletown have been relying on the program, which launched about five months ago, to help them feed several rescue dogs they have taken in, some with medical problems.

The Lancasters are school bus drivers, so their work dries up during the summer.

“It’s an expensive time of year,” Naomi Lancaster said. “I found out about the food bank the day we came home from unemployment.”

She thinks the pet-food bank is a great idea and said animal lovers shouldn’t feel ashamed about asking for help if it means keeping their pets healthy.

“I would encourage anybody who needs the help not to be embarrassed and accept it,” Lancaster said.

The food bank is supplied by donations from the public, other nonprofits such as the Humane Society, and stores including Concord Pet Food & Supplies and Petco Corp.

But with the increase in demand, Pierantozzi said, the shelter could use more help.

Donations of pet food and money are sought, as well as coupons for pet food and treats. Right now, the greatest need is for dry and canned cat food.

Donations and coupons can be dropped off at the shelter at 12 Germay Drive in Wilmington during business hours, which are 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Those also are the hours of operation for the pet-food bank.

For more information or to donate to the shelter online, visit www.faithfulfriends.us.

Contact Angie Basiouny at 324-2796 or abasiouny@delawareonline.com.
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reprinted from Delaware Online website

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