When your house falls and you meet the wicked witch of uncertainty you find it necessary to seek out the wizard. You need help and you go looking wherever you can. For most people that lose their jobs this is a most trying and frightening experience. First you tap your friends and relatives then you go to the various social services programs that are intended to help you. When you approach the various sources of help, the security blanket you thought was there really isn’t. They all have limitations on what and how much they can do. It comes down to the absolute basics to help you survive. Only your bare necessities can be covered and even then it falls short. It takes a combination of several programs such as unemployment, food stamps, churches and others to help you hold it all together. As the number of people needing this assistance goes up the available resources go down.
Likely you will not starve but the rest of your life will feel like the flying monkeys have taken hold. One of the casualties in this whole scenario will be your pets. There is no provision to help them when you falter. They are not considered as part of your household or as an essential component for your well being. You can argue the point that your emotional well being is important, but no one will listen to that. You now have a choice. Share your food with them or utilize what little cash you get in to feed them. The other choices are to let them go hungry and turn them out to fend for themselves, which of course creates a whole new set of problems both for your community or for you. This course of action can result in you being charged with animal neglect or cruelty. Your other choice is to turn them over to an already over burdened animal shelter and know that you just likely sentenced them to death. Once you get a new job and get everything back under control that option can not be reversed.
Even if you have a head full of straw, it seems obvious that a mechanism in place to assist these animals would be beneficial. Preventing additional animals going to the shelters that are already at capacity and preventing unintended abuse of animals makes more sense. Minimizing emotional distress on a family is an important benefit to the stability of the family. Maybe we can’t help them all or sustain long periods but some can be helped.
What I am suggesting is that we consider adding a section to food banks or rescue organizations that handles such simple items as dog and cat food. Let me hear your thoughts on that.