For the past year I've been a small part of a program that very few people know about. It's called AniMeals on Wheels. Most people are familiar with the Meals on Wheels program; they provide meals to those who for one reason or another cannot get out of the house or cannot cook for themselves. When it was noted that some of the Meals on Wheels recipients were sharing their limited food and resources with their pets, AniMeals took things one step further by helping to provide for those pets.
AniMeals' mission is:
To keep pets healthy and with their humans.
AniMeals on Wheels is part of a nationwide program funded partially by Meals on Wheels America, and local donations. It is run by volunteers and provides pet food, litter, most veterinarian expenses, some grooming costs, and boarding when necessary.
So many of these people aren't able to leave their homes very often, so the companionship that they share with their pet is almost tangible when you talk to them. They each have a story to tell . . . "I've had her since she was a puppy" . . . "I got him when my wife died" . . . "She found me when I needed her the most." Their stories are heartwarming, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. These pet owners will tell you how much they love their pets, and it's pretty obvious that these pets love them right back.
If you think that you might like to be a volunteer for Sioux Falls AniMeals on Wheels, please give them a call or shoot them an email. Volunteer positions range from delivering food and supplies, to walking dogs, to providing transportation for pets as well as other opportunities. AniMeals is located in the Active Generations building in Sioux Falls and you can talk with Samantha or Penny at 605-333-3302. If you'd rather email, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is where I say . . . give your pet a hug. ;O)
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I can't really get them to say "cheese," but I can almost always make them smile. -Kelly