Local Pets Recipients Of Meals On Wheels

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A multi-county organization is distributing pet food to Meals on Wheels clients with dogs and cats.

Hocking Athens Perry Community Action received a $2,500 grant to create the program.

The Meals on Wheels pets program began this year, after organizers noticed the elderly clients they were delivering to were feeding their pets human food because they could not afford to purchase food for their pets.

Theresa Cline-Scurlock, operations support manager, said distribution is important because it helps the clients provide their animals with proper care while also taking care of themselves.

"The meals on wheels clients are already on our program because they have a need. A lot of them are low income households who are struggling as it is. I think it benefits  in a way that releases the money they're spending on pet food to perhaps pay for other food or to buy groceries for themselves," she said.

The program helps little dogs, like Nelly, get the food and nutrition they need.

Friendly Paws Pet Supplies and Grooming in Athens orders the food at cost and donates dog biscuits to the program.

Nelly's owner and Meals on Wheels client Willard Probens said he's very thankful.

"There are great benefits. They check on you and check on your animals. It's a great program," he said.

Cline-Scurlock says she hopes area residents are willing to help with donations to make the project last for a longer period of time.

"We've heard nothing but great things from our clients. They're so appreciative and the animals are really appreciative. They seem to really be enjoying the food that they're getting and the treats that they also get. So it's one of those things where we're hoping that the community might step up and perhaps do some donating of some pet food," she said.

Cline-Scurlock said it's not clear right now how much longer they can continue without additional donations.

The program currently delivers food to 47 dogs and 51 cats.

Anyone interested in donating to the program is asked to contact the Athens Hocking Perry Regional Food Center.