Furry Friends helps Sisters families

 

Last updated 2/20/2024 at 9:37am



What do you do when you get a call from a mother who just lost her job and is facing the difficult decision to release her young daughters’ cats to the Humane Society? She knows she now won’t be able to afford to spay and neuter them and is running out of cat food. Furry Friends listens, then schedules and pays for their surgeries, and the mom picks up cat food at the Furry Friends pet food bank. The kitties are staying in their home, the family is staying together.

What do you do when a senior man calls crying on the phone, saying he needs to euthanize his 14-year-old cat? He tells you she is his only family, that he has no one else. That he is living on a fixed income and can’t afford to pay for the euthanasia. He is heartbroken. Furry Friends listens and pledges to pay.

What do you do when you receive notice a disabled man facing back surgery is about to be sent to collections for the $75 bill at his veterinarian’s office. Furry Friends listens and pays the bill.

Furry Friends Foundation is here in Sisters, they listen and they help families with pets.

But… Furry Friends just doesn’t have the funding to offer veterinary assistance anymore.

Between the increased number of families needing cat and dog food help and the huge price increase of pet food across the board, Furry Friends is struggling to keep up with the need for help.

In fact, our dog food shelves are looking pretty bare this week. We welcome any donations of dog or cat food, broken bags are okay too. Because of a county grant and one generous donor we luckily have been able to continue sponsorships of free spay and neuters for cats and dogs by partnering with the FIXBend program. We had nine animals at the low-cost clinic earlier this month, but those costs do add up fast, $930 for this clinic alone.

It is so incredibly rewarding to be able to help these families. Over the past 12 years of running Furry Friends, I’ve gotten to know so many people and their pets. I may not remember the people’s names but I know their dog’s name and if he needs grain-free dog food, or is allergic to chicken, prefers ground to chunky canned food, is a ball junky and wears a size medium dog coat. I also know he is enjoying his new cushy bed. I know that because I received a photo of him snuggled into it with a big thank you from his owner.

Furry Friends distributes 2.5-plus tons of dry and wet pet food a month, along with many pet supplies to area families in financial difficulty and seniors on fixed incomes. Often, Furry Friends doesn’t qualify for the grant money out there, because that money is dedicated to shelters and rescues. Furry Friends’ focus is on keeping pets in their homes and out of those shelters and rescues. Families are eligible to pick up pet food once a month.

This puts $50 to $100+ back in their monthly budget to be used on other essentials like rent, heat, and food. It can make a huge difference for our seniors on fixed incomes that make up about 40% of the client base.

We are proud to join the other nonprofits of Sisters including FAN, Sisters Kiwanis, Family Kitchen, and area churches that help this valued population in our community. I am so grateful to the Sisters’ community for their donations that allow us to help these families.

Though the Bend and Redmond Humane Societies offer pet food on an emergency basis and there are a couple other limited programs, Furry Friends Foundation runs the only dedicated pet food bank in Central Oregon.

Animals and their families need support year-round and a monthly gift of as little as $10 a month would greatly help with pet food costs. Please visit the Furry Friends website http://www.furryfriendsfoundation.org and set up your monthly tax deductible donation. Donations may also be mailed to P.O. Box 1175, Sisters, OR 97759. For more information call 541-797-4023.

 

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