The Pet Pantry, a pet event for low-income Calgarians,took place on March 5, 2015 from 10:00am to 12:00pm at CUPS.
Caring for a pet can ease loneliness, reduce stress and anxiety, promote social interaction, and encourage exercise. Pets are non-judgmental, loyal and trustworthy. They provide unconditional love and affection as well as social and emotional support. No matter your circumstance, pets can provide a deep sense of comfort.
For those facing major struggles, such as homelessness, ongoing instability due to living in poverty, and/or mental health issues, the role of a pet becomes all the more critical. Providing for pets can provide a sense of normalcy, responsibility and a reason to face a new day. For those who may feel rejected, disdained and forgotten, having a loving pet can provide a sense of meaning in an otherwise difficult existence.
Associate Veterinary Clinics are well aware of the importance of this human-pet connection. They know that it is not uncommon for low-income/ homeless pet owner to sacrifice their own food for their pets. They understand that many such pet owners struggle to provide medical care, vaccinations and spaying or neutering for their beloved animals.
In response, they created a Canada-wide program, The Pet Pantry, to help address these needs. The Pet Pantry has partnered with CUPS to create a pet friendly event for marginalized pet owners this Thursday at CUPS. The Pet Pantry will be run by 4 local veterinarians, 3 Animal Health Technologists and industry representatives. While they cannot provide onsite veterinary care due to licencing issues, they will use the opportunity to build relationships with pet owners, to help owners learn about pet care and identify pet resources in communities across Calgary that can address pet health concerns, including vaccines, and spaying and neutering. Also, they will provide attendees with bags of high-quality dog and cat food.
“Pets are much treasured family members to many of the people we serve,” said Lorna Curran, CUPS Communications Manager. “For some, their relationship with their pet may be the most meaningful and stable relationship they have. Programs like this are so important in helping vulnerable Calgarians feel confident that they are doing all they can for their beloved animals and to improving animal health.”
Click here to see Global News’ coverage of the event.