Lending a Paw – Meals on Wheels for Pets Too

posted April 15th, 2008 by
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Tulsa’s Meals on Wheels organization tested its newest program with one paw and soon was in it with all fours. About two years ago, high school 4-H Club member Kimberly Baab and friends helped Meals on Wheels staff develop the Meals 4 Paw Starz program, delivering meals to pets of homebound people.
“We started the pilot, then we were in on all four feet,” says Dan Rabovsky, MOW’s executive director. “It has had a wonderful response from homebound people and volunteers have stepped forward to do it.” MOW, one of Tulsa’s largest volunteer undertakings, prepares and delivers 1,000 meals to homebound people daily.

“We began noticing that some homebound people were sharing the meal that we delivered with their pet because they had no other resource to feed them, really,” he explains.  “We were concerned because people were giving up their own important nutrition to the pet, which was not necessarily the most nutritious food for the pet, either.” Once monthly a pet food brigade of volunteers gathers at one distribution location to handle inventory, purchasing, repackaging and delivery of pet food to 35 homebound people with pets.

Receiving these special deliveries are 29 dogs, 30 cats, one turtle, and several birds. All food is re-packaged from large sacks into small bags of daily servings.  “Many people are unable to lift or maneuver a big bag of food and this makes it much easier for them,” Rabovsky says. The food for pets and all of Meals on Wheels programs are supported by donations from individuals and businesses.  Care-taking for the pets has expanded to include special treats in delivery bags and during the holidays pets have received gift bags of toys, treats, beds and more.  For information and to support the pet food program, visit  www.mealsonwheelstulsa.org.

Story by Pat Atkinson

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