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Published: Thursday, 12/27/2012

Program helps provide food to homebound seniors’ pets


Homebound seniors with pets who receive mobile meals will get help for their pets as part of a national program.

The Banfield Charitable Trust, in partnership with Meals on Wheels Association of America, Banfield, the Pet Hospital, and The Andersons General Stores, is helping to feed hungry pets with its seventh annual Season of Suppers campaign.

About 85 seniors in Lucas County have requested help in feeding their pets, said Carolyn Fox, associate executive director of Mobile Meals of Toledo. Requests for help increase every year, she said.

Those interested in donating pet food can do so through Dec. 31 at the PetSmart stores at Spring Meadows on Airport Highway in Toledo and at Crossroads Parkway in Rossford. The Andersons general stores in Northwood, West Toledo, and in Maumee also are collecting pet food donations.

The program calls attention to the importance of pets to the well-being of homebound seniors, Ms. Fox said. Helping keep these companion pets well fed, healthy, and part of the family for as long as possible became the motivating factor behind the campaign, she said.

Many of the organization’s clients compromise their own nutrition by sharing their meals with their pets, Ms. Fox said.

“It’s expensive to keep an animal, but they are often their best friends,” Ms. Fox said. “We want to make sure they can keep their pets. The more service Mobile Meals can provide for pets leads to better health and a longer life for both the meal client and their pet.”

Mobile Meals of Toledo will deliver the pet food to their meal clients in mid-January, Ms. Fox said.

Cash donations to purchase pet food can be made online at mobilemeals.org in the donation section of the Web site by designating the donation for the Pet Food Program. Further information on the program is available from the Mobile Meals of Toledo office at 419-255-7806.

Those in need of food for their pets who do not quality for the seniors program can contact Humane Ohio, whose pet food bank is open year-round. Those in need can get more information by calling 419-266-5607, extension 113, or visiting the Web site humaneohio.org/petfoodbank.htm.

Food is provided via the pet food bank once a month per household, and all pets in the household must be spayed or neutered before they are eligible to receive food. The group also offers low-cost spay and neuter services to help clients comply with requirements.

Humane Ohio is also in need of food donations, which can be dropped off at the facility anytime or at a number of area stores, including:

● Pet Supplies Plus stores on Airport Highway, Alexis Road, Central Avenue, and Talmadge Road.

● Petco stores in Holland and on Monroe Street.

● Pet Finatics on Navarre Avenue.

● Walt Churchill’s Market in Monclova Township.

Monetary donations also can be made online. Those interested in organizing a pet food drive in a school, neighborhood, church, or business may email petfoodbank@humaneohio.org.

Contact Tanya Irwin at: tirwin@theblade.com or 419-724-6066.

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