Pet Food Shortages Hurt Humane Societies in Southwest Georgia

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Communities across southwest Georgia have stepped in with donations over the holiday season. Humanitarian societies depend on these donations.

Right now there are enough supplies. The Humane Society of Thomasville and a Lee County animal shelter say it’s something they don’t worry about.

Supply chain issues and inflation, however, have already begun to cause strain in some places, including the Albany Humane Society. They say they see more animals coming in, but fewer donations now that the holiday season is over. They attribute the time to increasing amounts of pet calls.

The Albany Humane Society says it must feed its animals through donations. Thomas Duponte has been working there for four years. He says he takes money out of his pocket to donate 200 pounds of food a week.

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So far, the problem isn’t as severe for the rest of Southwest Georgia, but once the holiday donations run out, it could be. As things stand, shelters still have to plan weeks in advance in order to properly feed their animals. For them, hunger is simply not an option.

“The animals we have here? Yes, they are fed no matter what,” says Ruth Olson, director of the Sumter Humane Society.

But it takes a lot of planning to feed them.

“Sometimes it takes me two or three weeks before I receive an order. Sometimes it’s longer than that.

Olson was grateful to the community this Christmas season. She said she received the most donations she ever had.

“Any donation complements this purchase. And that helps our bottom line. If we get 10 bags of puppy food, that’s 10 less I have to buy.

She doesn’t just have problems with food.

“We have medicine that we have for cats. And that was months and months before it was available.

So if you think you’ve found your next cat companion, well, you might just have to wait. The good news is that she is finding ways to share vaccines from local providers when she can.

“We have a few vets here at Americus that I can call and say, ‘hey, can I borrow a vaccine, can I return one to you when I have it?’ They will work with me too.

And if you notice your dog or cat’s food is running low, vets say you can contact them. They will be able to give your pet the food that will keep it healthy.

“If you change dog food or cat food, it can upset their stomach. They can vomit, they can have diarrhea, so we do a lot of allergy testing. And it has a whole different route as to what type of food they get. So chicken, fish, are they allergic to rice or potatoes?” says Kaley Hart, director of the Bush Animal Clinic.

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Jennifer R. Strohm