Pet food shortages hurting Southwest Ga. humane societies

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Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:47 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Southwest Georgia communities stepped in with donations during the holiday season. Humane societies rely on these donations.

Right now, there are enough supplies. The humane society in Thomasville and an animal shelter in Lee County say it’s something that they’re not worrying about.

Supply chain problems and inflation, though, have already started to cause stress on some locations, including the Albany Humane Society. They say they are seeing more animals come in, but fewer donations now that the holiday season has passed. They are attributing the weather to the increasing amounts of pet calls.

The Albany Humane Society says that they need to feed their animals through donations. Thomas Duponte has worked there for four years. He says he takes money out of his pocket to donate 200 pounds of food a week.

New rescues are unloaded
New rescues are unloaded(WALB)

So far, the problem isn’t as bad for the rest of southwest Georgia, but once donations for the holidays are used up, it could be. As it stands now, shelters still must plan weeks ahead in order to keep their animals well-fed. For them, hunger is simply not an option.

“The animals that we have here? Yeah, they get fed no matter what,” says Ruth Olson, director at the Sumter Humane Society.

But it takes a lot of planning to get them fed.

“Sometimes it’ll be two or three weeks before I get an order. Sometimes it’s longer than that.”

Olson was grateful for the community this Christmas season. She said that she got the most donations she’s ever had.

“Any donation helps supplement that purchase. And that helps out our bottom line. If we get 10 bags of puppy chow, that’s 10 less that I have to buy.”

She isn’t only experiencing problems with food.

“We have medication that we have for the cats. And that was months and months before it was available.

So if you think you found your next cat companion, well, you might have to wait. The good news is that she finds ways to share vaccines from local suppliers when she can.

“We have a couple of vets here in Americus that I can call up and go, ‘hey, can I borrow a vaccine, I can give you back one when I get it?’ They’ll work with me too.”

And if you’re noticing your dog or cat’s pet food is in short supply, veterinarians say you can reach out to them. They’ll be able to give your pet the food that’ll keep them healthy.

“If you switch dog foods or cat foods, it can upset their stomachs. They can vomit, they can have diarrhea, so we do a lot of allergy testing. And that has a whole other lane as to what kind of food they get. So chicken, fish, are they allergic to rice or potatoes?,” says Kaley Hart, the Bush Animal Clinic Hospital Manager.

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