Another Western Washington pet shelter faces food crisis

Mar 21, 2024, 1:24 PM | Updated: 1:32 pm

Dog face...

Local dogs need your help. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

It’s a problem that keeps coming up in Western Washington.

Rising expenses, especially food costs, are impacting not only humans but our pets as well.

Seattle Humane Society recently had a pet food crisis. People stepped up and quickly solved that one.

Crisis averted: Community stepped up after Seattle Humane faced urgent pet food shortage

Now, the Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County is seeking the public’s help.

“Our goal is keeping people with the pets’ they love and that’s getting more and more challenging,” Lauren Green, the marketing coordinator at the Tacoma shelter, told MyNorthwest. “We distributed 90,000 pounds of food last year and so far this year, that need has doubled.”

Green said part of the problem stems from housing. She explained that rents and pet fees are going up.

“Some places have a weight limit, and other people simply can’t afford to keep their pets anymore,” Green said.

Recent news: Humane Society waives adoption fees on Valentine’s Day as pet surrenders increase

Green said any donation is welcome, but donating dry pet food is a the top of the list. You can either bring the food to the shelter at 2608 Center Street in Tacoma or donate on their website.

“Keep in mind that a 40-pound bag of food will only serve a big dog for a month,” she said. “So the need is constant.”

The problem is not limited to the South Sound.

“I’m not just speaking for us. I am speaking for all shelters across the state,” Katherine Johnson of the Mason County Humane Society told KIRO 7. “We are all so limited in the capacity that we can assist and the support that is needed, that there are many people that are turned away from shelters for surrendering an animal.”

Many humane societies are significantly or entirely funded by donations, and face similar budget constraints as the families they serve.

“It’s definitely the economy we’re in. The cost of living is skyrocketing,” says Green. “People are having to make that tough decision between caring for themselves or their pet.”

Contributing: KIRO 7

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here

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Another Western Washington pet shelter faces food crisis