As a shelter in a rural area that has high intake rates, particularly during puppy and kitten season, shelter manager Amy Phillips said she and the staff are happy to announce that a room at the shelter has been filled with food to help pet owners who are in need, so that they can keep their four-legged family members with them instead of giving them up. Dubbed the “Pet Soup Kitchen,” or “the Emergency Pet Food Bank,” the shelter plans to use the donated food to help owners feed their pets nourishing food during a difficult time.
Rescue Ranch, a local non-profit rescue for Boston Terriers and other short-nose breeds, recently reached out to MOAS offering to provide them with free or low-cost pet food to give to pet owners suffering a hardship.
“This is part of Rescue Ranch’s rural outreach program and they chose us as a specific rural shelter that they see is working hard to fulfill our mission in the communities we serve,” Phillips said. “We were honored to be chosen and took on this challenge as another way to encourage owners to keep their pets with them.”
The “Soup Kitchen” will be open every third Sunday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m.The first opening is Sunday, Sept. 17.
However, Phillips said they will handle emergency situations on a case-by-case basis. Someone who is in desperate need can come by any time the shelter is open, though she recommends they call first to make sure the shelter has food on hand. Those who request food must provide proof of their hardship and/or documentation of a loss of job, death of wage earner, extended illness, fire, etc. They must also provide proof of income level.
Phillips said the “soup kitchen” has already helped several people feed their pets. “One was a woman who lost her job and had several dogs and cats and another was a family with two small children who ran out of food for their dog and couldn’t afford to get anymore until their next paycheck,” Phillips said. “Their dog also had allergies and needed a grain free food and luckily we had some of that….We are just happy to be able to do this for the community.”
She said donations, including donations for the Soup Kitchen, are always appreciated, because sometimes they have to purchase the food (at 25 cents per pound) whenever the Rescue Ranch’s resources are low.
In addition, volunteers with large trucks and/or trailers are also needed to pick up the food from Lawrenceville and Rutledge locations to restock the soup kitchen.
“Any help with that would be greatly appreciated,” Phillips said.
For more information on MOAS, the Pet Soup Kitchen, low/cost spay/neuter clinic, adoptions or other services, call the shelter at 706-795-2868, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.Wednesday through Sunday.