Local organizations team up to feed household pets - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Local organizations team up to feed household pets

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(Source: Meals on Wheels) (Source: Meals on Wheels)

From the Meals on Wheels Ministry:

(TYLER, TX) – Two local organizations announced a new partnership that will bring pet food to the homes of homebound seniors and disabled individuals who face challenges in feeding their household pets. Pets Fur People (formerly the Humane Society of East Texas) and Meals on Wheels Ministry call the program "Meals Fur Pets," and starting Monday, June 3, volunteers in Tyler will begin delivering pet food to current clients of Meals on Wheels Ministry. The pet food has been donated to Pets Fur People, which oversees the packaging of the dry food suitable for house-sized cats and dogs.

"Meals on Wheels organizations across the county have begun implementing similar programs in response to a need that is observed many times by our volunteers on the front lines," said Mike Powell, President/CEO of Meals on Wheels Ministry. "In extreme circumstances, we have heard volunteers express concern that some of their clients may even be sharing their own meals with their pets. We are thrilled at the opportunity to bring this new service to our clients in need, especially knowing that for so many, a pet is a true companion to seniors living in isolation."

The idea behind Meals Fur Pets was born during a conversation several years ago between then Humane Society volunteer Debbie Zea and Executive Director Gayle Helms. Today, Ms. Zea serves as Community Liaison for Meals on Wheels, and she recently began working out the details of the program with Ms. Helms.

"Pets Fur People is dedicated to ensuring the welfare of animals in East Texas, and this program enables us to address the needs of pets that might otherwise face instability and even find their way into our shelter without assistance," said Ms. Helms, Executive Director of Pets Fur People. "I am thrilled to see our dream of partnership turn into reality, as we embark upon the first phase of this program in Tyler."

For now, the program is limited to clients of Meals on Wheels who live in Tyler, but the organization hopes to eventually grow the program to address the needs of all clients across its six county service area.

Pets Fur People is a selective admission, life-sustaining animal sanctuary. Its mission is to provide a temporary haven for the animals in their care, until they find their forever families. Pets Fur People was originally established as The Humane Society of Smith County in 1963 by concerned citizens in Tyler. More information may be found at www.petsfurpeople.org.

Meals on Wheels Ministry currently serves over 3,000 seniors and homebound individuals in 30 communities across six counties including Gregg, Henderson, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood counties. Meals on Wheels Ministry is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing good nutritious meals, daily contacts, and other support services that enable senior citizens and disabled persons to remain independent and living in their own homes as long as possible. More information on client services, volunteer opportunities and much more may be found online at www.mealsonwheelseasttexas.org.

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