Today while I was driving home; I entered the on-ramp and was immediately startled to see a guy standing in the middle of the on and off ramps with his dog no less. I bolted in reaction; much like a parent reacts to a child falling. The medium is no more than two feet wide; and the dog was standing in the middle. Realizing I couldn't stop; I kept looking in my rear view mirror, good way to cause an accident. "What an idiot;" I thought to myself. Okay; this is the area where the homeless people wait for hand-outs but never have I seen one standing right in the middle, much less with a dog.
I was mad and sad; this is just too common an image these days. And when they are standing somewhere that I can pass them some money safely; I often do. What was going through this gentleman's head? Perhaps the other corners were taken by the regulars; come to think of it I have never seen this guy either. So maybe he's new; but you can add stupid to that as well. As I drove by I frantically was looking for a leash; surely the dog was tied somewhere. I was stressing all the way home; I'll be back tomorrow. I will bring dog food and a lecture about safety. The scene today made me think of how many dogs are being given up in these poor economic times; it is very sad. I plan on keeping several bags of dog food in my car now and I will hand them out freely to the homeless with a dog.
As well as human food banks; dog food banks are popping up everywhere and it is wonderful to see. Having a dog stay with their existing family is always the best option and maybe some free dog food is all that they need for a bit until they are on their feet again. I can't imagine the heartache of turning over a dog because you just cannot feed them any longer. With the holiday seasons around the corner; more and more people and dogs are in need. I have compiled a small list; there are many more. Think about bringing a bag of food by or donating cash; it could just be all that is needed to keep a dog at home with their loved ones.
If you know of a pet food bank in your area; please list it in the comments below. Thanks.
The Pongo Fund - Portland, OR
Rescue Bank, Houston, TX
Pikes Peak Pet Pantry, CO This link has a list of pet food banks across North America and Germany
Pet Chow Pantry - NY