Pet food bank

Manitoba vets collect pet food for struggling families.

I’ve written this column long enough to know the responses some will offer to this idea. Grinches will grumble: If you can’t afford your own food, you shouldn’t have a pet in the first place. I’d be the last to suggest someone should get an animal when they can’t afford one. But what if you had a pet before a family crisis? Like Bargen says, “Life can throw curveballs to us all.”

For many, a pet is a family member. Being asked to forfeit a cat or dog is one of the most heart-wrenching decisions one could face. For many kids, relinquishing a family pet would likely be worse than receiving nothing under the tree. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. Unfortunately, many must face this fate.

Even if you cling to a Scrooge-like mentality, there is additional benefit to this new program. It’s well known that relinquished pets end up abandoned or at local shelters. The holidays prove to be a difficult time of the year for all animal shelters. They’re overloaded. In assisting families to get through a difficult time, we do more than spread cheer and keep a pet in a family home. This program should also help lessen the seasonal burden placed upon our local shelters.

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