Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Homeless With Pets – Choosing Pets Over Shelter

Choosing Pets Over Shelter

We Are Taking Action to Help Pets of the Homeless, by Supplying Pet Food and Veterinarian Care

Feeding Pets of the Homeless
is a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides pet food and veterinarian care to the homeless and less fortunate in local communities across the United States and Canada.  How? Our volunteers collection sites receive donated pet food and deliver it to food banks and/or soups kitchens which have agreed to distribute the food to the homeless and impoverished.
Our headquarters are in Carson City, Nevada and it is from here that we coordinate and support our volunteer collection sites.
We collect cash donations, we purchase pet food, distribute grant applications to veterinarians, and other nonprofit organizations that meet our objectives, we review and award grants, and we provide marketing materials and promote the organization on behalf of our collection sites to the national media.  

Become a collection site or sponsor one today. 

Mission Statement:

Through Feeding Pets of the Homeless, we will do our part to help reduce hunger in pets that belong to the homeless and the less fortunate and provide medical care for those pets in communities across the country.

We believe in the healing power of companion pets and of the human/animal bond which is very important to life.

Our actions include the following:

  1. Promote to veterinarians and pet related businesses the importance of joining the program
  2. Speak out on the issue of pets of homeless and the disadvantaged
  3. Campaign to food distributing organizations the importance of distributing pet food to the less fortunate
  4. Provide grants to licensed veterinarians and other nonprofit organizations that meet our objectives to administer medical care to pets of the homeless.

To view our Annual Report click here.

“The response from the public has been phenomenal.”

– Genevieve Frederick, Executive Director and Founder (click name to email)


How do you choose between shelter and a best friend? This is the impossible decision pet-lovers face when losing their homes. Since most shelters don’t allow animals, homeless people with pets often elect to stay on the streets rather than part with their four-legged companion… a decision that can be dangerous when the elements become harsh.

Indeed, pets can be a key reason that homeless people choose living on the streets over shelters. The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that between five and ten percentof homeless people have an animal companion (although this has never been formally surveyed). Yet, only two (yes, just 2!) pet-friendly homeless shelters exist in the United States (in Florida and California).

The benefits of having a pet are significant, particularly for homeless people. Pets are non-judgmental and loyal, almost to a fault. They may serve as additional security and protection on the dangerous streets. And studies show that they contribute to the healing process for people with mental or physical illness. According to one expert:

In this very busy twentieth century, man is a lonely creature. There are too many alienated individuals who lack human companionship. They lack purpose and productivity. A simple addition to these lonely lives can sometimes accomplish major changes. The possession of a pet, who eagerly awaits one and responds to one’s care and attention, may mean the difference between maintaining contact with reality or almost total withdrawal into fantasy. Literally, a pet can occasionally represent the difference between life and death.

One organization, Feeding Pets of the Homeless, takes a different approach to this issue. Their take? “Pets of the homeless and disadvantaged do not choose their owners.” To ensure that pets of the homeless receive care and nourishment, they have established a coalition of food banks and veterinarians specifically for pets of the homeless. (Find out if your community is connected.)

Certainly, it’s important to ensure that the pets of homeless people receive adequate care. However, it is even more crucial to recognize that four-legged companions are a key part of a homeless person’s life, but may also create an impermeable barrier for the delivery of life-saving services to homeless people.

Sadly, it is unlikely that more pet-friendly shelters will materialize in the near future, given that many organizations are already struggling to meet the needs of homeless humans (although,Vancouver, BC is the proud new owner of such a shelter).

[Picture: Homeless man with dog from Feeding Pets of the Homeless.]

Shelter Sued for Banning Service Dogs


PUBLISHED JULY 20, 2009 @ 06:02AM PT

Viper is in frail health. She suffers from seizures, gets around in a wheelchair, and uses a catheter. Given her vulnerable condition, Viper is fortunate to have a service dog trained to help her detect and cope with seizures.

