Imagine going through 100 kilograms of dry dog food and 50 kilograms of dry cat food each week. For local charity Rainbow Paws, that is a reality.
Rainbow Paws delivers pet food to vulnerable furry members of the community and the local charity is currently running its winter pet food appeal to help animals in need.
Launched in 2016, the not-for-profit organisation cares for the furry companions of vulnerable members in the community who are homeless, financially disadvantaged and living in refuges.
President Natarsha Lawrence started the organisation when she realised the ACT has the second highest rate of homelessness in the nation and read about a similar operation working in the United States. It inspired her to start Rainbow Paws to help vulnerable Canberrans and their pets.
“We are young but we are growing rapidly because sadly there is a need for our services in the ACT,” she said.
“We have five different programs where we provide food from our community pantry, subsidise emergency vet care, subsidise de-sexing and provide boarding for pets for people going into hospital or who are homeless.”
Ms Lawrence said many people forget that not only do humans do it tough in winter but their furry friends do too.
“We are desperately short of pet food at the moment so, during this winter appeal, we are asking for people to donate wet and dry food for cats and dogs so we can give it to people in need,” she said.
“We collect food each week and we hand it out straight away.
“We don’t get any government funding so we rely on donations and fundraising so the more support we can get, the more we can help people and their pets.
“We go through 100 kilograms of dry dog food and 50 kilograms of dry cat food each week and even that is not enough. We need a lot more but we just don’t have any more food to supply.
Ms Lawrence said just adding a bag of dog or cat food to your shopping list can make all the difference.
“We do buy food when we have to but that money is coming away from our boarding or vet care money. So if people can buy an extra bag of food when they are going shopping, that would really help us out.
“The more support we can get, the more we can help people.”