TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - More than just a rescue and adoption facility, The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter & Sanctuary also provides much-needed programs and services to the community. One such program is the Food for People’s Pets Pantry (FFPP); started in 2007, this summer it is celebrating 12 years of helping. It was renamed in 2018 to honor long-time Hermitage supporter Michael Cannon.
The FFPP provides pet food, kitty litter and other supplies (such as dog collars) to members of the community and has about 150 families enrolled; some of the families come weekly, while others come in monthly.
“The pet food helps our clients; we never want them to have to choose between feeding their pets, and paying their electric bill. Our program alleviates some of the stress of financial difficulties, and we are proud to help,” said Emma Crawford, Donor Relations & Program Coordinator for The Hermitage in a recent news release. “In the five years I have administrated this program we’ve helped hundreds of families stay together! Keeping pets in their homes encourages stability for the animals, the adults, and most especially, the children. It lowers the numbers of animals surrendered to shelters, and promotes family well-being.”
The Hermitage partners with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, local pet food stores, and Tucson charity, Cody’s Friends, to collect pet food.
In 2018 alone, the FFPP provided nearly 15,000 pounds of dog food; 18,000 pounds of cat food; 2,000 pounds of animal feed, as well as 4,000 pounds of litter to an average of 43 client families each week.
This Hermitage program helps feed over 400 cats and dogs each month, promoting one of the main Tenets of the No-Kill Philosophy: promoting pet retention. The Hermitage believes that families include pets, and this pantry can help keep families together, when the human guardians are having financial difficulties.
Anyone wanting to enroll can come directly to the pantry on Thursdays between 9 a.m. and noon, or email Emma Crawford, firstname.lastname@example.org for an enrollment form.
The Hermitage requires income verification, (including SSI, SSDI, ACHHS or SNAP benefits) and spay/neuter certification for each animal being enrolled. Clients can enroll up to five (5) cats and/or dogs.
The FFPP is accessible via the alley behind The Hermitage. It is open Thursdays when the shelter is open: Summer Hours (June-August): 9 a.m. to noon. Normal Hours (September-May): 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More information can be found at www.hermitagecatshelter.org/food-for-peoples-pets/.