Yet, Viper lives on the streets. Simply because her service dog has been turned away from area shelters.

Since most shelters do not allow animals, homeless people with a four-legged friend often choose to live stay on the streets rather than part with their pet. But should homeless individuals with a life-threatening medical condition that requires the help of a service animal be forced to make this same decision?

The Housing Rights Center and the Disability Rights Legal Center certainly doesn’t think so. Last week the organization filed a lawsuit against several Los Angeles homeless shelters alleging that the Americans With Disabilities Act and fair housing laws do not allow discrimination against people just because they rely on service animals.

The service providers interviewed for the LA Times article said it can be difficult to accommodate animals – service or otherwise – in a shelter setting. According to the article, others may be “sleeping nearby who may be allergic or afraid of dogs.”

It would be easy to chastise the shelter in this situation for their apparent lack of concern for medically vulnerable individuals. But keep in mind that shelters are often understaffed and filled to the brims. In a place like LA, shelters beds are in such high demand that turning away a person in need of help is usually not a choice. In addition, as any shelter worker will tell you, managing an emergency shelter is akin to controlling imminent chaos.

While this perspective does not excuse a shelter from turning away a guest with a service animal, it provides a better understanding of the strains shelters face to meet the needs of a growing homeless population.

But just as Viper should not be sleeping on the streets, a homeless shelter is not an appropriate place for her either. Someone as medically vulnerable as Viper should be bypass shelter and go directly into permanent housing with a case manager. This is the only long-term arrangement that will ensure her medical needs are appropriately cared for.

As we move towards a prevention/rapid-rehousing model for providing homeless services, I hope this conversation about service animals in shelters becomes obsolete.

Does the woman in this LA Times photo look familiar? It’s Viper, one of the stories captured by Mark Horvath during his Road Trip, U.S.A. tour. Watch her story here.

The “ex”-Middle & Upper Class Homeless

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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September 20, 2009 Posted by | animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Jesse Compares Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson

Since this article was written, Vick has been signed… ” Michael Vick Signs Two-Year Deal With NFL’s Eagles” read the headline.  $1.6 million the first year and $5.2 million the second.  Nice reward for brutal treatment of animals and being a despicable example for America’s Youth!  And being compared to Jackie Robinson is absolutely an insult to Robinson’s memory!

Steve Helber/Associated Press

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says signing Michael Vick will require someone to make a courageous move and asks why lesser players have jobs in the N.F.L.

Published: August 7, 2009

The Rev. Jesse Jackson became the latest public figure to offer an opinion on the future of Michael Vick. Jackson said he wondered whether there had been collusion among N.F.L. owners to keep Vick out of the league.

“I want to make it an issue,” Jackson said Thursday in a telephone interview. “I want teams to explain why they have a quarterback who has less skills but is playing or at least is on the taxi squad, and a guy with more skills can’t get into training camp.”

Two years ago this month, Vick pleaded guilty to felony charges related to his participation in an unlawful dogfighting ring and was indefinitely suspended from the N.F.L. Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison in December 2007.  (Definitely not long enough based on the level of cruelty of his offenses  including the drowning, electricution and hanging of dogs and even throwing his family dogs into the ring to watch them torn up as he laughed.  That is a level of evil that I certainly would not want to reward or have out on the field and by any standard would require years of counseling to counteract.  Vick can’t even make the sorry case that he needed the money!)

He was conditionally reinstated to the league last month by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Under terms of the reinstatement, Vick can take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and may play in the final two preseason games — if a team signs him.

When the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games. Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6.

“Democracy does not guarantee success,” Jackson said. “Democracy guarantees an opportunity. It’s not fair to de facto try to lock him out of his right to compete. If he can’t make the team, don’t let him play. If he can, let him work.”

Jesse Jackson Compares Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson

Jesse Jackson Compares Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson

Jackson, born in 1941, has been a civil rights activist for most of his adult life. He said that in some ways, Vick’s attempt to re-enter the N.F.L. was similar to Jackie Robinson’s entering Major League Baseball.

