Pet food drive underway as demand increases in Santa Barbara County

In recent weeks, Santa Barbara County pet pantries have run out of cat and dog food.

“There are a lot of people who during the pandemic have struggled to feed themselves as well as feed their pets,” said Esmeralda Medina, health educator for Santa Barbara County Animal Services.

She says that in five months, their pet food pantry in Lompoc has helped about 250 families, while demand for dog and cat food across the county continues to rise.

“There were about 80 families who relied on pet pantries to help their dogs and cats get the food they needed each month,” said Paul Benedix, general manager of Lemos Supply and Pet Food. . “Demand has increased by nearly 50%, so there are over 120 families relying on pet pantries to feed their dogs and cats.”

In turn, many local organizations are working together this month to encourage pet food donations at county animal centers or participating Lemos facilities.

You can find pet food donation bins at Lemos stores in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Solvang, but purchases can be made anywhere. People can also bring their own dry or wet dog and cat food to donate.

“Each of the locations, we have a great customer base. The people who shop at our stores are, when they can, generous, and we’re definitely seeing traffic coming in to support the program,” Benedix added.

Medina says there is no specific amount of pet food they are trying to collect as donations for the pet food drive, just a donation of any amount. greatly contributes to maintaining their services.

“We are very grateful for anything anyone can give,” Medina told KSBY. “We know a lot of people want to help, but don’t know how, or they’re not able to own a pet, want to help, but don’t know how. This is a great way for those people and members of the community who want to be part of this program and participate in helping community pets.”

Santa Barbara County Pet Pantries are also provided free to area pet parents. When available, they also offer other free essential pet supplies and services, such as dog and cat conditioners, leashes and harnesses, and occasional flea treatments and vaccinations.

If you or someone you know needs food and supplies for their furry friends, all you have to do is call any of the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelters or visit them. during working hours to be assisted by on-site staff.

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