What About the Pets Experiencing Financial Hardship?
By: Jenny Jaroneski, Social Ministry Associate
Our ministry is focused on serving our community in need. Unfortunately, there is one very important part to many families that are often forgotten – their pets. What happens to our furred friends when we fall on hard times? Most people struggling to feed their families try to continue to feed their animals however possible. But when it comes to entering a homeless shelter program the message is clear: No animals allowed.
A dog or cat might be the last connection to a life that seems otherwise lost. It might be the only being that was there for comfort through a hard time. Animals are a gift from God and provide comfort and companionship when there seems to be no one else. I can’t be the only one who has talked to my chickens, cried with my dog and gotten comfort and love from them in return. If I found myself experiencing hardship – it would be awful hard to let my animal go.
Some individuals face a tough decision: homelessness with their animal or shelter without. Animal foster home volunteers work to provide a place for animals to stay until they can be re-homed or re-united with their families, but there are so many animals and so few homes. While the humane society or animal shelter seems like a great opportunity for some temporary shelter for your pet, many animal shelters cannot promise to reunite these animals with their families.
While shelters and rescues are a go-to for homeless pets, there is also a demand for food and care items for animals belonging to our neighbors in need. Shelters give the opportunity for some animals to be rescued and adopted into new families but the unfortunate fact is that many animals do not find new homes and could face euthanization. Not knowing the future of these beloved pets, many people find themselves in a quandary when they are unable to afford food or veterinary care due to financial hardships.
So what do we do about this? We become aware of the issue. If God moves you to act, consider doing one of the following things:
- Donate dog or cat food to local food banks or pantries
- Host a pet food drive at your work or in your neighborhood
- Consider fostering an animal for someone in this situation. Reach out to the Macomb Homeless Coalition or local shelters to identify an animal in need.
- Consider starting your own organization to foster or sponsor animals in need.
Animals are a gift from God, we can learn a lot from them about death, life, companionship, loyalty and love. Each animal was created by God’s design and serves a purpose on our Earth. We should cherish every being made by our Creator. His hand is on the lives of the animals that we love so much and His hand is on each of our lives as well.
Job 12: 7-10
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.”