The Pet Food Bank is run by the Save the Pets Alliance, a cooperative effort of Lee County Animal Services, The Animal Refuge Center, Gulf Coast Humane Society, Caloosa Veterinary Medical Society, and the Harry Chapin Food Bank. It assists pet owners with food and supplies needed to keep pets in their homes so that they are not relinquished to shelters.
Current economic conditions for Southwest Florida residents have left many people with financial problems far beyond what they can control. One in 86 homes is in foreclosure with the number of homes in foreclosure increasing by 57% in January of 2009. This problem leaves people homeless – exacerbating the homeless problem for our animals. All of the shelters in Lee County frequently operate at capacity.
Many people are surrendering their animals solely because they are unable to feed their animals. Sadly, these people say that they cannot even afford to feed their children, much less their animals. Given that many animals are often considered family members themselves, the separation causes further anxiety and stress–especially in children.
In an effort to address this problem, and in the hopes that by helping perhaps some people can avoid having to surrender their pets, local pet shelters formed the Save the Pets Alliance with the hope that if they can provide pet food to families in need, perhaps they can help these animals stay in their homes and out of shelters.