A recent spike in pet food is hurting the pockets of many dog and cat owners, especially those on a fixed income. Some have to give up their pets entirely because of the rising costs that economists blame on inflation.
Pet food prices have skyrocketed, and those on a fixed income are turning to local charities for help.
Ted Pankiewicz Sr, director For The Love Of Paws, told Sebastian Daily the cost has nearly doubled.
“We have been getting more and more calls from people who have never reached out to us because of it. Our Bulk purchase of 44 lb bags of cat food used to cost us $19.99. It has risen to $28.99 a bag within 6 months,” Pankiewicz Sr said.
A 52 lb bag of dog food used to be $19.99, but now it’s anywhere from $26.99 to $28.99.
The Bark Avenue Healthy Pets store in Sebastian said in all their years of being in the retail pet food business, they have never seen price increases as they have during the past 6 months.
Pankiewicz said the Paws Meals On Wheels program provides over 15,000 lbs of pet food monthly.
“For example, we provide 160 4 lb bags of pet food to Salvation Army food pantries weekly,” said Pankiewicz.
Pankiewicz’s organization provides peace of mind to senior citizens when they can no longer care for their beloved pets. The program has helped many seniors who have no one to care for their animals.
In 2021, For The Love of Paws was honored by the City of Sebastian for all its volunteer work. The non-profit pet rescue service has expanded multiple times and supplies pet food to 19 locations.
Pankiewicz also donated Pet Emergency Oxygen Kits to local firehouses after seeing a picture of police and fire rescue resuscitating four dogs that were brought out of a burning home fire.
Here’s a list of locations where the non-profit organization provides pet food. It is available to senior citizens, disabled people, Veterans, and those in need with pets.
If you wish to donate, please call 772-539-2417.