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Helen Woodward Animal Center kicks off pet food assistance program

The Helen Woodward Animal Center’s AniMeals program offers “drive-through” pet food distributions at no cost to those who have recently lost jobs due to COVID-19.
The Helen Woodward Animal Center’s AniMeals program offers “drive-through” pet food distributions at no cost to those who have recently lost jobs due to COVID-19.
(Courtesy)

As part of the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s AniMeals program, the center kicked off its “drive-through” pet food distributions this week at no cost to those who have recently lost jobs due to COVID-19. Throughout the week the AniMeals staff placed bags of pet food into the trunks of pet-owners’ vehicles.

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused restaurants, retail and service-related businesses to close, leaving many without a paycheck. Thanks to the support of center friends Cliff and Chris Breining, Dick and Jan Hunter, Katie and Ken Shull, Blue Buffalo and Naturally Fresh, San Diego pets will not go without the necessities of food and cat litter. This week, the center begans its first days of “drive-through” style pet food distributions, giving out a two-week supply of dog or cat food per pet/per household (maximum three pets). Additionally, Naturally Fresh supplied the first 200 people with a 6-lb. bag of cat litter per cat. Interested recipients must have been recently laid off due to COVID-19 quarantines and closures and are required to fill out a pick-up appointment request form at animalcenter.org/AniMealsRelief.

“We are happy to be even a small part of relieving some of the burden,” said Public Relations Manager Fernanda Lopez. “We know that pets provide their owners comfort, joy, and unconditional love. We want to make sure that pets can stay in the homes of their families despite the latest cutbacks and layoffs.”

In a surprising and lovely display of goodness in times of great challenge, Bill Baker, owner of local restaurant 067 Eatery sent over free lunches to Helen Woodward Animal Center staff on-duty, working to provide the AniMeals packages during the drive-thru delivery.

The center also received news of a new addition to the relief fund this week from Vince Hall CEO of Feeding San Diego. Made possible by Hall and facilitated with the assistance of local businessman, philanthropist and dedicated center friend Dan Shea, the generous organization plans to join Helen Woodward Animal Center, beginning Thursday, March 26, to provide two weeks’ worth of human nonperishable food items. Pet owners out of work due to the COVID-19 crisis will now receive two weeks’ worth of food for both their human and furry family members.

More distributions will be scheduled in the weeks to follow. Pet-loving members of the public can support their neighbors and furry community members and help ensure the center is able to help as many individuals as possible by making a monetary donation at animalcenter.org/AniMealsRelief. — News release


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