HANCOCK COUNTY — When it comes to hunger, poverty and disasters, pets and companion animals are often at the end of the priority list.
Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management keeps the pets of local disadvantaged people in mind and provides for them through a pet food bank, which organizers say is in need of donations for dogs, cats and other pets whose owners can’t afford their care.
Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management office manager Debbie Harris said the facility has had a pet food bank for at least six years. It’s well-used — people needing food for their animals visit at least every other day, she said.
“Our cat and dog population has tripled,” Harris said. “We would much rather help you feed your pet than have you surrender your pet.”
In February, animal management donated more than 200 pounds of food to pet owners in need, Harris said.
She recently posted a plea to animal management’s Facebook page for donations of cat food, and people quickly rose to the occasion.
One donor, who doesn’t even own a cat, brought in $120 dollars’ worth of cat food, Harris said.
Harris said many people donate to animal management’s pet food pantry after their animals die. Opened bags of pet food are accepted by the pantry.
Animal management is currently seeking donations of kitten food, as kitten season is rapidly approaching, Harris said. In addition, the pantry is always in need of minute rice to help feed emaciated dogs, she said.
Those interested in donating to the pet food bank — or using it — can do so 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The animal management shelter accepts any kind of pet food, whether it’s for cats, dogs, waterfowl or hamsters, Harris said. Animal management does not give out cat litter, however, Harris said; it is so expensive that if the facility receives any donations, they are used for the cats at the shelter.
Cynthia McCormack and her husband, Jim, have donated repeatedly to the food bank. When the dog-loving family received a small windfall, they decided to share the wealth with animal management. They not only donated half a ton of supplies but also single-handedly remodeled the shelter’s adoption room from the floor to the wall-hangings.
The Hancock County Food Pantry historically offered pet food to clients but is discontinuing the practice, said Liz Rushe, a food pantry volunteer. Any donations of pet food are moved right across the street to animal management.
Chelsey Folsom, the kennel manager, said the donations to the pet food bank help the shelter, too.
“A lot of people donate treats, and we use those every day,” she said.
We would much rather help you feed your pet than have you surrender your pet. – Debbie Harris, Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management office manager