Although their situations were drastically different, Jackson said, the challenge was the same: Which owner would have the courage to make a controversial signing?

Viewed from a 2009 prism, that comparison seems blasphemous. Robinson became an American icon because of his courage and perseverance. The only thing he did wrong — in some eyes — was to be born African-American.

But in the era in which Robinson came of age, his admirable qualities mattered to Major League Baseball owners. A significant segment of the American population knew little to nothing about Robinson, and saw him as someone who threatened a way of life. Owners were not going to allow Robinson or any other African-American to play major league baseball, regardless of how much character and fortitude he possessed.

If we are going to make a comparison of unfair scenarios…  How about comparing Vick’s rehiring by the NFL after only 23-months in prison for torturing and killing numerous dogs with the presentation of the Medal of Freedom to Ted Kennedy after his involvement in Chappaquiddick; running away and leaving a young girl to die in a car he had driven into the water accidentally at best and perhaps not so accidentally in the opinion of others, and never spending a moment in prison. The comparison is indeed closer.  The comparison of Vick to Robinson is blasphemous and insulting to Robinson’s memory!!  What do they have in common other than the color of their skin?!?  Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing that Jesse Jackson would rip a white person into pieces for…  for making that kind of comparison because of race?

Many fair-minded baseball owners had the same concerns about Robinson that fair-minded N.F.L. owners today have about Vick: What will critics say? How will the public respond?

Finally one organization, the Dodgers, and one man, Branch Rickey, were bold and pragmatic enough to weigh the risks and take the leap of signing Robinson.

Vick, unlike Robinson in 1947, has a proven track record. Vick has performed at a star level in the N.F.L. Robinson performed briefly in the Negro Leagues before joining the Dodgers.

The question is: How severely have Vick’s skills eroded? You would think that one owner, one team would at least be curious; training camps have been open for only a week.

“If the guy has paid his dues to the criminal justice system, paid his debt to the N.F.L. and shows remorse, what else does he need to do?” Jackson asked.  23-months in prison for torturing and murdering dogs is hardly enough of a punishment for his crimes. He should have received at least a year or two for every dog her mistreated, tortured, abused and killed and should have been from playing football for life.  If you are really going to compare unfairness, what should be compared is Ted Kennedy receiving the

For many, the nonnegotiable issue in the Vick case is cruelty to animals. But let’s climb off our high horses. We know many fans hunt. They track down innocent animals, blast them with shotguns, shoot them out of the sky with rifles — for sport. Some take off animals’ heads and mount them as trophies.

Perfectly legal.

But the issue here is that Vick served his time in prison for breaking the law. The issue is degrees of cruelty. Who is worse: someone who tortures in the name of sport and then apologizes, or the one who kills in the name of sport and continues to hunt?

Vick was cruel and was punished. Now he has promised to be compassionate.

Jackson pointed out that Vick had satisfied the demands of the legal system. Now, like thousands of young men who are released from prison each year, Vick is eager to become a productive citizen. So far, he has been unable to find a job and his options are limited.

The Canadian Football League will not consider Vick or any player under full or partial suspension by the N.F.L.

“One of the big issues of re-entry is that when people come out, can they get gainful employment?” Jackson said.  Sure… How about a job somewhere between minimum wage and $35,000 a year, spending the rest of his time giving free talks to young people about compassion and kindness and volunteering at animal rescue events, while wearing an electronic ankle bracelet like child abusers?!?

Vick is fortunate. As a quarterback, he has skills that are highly valued.

“He has a right to compete,” Jackson said. “If he doesn’t make the team, then he can’t play. If he can, let him work.”

So far, everyone has said no. Someone should have the guts to say yes.

By WILLIAM C. RHODEN – E-mail: wcr@nytimes.com

Notes by Ask Marion – Marion’s Place/JOMP

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August 14, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments