The number of people unemployed has increased dramatically since COVID-19 and has caused many to struggle to feed their plates. If cat parents aren’t able to feed their own animals and their pets, they’re probably having a hard time securing food for their pets too.
If you’re suffering, know you’re not by yourself. It’s not uncommon for the ASPCA recently published new data showing there are more than 4.2 million animals across the U.S. who are likely to be in poverty within the coming months because of COVID-19.
“With the potential for a sustained national unemployment rate of 10%, the total number of animals living in poverty with their owners could rise to more than 24.4 million dogs, cats, horses, and other animals — a 21 percent increase in the number of animals living in poverty compared to pre-COVID estimates [in February 2020],” says Jessica Sweeney, the senior program manager for ASPCA social engagement. “The number of families who may be struggling to care for their pets is staggering.”
Sweeney provides advice on finding help feeding your cat. And there is no reason to be embarrassed to seek assistance.
Find an area that has a food pantry
Local shelters operate food pantries and food banks. Pet owners can search “pet food pantry near me” to locate one. Local veterinarians and shelters can help direct you in the proper direction.
Be on the lookout in the aisles
Pet stores such as PetsMart and Petco frequently have samples within the store aisles. Try stocking in these to keep you going. You may also find coupons that you can utilize. If you are unable to find coupons contact your preferred cat food vendor and explain the situation. They might be willing to give you coupons or samples for free.
Don’t be shy
The act of asking for help isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to feel confident due to the fact that you can’t afford cat food or are embarrassed to seek assistance however, it’s not a good idea. There are organizations that can help you.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for pet owners by straining essential owner resources and making it difficult for people to access the supplies and services they need to care for their pets,” Sweeney declares. “We believe that pets and people belong together; that financial circumstances alone are not reliable indicators of the capacity to love and care for a companion animal.”