As the partial government shutdown wears on, food pantries and donation sites are opening across the country to help furloughed workers feed their families.
Humane Animal Rescue and Animal Friends in Pittsburgh want to make sure the pets aren't forgotten.
Elie's Pet Pantry at HAR is open for furloughed workers and anyone else who is struggling to feed their dogs and cats.
Though the pantry is open year-round, organizers say they have seen an uptick of furloughed federal workers seeking help.
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"We have certainly seen an uptick in people inquiring about it, needing food because of the shutdown of the federal government," said Dan Rossi, CEO of Humane Animal Rescue. "People are short and they need help to get them through this."
Ellie's was started at Western PA Humane Society in 2010, and the program's namesake was a black Lab surrendered at a shelter in West Virginia because she suffered from a seizure disorder. She was later adopted by an attorney in Pittsburgh and lived on a farm.
The most commonly needed donations are wet and dry cat and dog foods. The pantry also accepts requests for special diet and prescription diet needs, but patrons need to provide a record of prescription to receive the latter.
Food pickup is generally held from 11 a.m. -noon on select Tuesdays at the North Side and East End locations, but arrangements must be made in advance.
Likewise, Animal Friends is offering free pet food from its Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank to any federal workers or contractors going without pay.
Applicants can contact Jenn Geibel at 412-847-7023 or JGeibel@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
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