Young Williams asks public for pet food donations

Young Williams asks public for pet food donations

Posted:
Around 90 pets are fed a month through Young Williams' Pet Food Pantry Program. Around 90 pets are fed a month through Young Williams' Pet Food Pantry Program.
"We saw an increase in the number of animals being released to the shelter, because they said they could no longer afford to feed their animals," said Amy Johnston. "We saw an increase in the number of animals being released to the shelter, because they said they could no longer afford to feed their animals," said Amy Johnston.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Young Williams Animal Center put a plea on Facebook over the weekend asking for people to donate dry dog and cat food.

Around 90 pets are fed a month through their Pet Food Pantry Program, but last week they ran completely out of food. While some food has been donated, more assistance is still needed.

Patricia Peralta describes herself as a animal lover. Monday she's visited Young Williams Animal Center to find a new addition to the family. She already adopted two dogs and a cat and now a guinea pig.

"A lot of the animals that I get are abused and I feel like by taking in an animal and giving them love, it shows them that humans are not bad," said Peralta.

Amy Johnston is the Outreach Director at Young Williams Animal Center. She loves to see animals being adopted, but noticed in 2011 more animals were being dropped off.

"We saw an increase in the number of animals being released to the shelter, because they said they could no longer afford to feed their animals," said Johnston.

To help, the shelter started the Pet Food Pantry. Dry dog and cat food is donated and people who have fallen on hard times and need a little assistance to feed their animal can pick up pet food.

Since the first of the year, donations have been decreasing and the need has gone up, causing the normally packed pantry to be bare.

"We're not sure why, but we have seen an increase and therefore we ran out of food," said Johnston.

Each month Young Williams Animal Center gives away more than 700 pounds of dog food and more than 400 pounds of cat food. Around 30 families use the pet food pantry each month. Around 90 pets are fed.

Peralta has had to use the program in the past. She says if the help wasn't available, she wouldn't have been able to keep her pets.

"I would have had to leave my animals here and worry about if they were put to sleep, if they got adopted, if they got adopted to a good family," said Peralta.

To help keep the program going, more dry dog and cat food needs to be donated.

To get the free pet food you must qualify. Young Williams Animal Center will check your income and see if you qualify for government assistance.

You must also volunteer at a nonprofit for three hours to get the pet food. The center wants the program to just help a family temporarily until they can afford to feed their pet again.

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