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Homeless Pets: 3 Nonprofits That Help People Living On The Streets Feed Their Animals

Posted: 04/ 4/2012 4:25 pm Updated: 04/ 4/2012 4:28 pm

Homeless Pets

When stomachs start rumbling, homeless people with pets often feed their best friends first.

To help the estimated five to 10 percent of homeless people with pets care for their animals, Pets of the Homeless recently teamed up with the South Lake Animal League of Groveland, Fla. The organizations distribute dog and cat food to local food pantries for the poor and homeless, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

"It means they get to eat another meal, and their best buddy gets to have a healthy meal," Paula Kane, a volunteer in Bithlo, Fla., told the East Orlando Sun. "Because homeless people will go hungry before their dogs."

Some are skeptical as to why a person living on the streets should take on the responsibility of a pet. But Kane, who helps feed the homeless, told the news outlet that many homeless people rely on their pooches for protection and sometimes even more importantly, companionship.

"Just 'cause you're homeless don't mean you cannot have a pup," Russell, a homeless man living in Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel. "Look at this puppy. He ain't missed a meal. And he'll never miss one."

Pets of the Homeless, which also awards grants to veterinarians who vaccinate, spay or neuter pets, isn't the only nonprofit on a mission to nourish animals without a home.

The Doglando Foundation recently launched its Full Tummy Project, an initiative that bags pet food for the homeless and poverty stricken in East Orlando, Fla., according to the East Orlando Sun.

Some activists are going so far as to develop entire food banks devoted to animals.

When food banks rejected Tom Wargo's idea to address pet hunger, the Georgia resident went on to start his own nonprofit, Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen, according to Lilburn-Mountain Park Patch.

His organization has since become one of the largest pet food banks in the country, providing 600,000 pounds of food last year for pets of the poor.

"The people that I was helping ... would bring the people food home and feed their animals with it," he told the news source. "They're not going to let their animals starve, they're not going to kill them at the pound, so they're going to feed them, just like if you have kids."

To get involved with Pets of the Homeless, click here.

To learn more about Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen, click here.

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Filed by Emily Heinz  |