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Pets can use some food shelf help, too

AllBreed Obedience and Behavioral School employees hope the next time anyone makes a donation to the food shelf that they will remember that pets are in need of food, too. Dogs that eat their own cages probably won't get the nourishment they need. Staff photo by Amber Kispert

Pets are always there for their owners, but now they need someone to be there for them.

Over the last year, the number of pets having to be surrendered to the Animal Humane Society or rescue organizations has skyrocketed because of inabilities to care fully for their families, let alone their pets, in the poor economy.

This is why AllBreed Obedience and Behavioral School has started a food drive to help collect pet food to donate to both Christian Cupboard and the White Bear Lake Area Food Shelf.

"It hit me, if you're having trouble feeding your family, and you have a dog, you're gonna have trouble with that, too," Debra Schneider, owner of AllBreed Obedience said. "We do food drives for people all the time and if we do this, maybe they won't have to surrender their pet."

Schneider and her husband Michael decided to hold a food drive at their school throughout the entire month of April because families struggling to feed their dogs is a problem that most people don't think about when they make a donation to the food shelf.

"There's a lot of other concerns out there right now," Michael said. "A lot of people didn't think about it."

On April 15, Michael made their first drop-off at Christian Cupboard, totaling 534 pounds of food.

"I started myself just tossing a bag of dog or cat food into the collection bin at the grocery store," Debra said. "It's really made people more aware of it and they're thinking more about it."

Debra said her goal is to collect 1,000 pounds of dog and cat food. She has been offering incentives to her students in the form of coupons. If people want to donate at the school they can, but just donating at the grocery store is good, too.

"We're bugging our students all the time," she said, "But I just want them to be aware and think about that when they're at the grocery store, buy some food, put it right in that bin and make a difference."

"All I want out of this is that it brings up people's awareness because It can be a chain reaction and that's our hope."

Going to the food shelf to get food for a pet does raise the question of the pet becoming ill from a different type of food, but Debra reassures that a dog would have to endure that whether it was at home or at a rescue.

"Wherever they land they're going to get different food," Debra said. "It comes down to a matter of eat this or starve."

Plus AllBreed Obedience is collecting various kinds of food, whether it's for adult animals or young ones.

"We've been receiving all different kinds of food," Michael said. "We had all A through Z types of manufacturers."

Debra and Michael said all they want from this food drive is to raise awareness about this cause and keep it on people's minds so they continue to donate pet food to the hungry and needy animals in their community.

"When it comes to causes, boy we can come together," Debra said. "That's what I love about this world we're in, we really are a generous group of folk."

Pet food donations can be made at the AllBreed Obedience and Behavioral School, located at 2441 Ventura Drive in Woodbury, or at the Christian Cupboard food shelf at any local grocery store with a collection box.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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