"These people who have so little, yet share everything they have with their pets," says RCHS Community Liaison, Nick Winfrey. "RCHS has been providing pet food for needy people for quite some time. Now it's time to increase our efforts."
RCHS spokesman John Van Zante relates the story of a homeless girl who was asked why she didn't give up her dog. "She said she had been homeless four months, and that her dog was her only source of support and stability. She said she would 'lose it' if it wasn't for her dog."
Winfrey adds, "Pets give unconditional love and a sense of normalcy for someone living on the streets, on a fixed income, or the working poor. Homeless shelters are not equipped to take pets so their owners stay on the street, share their meals or go without food so their pets can eat."
The National Coalition for the Homeless says many homeless pet owners avoid veterinary care because they have no address and are afraid they won't get their pets back. The Drake Center for Veterinary Care in Encinitas will join the Community Pet Food Bank at RCHS to offer free examinations and vaccinations for dogs and cats during the grand opening.
Winfrey explains, "We'll have leashes and collars, blankets, flea treatment, and more. RCHS has received lots of donations, but we're going to need more. This problem is not going away anytime soon. We're asking people to give until if feels good."
The Community Pet Food Bank at RCHS will be open two Saturdays per month from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas. Donations to the Community Pet Food Bank can be made any time. For more information visit RCHS, log on to www.sdpets.org, or call Nick Winfrey at 760-753-6413 x 104.