Baldwin County Humane Society Pet Food Pantry

The economic crisis that is sweeping our nation is forcing more and more families to make the heartbreaking decision to surrender their pets when they can no longer afford to care for them. Shelters and rescue organizations are inundated with pets surrendered by families citing their financial circumstances as the sole reason for the surrender of their beloved pets. As a result, organizations throughout the country are working with pet parents to help them keep their pets by providing free food.

Baldwin County Humane Society pet food pantry

Gray kitten on red blanketEarlier this year, the Baldwin County Humane Society (BARC!) opened the first pet food pantry in the southern Alabama region. BARC! is working closely with local community food banks to assist income-eligible families with food for their dogs and cats. This is an ongoing pet food pantry and distribution plan rather than a one-time pet food drive. One of BARC"s primary missions is to educate the public about the humane control and care of all animals. Providing adequate food for our companion animals is one of the most basic and critical aspects of animal welfare.

Most of the food for this program is donated by the public. All types of pet food are needed - dry and canned food for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. Smaller bags (10 pounds or less) are preferred because they are easier to store, transport and distribute. Cat litter and dog and cat treats are also needed. Volunteers are providing critical support for the Pet Food Bank by collecting and transporting the pet food from one of the 20+ collection sites in Baldwin County to the distribution sites in Fairhope, Foley and Spanish Fort.

Based on the first six months that the Pet Food Pantry has been operating, the need for this type of service in Baldwin County is substantial. BARC! is providing an average of 957 pounds of pet food each week to 249 dogs and cats.

The local business community has welcomed the BARC! Pet Food Pantry with open arms. Businesses have hosted a variety of unique and fun events to benefit the Pantry. Bruno"s grocery stores in Fairhope, Spanish Fort and Gulf Shores, regular collection points for the Pantry, held a special six week collection that made it easy for shoppers to donate. The stores offered specially-packaged bags for $5 that contained a bag of dog food and a bag of cat food. They sold 367 of these bags which totaled more than a ton of pet food. The Lillian Post Office held a food drive in connection with the release of the shelter pet stamps and collected 700 pounds of food. Fairhope Salon and Spa held a special collection during the First Friday Artwalk in July and collected $261 and 167 pounds of food. Several local theaters hosted special pet food collections during the late July premiere of "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore." Uncorked, a wine shop in Daphne, held a benefit wine tasting in August and collected $465 for the pantry.

Black dog wearing red bandana sitting on the grassBest Friends First Home Forever Home campaign

The Best Friends First Home Forever Home campaign focuses on helping people make and honor a lifetime commitment to their pets. Millions of companion animals die every year in crowded shelters because their families gave them up for some reason. Through education, intervention, and action, we provide guidance and resources to help people care for their pets and keep them as members of their family.

Adopt an animal from BARC!

Organize a pet food drive in your community

Photos are courtesy of Petfinder.com. The animals pictured above are currently available for adoption from the Baldwin County Humane Society (BARC!).