RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Not knowing where your next meal will come from is a challenge, but it becomes harder when you have more than one mouth to feed.
Feeding Pets of the Homeless provides help for homeless owners and their furry companions.
Genevieve Frederick is the founder of Pets of the Homeless. She said the nonprofit is jumping over a few hurdles as well.
“We’re finding now that there’s a shortage of pet food because the food sites are closed or the hours are shut down,” explained Frederick. “I’m not sure if any of them are distributing pet food at this point because human food is so valuable and to these people they’ll give their food to their pets.”
Besides a pet food shortage and lack of shelter, Frederick said many of the veterinary hospitals across the nation aren’t taking new clients either, limiting treatment centers and other options.
“You know that you’ll have to stay in the car and they take the animal and go in,” added Frederick. “A lot of of our homeless people are walking to these hospitals and are now having to stay outside in the heat or try to find shade while their pet is being treated.”
To help with services, The Humane Society of the United States awarded a $5,000 grant to the nonprofit from their COVID-19 relief fund.
The money will be used to provide emergency veterinary care.
“We are so thankful for them for that extra money, which will allow us to treat more animals,” said Frederick. “Because we know as more people are unemployed more people will end up homeless.
Frederick said the hefty donation goes a long way in covering costs since the nonprofit cut down on volunteers.
“We’re having to reduce the number of volunteers and the time spent going to encampments to deliver the pet food and take it to food banks,” explained Frederick. “We want to keep our volunteers safe.”
Of course, safety is the top priority during this pandemic, so the nonprofit is exploring other ways to help their clients.
This includes hosting fundraisers and online campaigns.
“We welcome new supporters and people who want to watch what we’re doing and how we’re progressing,” added Frederick. “We’re thankful for all our supporters.” (See video story here.)