High Point helps 4-legged friends
By: David Ibata
The High Point, North Carolina, Corps has introduced a program at its food pantry to ensure one special member of a household isn’t forgotten. Social Services is now offering pet assistance by providing dog and cat food.
More than 400 people a month visit the pantry, which operates out of the corps building at 301 W. Green Drive. Another 600 are served by the corps’ mobile food pantry, which travels to 12 area “food deserts” whose residents lack affordable, healthy food choices.
And then there are the four-legged companions.
“We realized a lot of the families and households that come in for food assistance have pets,” said Antoine Dalton, director of social services for the High Point Corps. “They are making difficult choices; not only what they eat, but whether their animals are going to be fed as well.”
To help answer the need, the Humane Society of the Piedmont has agreed to deliver 1,000 pounds of dog and cat food every other week. “The Humane Society is thankful for this partnership to address the limited pet food supplies in households,” Dalton said.
Social Services started assisting with pet food in May and distributed 2,000 pounds that month, which fed a total of 100 dogs and 42 cats.
“We definitely expect our pet food assistance program to grow,” Dalton said. “We have made other community agencies aware of our new service to share with their clients. We are the only agency in High Point that provides pet food assistance, and it is important for us to make the community aware that we are here to help.”
To participate, a pet owner is asked to fill out a simple form that helps the case managers determine how much pet food the household will receive, based on the size and number of animals. The form also asks if the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered.
“We would like to partner with the Humane Society of the Piedmont later this summer by having a mobile pet clinic on site for a day,” Dalton said. “Owners interested in having their pets spayed or neutered could have this service done for a very affordable cost. The offer will be voluntary, giving households an option to help manage the number of pets they are responsible for.”
Anyone who’s had one knows: A dog or cat isn’t just an animal, they are part of the family.
“The community has been very responsive and grateful for the pet food assistance,” Dalton said. “This is definitely carrying out the mission of The Salvation Army – serving people and meeting needs.”