Ottawa Humane Society providing emergency pet food during coronavirus pandemic

As many pet owners face financial hardship during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) says it’s helping to make sure the furriest members of the family don’t go hungry.

“When this public health crisis began, we were worried what it might mean for Ottawa’s animals,” said OHS president Bruce Roney in a statement.

“Loss of income can force families to make difficult decisions, but we don’t want to see families forced to surrender their pets over it.”

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The OHS, which began offering emergency pet food pickups in late April, said Tuesday it has so far provided more than 2,000 pounds of food to Ottawa pet owners since the initiative began.

The emergency pickups constitute a two-week supply of food for dogs and cats of all sizes.

But unlike traditional food banks, many of which are putting out calls for more donations amid the pandemic, the humane society says it isn’t in a position to accept donated food.

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OHS spokesperson Will Wuehr told Global News the humane society isn’t accepting donations at this time in order to minimize the risk of the virus coming on-site.

To maintain physical distancing, Wuehr noted emergency pet food bank users can drive up to the facility on West Hunt Club Road and have staff load supplies into their car.

Food pickups are available every Thursday afternoon, but pet parents must make an appointment online first before showing up.

The OHS notes special dietary requirements can’t be accommodated at the moment and asks that only families in need of the supplies make use of the emergency pet food bank.

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