Organization’s Community Outreach Initiatives Prove to be a Lifeline for Financially Strapped Pet Lovers
BOSTON, May 6, 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic rages and a weary region bears witness to one grim milestone after another, the MSPCA-Angell just marked a milestone of its own: 124,000 pet meals delivered to food pantries around the state to help feed pets owned by families impacted by the crisis.
Tens of thousands of those pet meals were delivered to pantries in Boston neighborhoods including Chelsea, Hull, Medford, Somerville and Jamaica Plain.
The MSPCA continues to distribute food across the state at a rate of 20,000 pet meals per week, driven by a singular goal: ensuring no pet goes hungry during the pandemic.
The food donations are central to the community outreach initiatives that have come to define the MSPCA’s work beyond its adoption center walls. Keeping animals safe and healthy through subsidized spay and neuter, vaccination and other basic health services, keeps animals out of shelters and in their homes with the families who love them.
For Kewanee McGhee-Wiggins of Dorchester, the pet food donations have been a blessing for her family—and her pets.
McGhee-Wiggins, who has five children and three cats, says that money is tight even in normal times.
“We adore our cats and do everything we can to keep them safe and happy—and my kids are so bonded to them. But caring for pets during this economic downturn is just really hard for everyone.”
Keeping Pets and Families Together, One Meal at a Time
In addition to pet food, the MSPCA has donated over 1,800 pounds of cat litter, and provided subsidized medical care for 234 animals whose owners have been impacted by the pandemic.
McGhee-Wiggins first came to know the MSPCA’s community outreach programs when the MSPCA’s Alyssa Krieger knocked on her door on a summer day in 2018 to ask if she needed pet food.
“That was a lifeline for us,” said McGhee-Wiggins. “Not only did we receive food support, but the MSPCA also vaccinated and microchipped my cats, and for that I’m forever grateful.”
McGhee-Wiggins, along with her daughter, Shyiahn, is paying it forward by running a pet food pantry at the Anna M. Cole Community Center in Jamaica Plain.
Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, is committed to bringing every resource to bear in order to support families during the crisis.
“Ensuring pets have nutritious food to eat is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure no animal goes hungry during the pandemic,” he said. At some point we’ll return to a new normal. But until that time arrives, we’re going to keep helping families with pets in every way that we can.”