Update: Dec. 3, 2020
#GivingTuesday Pet Food Bank helps hundreds of struggling pet owners.
#GivingTuesday was a day for the Oregon Humane Society to give back to struggling pet owners in the community. On Dec. 1 and 2, dozens of cars were lined up before the Pet Food Bank opened. Some shared their stories, while others just wore the exhaustion of the challenges of 2020. Many brought their pets with them and proudly introduced them to OHS staff and volunteers who were working throughout the day. When supplies of cat food were running low, a call to OHS corporate partners and volunteers resulted in a outpouring of supplies. Every single pet owner who came to the Pet Food Bank received what they needed to get through the holidays and beyond.
Working at the Pet Food Bank was a deeply meaningful task for OHS staff and volunteers. A long-time volunteer shares some of her experience:
Throughout the day I heard so many “bless you”, “thank you” and “this is wonderful” comments.
As the line began to chaos began to calm and there was time to hear the people, and not just the immediate needs of their pets, the true weight of 2020 started to come into focus.
“Can I get some for my mom’s pets? She’s disabled and barely got out of the house back in the fires this summer…”
“I’m supposed to be getting disability, but they’re so far behind and I haven’t had any income in almost a year…”
“I’ve got one dog… but… well, now I’ve got two, I’ve got my sister’s dog now. She….” their voice trailed off with a sigh and their eyes went down.
People showed me their state-issued ID, to prove they were from two different homes, so they could get enough. And no, I wasn’t carding anyone.
Some people wore their struggles openly, their cars packed with their belongings and held together with duct tape in places. It was these ones who seemed a little shier than the rest, barely able to ask for what they needed. It was these ones who nearly burst into tears when they saw the bags of food and litter headed their way.
2020 has taken so much and given so little, for those who would otherwise be slipping through the cracks and forgotten about, today I hope they saw that they do matter. Someone does care, and if they’re brave enough to reach out… there’s going to be someone reaching back for them.
Nov. 30, 2020
OHS hosting two-day Pet Food Bank, beginning #GivingTuesday, to help struggling pet owners.
The goal of the two-day Pet Food Bank is to help community members who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. With the recent spike in cases and new restrictions put into place, more pet owners may be struggling to make ends meet.
Since the pandemic began, OHS has distributed pet food to shelters and food pantries around the state, and hosted pet-food banks for essential workers and those facing unemployment. This latest effort, kicking off on #GivingTuesday, was created to help pet owners get through this difficult holiday season.
“Pets have played such an important role in our lives as we have dealt with the challenges of 2020,”says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. “Our goal is to continue to support pet owners in our community in any way we can. By hosting this Pet Food Bank, we hope to give those who are struggling one less thing to worry about this holiday season.”
The food being distributed includes generous donations from Stella & Chewy’s, Mud Bay & Animal Supply, Inception Pet Foods, World’s Best Cat litter and others.
What: Free pet food for community members in need.
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1 and 3-7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2
Where: Oregon Humane Society storage facility, 8001 NE 14th Pl., Portland, Ore*
*This building is to the north of the main shelter.
To keep OHS staff and the public safe, masks are required, and contactless, drive-up service is preferred.
Those interested in supporting Oregon Humane Society’s Pet Food Banks can help by making a donation. Monetary donations allow OHS the flexibility to address the greatest needs at our shelter. Yellow donations bins are also located outside the main shelter at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd to receive unopened bags of dog and cat food and cat litter.