Pets are brought into shelters every day. And the reasons vary depending on the owner, but rescuers say there's one that stands out. Owners can not afford to properly care for their cat or dog. Our Cara Thomas tells us what one group in Rome is doing to keep pets in their homes and out of shelters.
ROME, N.Y. -- Miss Minnie was found in a barn protecting three puppies that were not her own, and she was nothing but skin and bones. Rescue mission workers say Minnie was probably forced to fend for herself when her owners realized they couldn't afford to keep her.
Amy Bathke, the Foster Care Coordinator at "Angels of Fur," said, "Especially with the economy the way it is, sometimes people can't afford to buy for their family, and the dogs just don't get to have the food as well."
Rescue missions and shelters say surrender forms pour in every day when owners realize the financial responsibility of a pet. Between food, vaccinations, and sterilization, sometimes the bills are too much to handle.
Melissa Jones, Director of "Angels of Fur," said, "You can figure on a monthly basis by doing everything you have to do, it can cost you usually around $500 to $700 just to feed and vaccinate your pet for really the first year after it gets spayed or neutered."
So to keep animals out of the shelters,Angels of Fur K9 Rescue is opening up a Pet Food Bank, to give those families in need a helping hand.
Tuesday, the food bank will officially open. It will provide cat and dog food for anyone who needs it. They'll also be offering vaccinations as well as the opportunity to spay or neuter an animal.
But all of these free services aren't cheap. Everything is funded through donations. And so far the community and local businesses have been extremely supportive.
Jones said, "Tractor Supply is really good to us as far as donating like ripped and opened bags of food that they can't sell on the floor, we tape them up and we bring them right back here."
Morgan Todd, an intern with "Angels of Fur" said, "Everybody is in need, especially the pets and we try to do whatever we can to make it better for all animals out there."
Miss Minnie is now a healthy and happy dog, but she's still waiting to find her new home.
For more information on how to donate to the Angels of Fur pet food bank or to learn about pet foster care and adoption go to www.angelsoffur.com.