A not for profit animal organisation in Cork is holding a collection of dog and cat food donations to help families and those living on the streets who are struggling to keep their pets fed during the current crisis.
The first of its kind, St Vincent De Paws Cork was set up six years ago to ensure no pet whether within a rescue centre, homeless or otherwise goes without food or any other basic needs.
The voluntary-led organisation collects food and other basic needs for neglected dogs, cats and other animals.
St Vincent De Paws is holding a food donation collection in aid of Cork Penny Dinners who are now distributing food to families in need having been feeding Cork’s homeless since the beginning of the pandemic.
Founder of the organisation Susie Jones wanted to help families and people living on the streets who were struggling to keep their pets fed in order for them to be able to keep their furry friends and not have to resort to giving them up.
“Lots of families have pets as well and if they’re struggling to feed their families, they’re obviously going to be struggling to feed their pets and it’s our way of helping by doing a food collection and bringing the food into Penny Dinners so they can just give that to families and it will be completely anonymous.
“At least it won’t mean that dogs and cats would have to go to a pound, their owners could still keep them and it will save them from giving them up,” she said.
She said that a lot of people on the streets who receive a dinner from Cork Penny Dinners would sacrifice their meal and give it to their pet instead.
She said she also wanted to help those fortunate enough not to be on the streets but who may live alone with a pet as their only company during lockdown and who are struggling with affording to feed them.
St Vincent De Paws is not affiliated in any way with St Vincent De Paul and does not ask for donations of money, instead they collect food for the animals to be distributed.
“Let’s say you had €2 in your pocket, some people would be embarrassed to go to a donation bucket and throw in the €2 because they feel it’s not enough but that €2 is worth about seven or eight tins of food from Lidl or Aldi, so all that we’re looking for is dog food and cat food so we can distribute it to Cork Penny Dinners,” Ms Jones said.
Any excess food donations will be given to Cork Animal Care Society and Homeless Animal Rescue Team (H.A.R.T) North Cork Area to go toward the care of animals in their shelters.
St Vincent De Paws would normally hold food collections in local schools and would talk about animal welfare with the help of their three popular ambassadors, dogs Bennie, Ollie and Suzie.
Suzie sadly passed away after an illness last week but remains the main face of St Vincent De Paws.
People are asked to drop dry food, wet food, and treats for both cats and dogs at one of the drop-off points at the carparks of various supermarkets across Cork this Sunday, May 10.
These include: LIDL carpark in Ballincollig from 2.30pm to 3.30pm; LIDL carpark in Ballyvolane from 2.30pm to 3.30pm; ALDI carpark in Passage 2.30pm to 3.30pm and SuperValu carpark in Togher 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
There will also be collection bins outside both Macroom Pet Shop and Glanmire Pet Shop for those who cannot make the drop-off points.