Animal lovers can help feed needy pets across the United States through a holiday campaign involving the Banfield Pet Hospital chain, the company’s charitable arm, food manufacturer Royal Canin USA and toy maker Kong Co.
The eighth annual food drive, which runs through December 31, has multiple goals: raising awareness about pet hunger, collecting pet food and assisting senior citizens with the care of a companion animal.
“Pets play an invaluable role in the lives of people who face difficult life circumstances,” said Dianne McGill, executive director and CEO of Banfield Charitable Trust in Portland, Oregon. “It is our hope that people will gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing senior citizen pet owners and how lack of food is contributing to the overcrowding of shelters in every community. Spreading the message and making a donation will enrich and save lives.”
The public may help in three ways:
• Go to the Royal Canin USA Facebook page to take a pledge to end pet hunger. Royal Canin, based in St. Charles, Missouri, will donate 1 pound of pet food for every pledge made.
• Donate money at the Banfield Charitable Trust website or at a Banfield Pet Hospital. The cash will assist local Meals on Wheels pet food programs. A donation of $10 or more will send a Kong Classic toy to the pet of a Meals on Wheels client.
• Donate bags and cans of dog or cat food at a Banfield Pet Hospital.
“Nutrition is the foundation of good health for both pets and people,” said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, Banfield’s chief medical officer. “As a practice, our focus is making a better world for pets through preventive care, and we are committed to ensuring the pets of homebound seniors receive proper nutrition to live long and healthy lives.”
One senior citizen who needs pet food is a Florida woman named Alice, who calls her dog Lucky a source of comfort and joy.
“Lucky was at my husband’s side constantly,” Alice said. “Now that my husband has passed, Lucky is my best friend and companion.”
Royal Canin is guaranteeing the donation of 30,000 pounds of pet food, plus up to 20,000 additional pounds based on the Facebook pledge taking.
“We are committed to promoting the well-being of cats and dogs, while also helping their owners through this pet food drive,” said Dr. Brent Mayabb, corporate affairs director at Royal Canin USA.
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