To assist pet owners and animal welfare organizations affected by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is launching the ASPCA Relief and Recovery Initiative, a $5 million multi-pronged strategic relief response to the crisis. The response includes $2 million in grants to animal welfare organizations in critical need of funds and pet food to pet owners who face challenges providing food for their animals.
“In addition to the unprecedented challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for people, it is also putting animals at risk by straining essential owner and shelter resources,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “Considering the vital role pets play in our lives—especially in times of crisis and stress—it’s extremely important to safeguard their health and welfare as much as we possibly can. We are grateful to work with generous donors and the larger animal welfare community who are stepping up, thinking creatively and courageously, and forging new paths to meet this need. Across the world, people are turning to their pets for comfort, and with the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative, we are committed to helping animals return that love and comfort back to their families by working to ensure their health and safety as we weather this crisis together.”
The ASPCA’s response also includes the creation of regional pet food distribution centers, starting first in New York City, one of the US cities most severely affected by the pandemic. The centers, provided in partnership with the Petco Foundation, will give dog and cat owners free access to critical food supplies as the outbreak continues to spread.
The ASPCA will also operate regional food distribution centers in Miami, Los Angeles and North Carolina, where the ASPCA has operations. More information about specific locations and dates will be available in the coming weeks.
The COVID-19 relief response speaks to the ASPCA’s longstanding commitment to the animal welfare community and people and their pets. In an effort to create better access to crucial services for under served pet owners and improve the health and welfare of dogs and cats nationwide, the ASPCA has launched programs and partnerships in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami that make veterinary care more accessible and affordable, and has continued to develop initiatives to serve the more than 21 million pets living in under served communities with their owners nationwide.