Iowa City Animal Center encourages donations to their pet pantries

A curious crutch roams the hall of the cat colony at the Iowa City Animal Center. Thursday, December 12, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

As the community faces unemployment, social distancing and mixed messages from federal, state and local leaders, even those at lower risk of contracting COVID-19 are seeing their worlds change – from children to pets.

While some pets may enjoy the extra time on the couch with their housebound humans, a tight budget can affect everyone in the family. The Iowa City Animal Shelter seeks to make feeding animals easier by creating a food bank.

“The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center wants to help those who are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 situation and who may need assistance with their pets,” the center said in a statement. a press release on Thursday. “We are accepting dog, cat and small animal food donations and will respond to all requests as best we can.”

The Iowa City Animal Center (3910 Napoleon Ln) is currently closed to visitors and volunteers, but people can drop off donations at the side door (near where the Animal Control truck is parked) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Staff also encourage potential donors to place an order for food or other supplies with the Iowa City Pet Store Leash on Life (319-354-4334, [email protected]), which they will then deliver to the refuge.

Those interested in requesting pet food donations should call the shelter at 319-356-5295. “We operate with a limited crew and we always look after the animals there, so you may need to leave a message,” the press release explains. “If so, give us your name, phone number, and the number and type of animals that need food. We’ll let you know when it’s available outside our main front door. (mostly facing north) It will have your name on it.

Pet food packaged in smaller portions at the Coralville Food Pantry. Monday, March 3, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The Coralville Community Food Pantry started its own pet pantry this year, before the coronavirus outbreak in Iowa. They encourage dog and cat food donations, as well as monetary donations, which can be earmarked for the Pet Food Pantry.

“Similar to other food pantries in the area, we have a really great and plentiful supply of food, and a lot of that is thanks to the community support we receive, but there is definitely a need for pet food from company, and that’s just as important,” said CCFP Director John Boller. Small village.

Adoptable dog Copper emerges from his enclosure at the Cedar Valley Humane Society. August 22, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Another local shelter, Cedar Valley Humane Society, has appealed for donations. Unlike the Iowa City Animal Center, CVHS is not an extension of the city government and is entirely dependent on donations, adoption fees, and the retail sale of pet supplies for cash flow. — all of whom have been disrupted by the shelter’s closure during the pandemic, they reported in a Facebook post.

“Financial donations are needed for everything from maintaining electricity to paying our animals’ veterinary bills.”

Donations to the Cedar Rapids Shelter can be made through their website.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s no evidence to suggest pets can catch or spread COVID-19 — so while you should stay at least six feet away from other people, don’t hesitate. to cuddle your pets or even adopt a new one, as able. (Contact your local shelter for information on their pandemic adoption protocol.) The Humane Society encourages pet owners to make a plan in case they become ill or hospitalized with the virus.

It is important to have a plan in place for all members of your household to respond to any emergency, including illness. Make sure you have the necessary items for your pet in advance, including a two-week supply of pet food and prescription or over-the-counter medications.

In addition to the generally recommended preparations for any threat of natural disaster, have a plan in place if you become ill and need to be hospitalized:

  • Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if you are hospitalized.
  • Have extra crates, food, and supplies on hand for quick pet relocation.
  • Keep all animal vaccinations up to date in case boarding becomes necessary.
  • Make sure all medications are documented with dosages and administration instructions. Including your vet’s prescription is also helpful.
  • Make sure your pets wear a collar and an ID tag.

Benjamin M. Yerger