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Humane Society Responds To COVID-19 Shortages With Pet Food Distribution

A bag of cat food from the San Diego Human Society. The society was distribut...

Photo by Andi Dukleth

Above: A bag of cat food from the San Diego Human Society. The society was distributing food on March 24, 2020, through its PAWS San Diego pantry program for pet families who need extra help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One effect of COVID-19 we’ve all felt in one way or another is a shortage - of food, of cleaning supplies and paper products.

But pet owners may have also experienced a shortage of pet food and supplies. The San Diego Humane Society is trying to do something about that, by distributing 70,000 pounds of pet food and supplies.

“We’re here as a resource and as a safety net for our community. We want to keep pets out of the shelter, so we’re here providing food daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to any family that is short of that resource,” said Geraldine D’Silva of the Humane Society's Paws San Diego program, which typically helps low-income people with their pet food and supply needs.

Reported by John Carroll , Video by Andi Dukleth

The need has grown because, in many places, the shelves are empty.

“Either the lines are long, and we have five kids at home, or there’s no dog food, no cat food at the Albertsons or the Walmart," said one driver who picked up some food. "You know, if you’re not there in time to get it, it’s gone.”

Animal care specialist Cassie Edmond usually works inside the Humane Society. But on Tuesday, she was outside helping pass out food and loving it.

“I feel like I’m making a difference today and just helping people that really need it,” she said. “You know, some people can’t go out and go to Walmart and stand in line, so we’re their resource.”

As long as their stockpile holds out, the Humane Society will continue giving out food every day at their three campuses in San Diego, Oceanside and Escondido. They are also sending supplies to the San Diego Food Bank, Elder Help and the San Diego Unified School District, which in turn distribute the food.

The Humane Society is also taking donations at

Listen to this story by John Carroll.


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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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