SOUNDS OF THE SEASON

Include pets when donating to food bank, Waterloo vet urges

Waterloo veterinarian Marie Hardy says a little bit goes a long way when it comes to pet food donations to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. She's encouraging people to donate a little extra for furry friends.

'Pets are family, too,' Waterloo's Marie Hardy says

Veterinarian Marie Hardy holds her dog, Luna, during an interview with The Morning Edition host Craig Norris. Hardy runs a pet food drive every year to help people on low or fixed incomes access proper food for their pets. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

All month long, CBC Kitchener-Waterloo is raising food and funds for The Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

Please consider making an online donation to the food bank by clicking here.

Marie Hardy wants you to think about donating a little extra for furry friends when giving food to the food bank.

The Waterloo veterinarian has run a pet food drive for 13 years and says it's crucial for people living on low or fixed incomes to have proper pet food.

"Human food is not balanced for dogs and cats," she said, but she's seen pet owners give their animals human food when they don't have money to buy pet food.

That can lead to several negative effects:

  • A pet can gain too much weight.
  • Human food doesn't provide the same animal dental care that crunchy pet food can.
  • In many cases, Hardy says it means the person is eating less food.

"Pets are family, too," Hardy said, noting for some people it might be the reason they get up in the morning. "That pet may be very, very important to the family."

She says donating pet food doesn't have to be expensive, it doesn't have to be a lot, but it does make a difference.

"Any of those pet foods are better than feeding an animal human food," she said.

She wants people to consider adding an extra item to their food bank donation because all the pet food at The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is gathered only by donation.

And, she adds, don't worry about toys, clothing for pets or kitty litter.

"They just need food." 

Donations can be purchased and/or dropped off at participating veterinarian clinics or anywhere donations to the food bank are accepted.

Listen to the Marie Hardy on CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's 2018 Sounds of the Season broadcast:

Marie Hardy is a veterinarian in Waterloo who has run a food drive of pet food for more than a decade. She says even a little bit helps and she'd like people to add pet food to the items they donate to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. 4:54

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