Animal Rescue Groups Step Up To Help and Save Family Pets During Shut

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
It’s the longest United States Government shut down and it doesn’t look like it’s ending too soon. Nearly one million American workers are not getting paid and have to choose between feeding their human children or their fur babies. Rescues are stepping up to help the most vulnerable.

I’ve often said it–I can understand how people give ill or senior dogs to rescues. I used to be very judgy, thinking that only a monster would turn a senior or sick dog over to a rescue, but after having to spend nearly $20,000 on my golden retriever (who passed away a year-and-a-half later), I can understand more compassionately.

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Luckily, I have the best job in the world and was able to pay those enormous bills, but I wondered how the average American who had a family and was down on their luck or making minimum wages could do so. What would I do if I had to choose between feeding my son or paying for my dog’s treatment?

It was then that I knew: if the worst happened, I’d try to find the best, most loving people to help, even if that meant sacrificing by allowing her to go to a rescue who could take care of her and ensure her days left were happy.

Today, because of the United States Government shut down, families all over the country are wondering the very same questions. And rescue groups are standing the gap to help families and their pets make it through.

In New Jersey, Pet ResQ Inc., is one such group. Robyn Urman is with Pet ResQ, Inc., and said that she got a text from her cousin who had three kids, a wife who was disabled and dogs for whom he couldn’t afford food because he’s no longer getting a paycheck. He asked Urman for help and she immediately knew that there must be more who have been affected by this shut down.

Urman said that last year, Pet ResQ rescued 517 dogs. With the shut down, she says the numbers already, just 21 days in the year, have been astonishing and they’ve already had 21 surrenders. She says it’s the worst year ever, and it’s just begun.

In an effort to prevent more pets from being surrendered because their owners simply cannot afford them anymore, she heads collection efforts for pet basics in her area. Working with PetValu stores, she says that any donations dropped at their locations will go directly to those who are affected by the shut down to save the family dog who already has a home.

Across the country in Seattle, Washington, Seattle Humane is offering families resources from its Pet Food Bank. Yvonne Worden is with Seattle Humane and said that when people are suffering, pets are too. She hopes they can make sure no family has to choose between feeding their pet or the family members.

Related: More Than Half of Pet Owners in America Are Not Prepared for a Pet Emergency

Laura Chavarria is the executive director of the Nashville Humane Association and says that they know many federal employees are having a very difficult financial time. They are offering pet food and supplies they hope will make things easier on both pets and their owners in this tough time.

If you’d like to check and see if your local rescue groups are doing similarly, contact them. It’s times like this when citizens pulling together can make a big impact on the family’s furriest members.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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