ANN ARBOR, Mich. – “We don’t want people choosing between feeding themselves and feeding their pets,” said HSHV president and CEO Tanya Hilgendorf.
The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) and new community partners are working together to feed hungry Washtenaw County pets.
Overall, 11.6% of county residents are currently considered food insecure, according to the data from Feeding America. Through a new partnership with Community Action Network (CAN) and Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels (AAMOW), pet food is being distributed to CAN and AAMOW clients around the county.
More than 2,000 pounds of food have already been delivered since the partnership kicked off last week.
The free pet food comes from the HSHV: Bountiful Bowls pet food pantry, which has operated since 2008.
“But not everyone knows about us,” said Bountiful Bowls manager Cameron Greig in a release. “So we’re thrilled to join with CAN and AAMOW, too. Through partnerships with other nonprofits, we can meet the needs of the community—and we can all get food to where it’s needed the most.”
The pet food pantry already partners with Food Gatherers and Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels to pass out food to furry residents.
In 2020, more than 42,000 pounds of pet food was distributed around Washtenaw County. Prior to the CAN and AAMOW partnership, Bountiful Bowls had served the pets of almost 250 families in 2021.
“Research shows that companion animals aren’t just beloved by many families, they bolster our mental health,” said Hilgendorf. “And during the pandemic, when many have been painfully—and sometimes dangerously—isolated, pets have been a saving grace. Folks shouldn’t have to give up their animals simply because they’re going through hard times. In fact, that’s when they need them the most. Our goal is to keep loving pets in loving homes. We’re grateful to CAN and AAMOW for helping extend this mission.”
All of the food coming from Bountiful Bowls has been donated. Those interested in helping furry, feathered and scaley community members can drop off dry pet food at HSHV on Cherry Hill Road, or purchase food on the nonprofit’s wishlist.
Donated food can be opened but must be taped up in original packaging and within three months of expiring. Items can be put in a blue donation bin in front of the nonprofit every day of the week between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Humane Society of Huron Valley is at 3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor.