For many in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the holidays impose a strain on an already stretched family budget. The burden is even worse for those families that include dogs and other pets.
The Washington Animal Rescue League hopes to ease the burden through Presents for Paws, its annual pet food and toy drive through which low-income individuals and families receive supplies for their pets just in time for the holidays.
In the weeks before the holidays, the league will collect donations of unopened dry pet food, treats and toys, dog and cat beds, dog sweaters and cat scratching pads. It will load a van with these items and deliver them to low-income pet owners who sign up for the program in the last weeks of December.
The league says the majority of recipients are known through its medical center, which provides low-cost veterinary care to income-qualified owners.
Last year, 200 households received the gifts and this year, the league hopes to double that number to keep pace with an increase in the number using the medical center.
“For 90 years, helping all the animals in our community through a variety of programs has been at the heart of our mission and philosophy,” said league Executive Director Scotlund Haisley.
Donations can be dropped off at The Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C., during business hours through Dec. 16. Saturday drop-offs are encouraged. A list of alternative drop-off sites can be found on WARL’s website, www.warl.org
Families interested in receiving donated pet supplies may sign up at the league at any time during business hours. For more information, visit www.warl.org/events.