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National Feed a Rescue Pet Week 2024: When It Is & What to Do

Melody Russell

By Melody Russell

stray cats and dogs

National Feed a Rescue Pet Week, a week filled with kindness and compassion, is about to roll around again. It’s that heart-warming time of year when we join forces to fill the pantries of animal shelters, ensuring our furry friends aren’t left wanting. This year, it is taking place starting on July 23rd, 2023, but you can expect it to be around this date every year.

Born from the pure intention of feeding rescue pets in need, this annual event has become a beacon of hope for animal shelters. It’s more than just a date on the calendar; it’s a worldwide movement that brings a brighter tomorrow for our four-legged pals.

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About National Feed a Rescue Pet Week

This initiative was born out of the collective efforts of Greater Good Charities and The Animal Rescue Site in 2017. The mission? To draw attention to the fact that food is one of the most vital resources for animal shelters and to encourage folks like you and me to donate pet food to local animal welfare organizations. A noble cause, indeed.

At Humane Pennsylvania (HPA), for instance, their partnership with The Greater Good Charities GOODS Program and contributions from generous donors enable them to run comprehensive feeding programs for shelter animals. They provide a stable and adequate diet for shelter pets, assist pet owners in times of temporary hardships through Spike’s Pet Pantry, and even provide basic supplies and food to evacuation centers during emergencies as part of their County Animal Response Team (CART) initiative.

animal shelter for cats
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Exploring More Ways to Contribute

Animal welfare organizations greatly value pet food donations, but there’s an equally impactful way to show support: by making monetary contributions. Such donations offer organizations the flexibility to address a wide range of needs. They can use the funds to buy food, provide medical care, maintain shelters, or support specific initiatives that cater to the unique requirements of the animals they serve. So, whether you choose to donate pet food or contribute financially, your support plays a vital role in improving the lives of these furry friends.

Donating Online

Online donations have become a popular and convenient method to support your favorite charities, and it’s not difficult to see why. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide for a general donation process:

  • Start by visiting the official website of the animal welfare organization you wish to donate to. It could be your local shelter, a nationwide organization, or even international charities like the ASPCA.
  • On their homepage, look for a “Donate” button. It’s usually placed prominently for easy access.
  • Clicking this button should lead you to a secure page where you can fill in your desired donation amount and personal information.
  • Most organizations provide options for both one-time donations and recurring monthly contributions. Choose the option that best suits your preferences and capacity.
  • Choose your payment method. Most charities accept a variety of payment options, including credit/debit cards and direct bank transfers. Some even accept digital wallets.

Donating in Person

If you prefer a more personal approach, donating in person is another viable option. Most animal shelters and welfare organizations happily accept in-person donations. You can often simply drop by during their working hours with your contribution. This method also gives you a chance to see the direct impact of your donation, as you can often meet some of the animals you’re helping.

Before you go, it’s a good idea to call ahead or check the organization’s website to confirm their visiting hours. Also, if you plan to donate by check, make sure to ask whom to address it to.

dog in shelter
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Choosing the Right Foods

Not all pet foods are created equal, and some offer better nutrition than others. While most shelters appreciate any pet food donations, they often prefer high-quality, brand-name foods. These foods typically contain more meat and fewer fillers, providing pets with better nutrition.

Before donating to the shelter, it’s essential to inquire about their specific needs and preferences. Some shelters may have a preference for canned food, especially when it comes to their senior pets, as it can be easier for them to eat. On the other hand, others might require more dry food for their general population. Being mindful of their requirements and providing the right kind of food can significantly impact an animal’s well-being and overall happiness during their stay at the shelter. So, taking that extra step to understand their preferences can make a tremendous difference in supporting these lovely creatures.

Toys and More

Beyond food, enrichment items like toys can significantly improve a shelter animal’s quality of life. Toys help keep animals entertained, reducing stress and promoting healthy behavior. When donating toys, make sure they’re durable and safe for the animals. Rubber toys, like Kongs and sturdy rope toys, are often well received. However, avoid toys with small parts that can be easily chewed off and swallowed, as these can be a safety hazard.

Again, it’s always best to check with the shelter or rescue to see what they need most. Some shelters may also appreciate donations of blankets, towels, and pet beds to make the animals more comfortable.

animal shelter donations
Image By: Veja, Shutterstock

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Every Little Bit Counts

So, as you gear up for National Feed a Rescue Pet Week each year, let’s not forget the bigger picture: Every bowl of kibble, every can of wet food, and every treat counts. It’s not just about feeding pets; it’s about ensuring they’re healthy, safe, and loved.

Let’s rally together to give back to the animals and their caretakers, who give us so much without asking for anything in return. Remember, love flows both ways, and in this case, it flows from our hearts to their food bowls. Let’s make it a week to remember, and more importantly, a cause to carry forward.

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Featured Image Credit: Rami Happonen, Shutterstock

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