Owners, pets, get reprieve with donated food

Free bags of cat and dog food saved Gayla Pritchett from having to hand over Kiki, Mia, Spencer and Ladybug to an animal shelter.

Out of work for nine months until last week, she couldn't afford to feed her two cats and two Chihuahuas. Spay & Neuter Kansas City stepped in and fed the pets for her.

"Once I get on my feet, I'm going to donate a lot to them," said Pritchett, of Overland Park. "When the economy is bad, we've got to feed our animals, too."

In these days of economic woe, shelters and animal groups are meeting lots of pet owners like Pritchett — those who love their cats and dogs but are struggling to feed them. They're seeing more requests for help with pet food than ever before.

"It's reached an all-time high," said Michelle Dormady, president of Spay & Neuter Kansas City.

"People will call and say, 'My husband just lost his job … I lost my job … I've been out of work for four months and I can't afford to feed my animal anymore,' " Dormady said.

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