A volunteer walks past the pet pantry at Animal Care Services.
Animal Care Services is working to replenish its pet pantry. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

On Thursday morning, Animal Care Services’ Pet Pantry program was down to nine bags of dry dog food and had completely run out of cat litter, spokeswoman Lisa Norwood.

The program, which started five years ago, temporarily helps pet owners around San Antonio with pet food and other supplies, Norwood said.

“A lot of times we see people coming to the shelter wanting to surrender their animals simply because they can’t afford to feed them,” she said. “This is one of the programs we have to keep that from happening. If we can give people a month, two months’ worth of food, it keeps that pet with the family and out of our shelter.”

Because Animal Care Services’ budget only funds food for animals in the shelter, the pantry relies entirely on donations, Norwood said. The program also provides food for animals going into the foster care program. 

Norwood said a variety of people from all over San Antonio use the pet pantry program, and Animal Care Services recently saw an uptick in applications for assistance. Whereas the department usually gets around five applications per month, it got that many in the last week.

The program’s No. 1 need is dry dog food, cat litter, and newspapers, Norwood said, which she expects to run out of by the weekend.

People who are unable to physically go to Animal Care Services to drop off donations can purchase items on the agency’s Amazon wishlist and ship them directly to Animal Care Services.

Located at 4710 State Highway 151, Animal Care Services accepts donations seven days a week. The office is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.

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Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.