Harrisburg Humane Society teams up with state org to feed pets of struggling families


Kursten Hedgis walks her dog Bitsy in front of her home Dec. 9, 2020, in Decatur, Ga. Hedgis says Bisty’s behavior changed when Hedgis began working from home early in 2020 because of the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – In early 2020, The Pennsylvania Animal Response Team partnered with the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area to help pet owners struggling to feed their pets, with the goal of keeping more pets at home and away from the shelter.

Though Harrisburg’s humane society has always offered a pet food bank, the organization wanted to make it as accessible as possible for anyone struggling, including those affected by COVID-19.

After the launch of their online sign-up in April 2020, the food bank received funding form the Pennsylvania Animal Response Team, Pennsylvania’s solution for emergency response for animals.

“We hope to assist HSHA’s mission of keeping pets out of the shelter and in their homes whenever possible,” said Sarah Speed, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Animal Response Team. “HSHA has been a leader in innovative strategies to reconnect and support owners so we hope to support those efforts by supplementing the supplies.”

Between April and Dec. 2020, the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area donated over 14,500 pounds of pet food to struggling pet owners in Central Pa., feeding more than 275 pets.

“We are proud to partner with HSHA as we have for the last 13+ years to place victims of animal cruelty, respond to major disasters, and now get through this pandemic with as few surrendered pets as possible,” Speed said.

According to Speed, the food bank would get one or two pickups a day, now they see five to seven pickups a day.

To sign up for the pet food drive through you can click here.

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