Got any pet food to spare?
The just-launched Hope Pet Food Bank is happily accepting donations of cat and dog chow, hoping to feed animals in need.
Christy Moschopedis with Chilliwack-based FCM Community Cat Trappers said the idea for the food bank came up in November when her group partnered with ABC Cat Rescue to deal with a large colony of cats in Hope. Large, in this case, means about 100 cats, and the goal has been to trap, neuter and return them all.
As they do that, they also care for the cats as much as possible. That includes feeding them.
“But during the flooding, we ran out of food,” Moschopedis said. “Just before the flooding, I had sent a Costco bag of kibble to Hope, and by the time the floods hit that bag was almost gone. We go through a lot of food and that really highlighted a need for us.”
Two Hope-based volunteers leap into action whenever cats are reported missing, and Moschopedis said they bring big ziplocks of cat litter and kibble wherever they go.
“And when they’re going to places to look for cats, they’re often meeting people who don’t have enough for their own pets. For years they’ve been handing out food to those people,” she said. “So, seeing how well the pet food bank does in Chilliwack and how much help they give to the community, we figured we should give it a go in Hope.
“Part of the idea is to help someone who just needs a bag of cat food to make it to their payday at the end of month.”
Moschopedis hopes the project will be community supported.
They’re currently storing cat and dog food in a volunteer’s house, and they’d love it if someone stepped forward with a donated space.
They’re also looking for a veterinarian to help with the neuter part of trap/neuter/return, and assist with any other issues the cats face.
“Plus, I would really like to have a sponsorship through a local kibble manufacturer,” Moschopedis mused.
Most of the food volunteers use comes from other rescue organizations who find themselves with excess.
“If it’s going to go bad before they get to it, they give it to us so we can feed colonies, and we put it into big ziplocks so we don’t have volunteers buying food out of their own pockets,” Moschopedis noted. “But the reason I want the Hope Pet Food Bank to be community supported is so we have a steady supply of kibble. Sometimes we have no food. Sometimes we have a ton.”
Anyone wanting to help the Hope Pet Food Bank can reach Moschopedis through the FCM Community Cat Trappers Facebook page.
“We see a need and we’re going to try and fill it,” she said. “There will be some growing pains and it will be a little bit of trial and error, but we’ve got a good team of people and we’re going to give it our best shot.”