MISSOULA — A local animal shelter is helping people struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic feed their pets.
The Humane Society of Western Montana applied for a pet food grant and has been delivering 22,000 pounds to shelters around the state.
"While we always try to help people in need with their pets, right now the need is much greater,” said executive director Marta Pierpoint.
It was all delivered to the Summit Beverage warehouse in Butte earlier this spring and then the first 10,000 pounds was delivered to Livingston, Great Falls, and Havre.
"So many people are out of work, and they don't have enough money to feed themselves, much less their pets. We just want to help people keep pets in their homes,” Pierpoint said.
She told MTN News that the shelter applied for a grant through GreaterGood, who supplied all of this.
"This stack to my right is about 1,000 pounds. Twenty-two of these stacks wouldn't even fit in this room. So, you could imagine the manpower it would take to move all that food across Montana,” Pierpont said.
"We actually had to rent a 26-foot-long truck to get the food up to Cut Bank and Browning,” she added.
Employees also brought food to the Flathead and Mission Valleys, as well as Superior, Plains, St. Ignatius, and Darby.
"I'm not sure what the total weight of that was, but we put in to get three tons, for the people of Livingston and the surrounding community, here in central, south-central Montana,” Pierpont said.
Stafford animal shelter executive director Steve Leech says people have been grateful for the donations, “it's really amazing."
He says the shelter is thriving right now-where it usually has 60-to-70 animals, “we're down to two cats and a dog."
A portion of the donations are also going to banks in Missoula, Livingston, Big Timber, and Gardiner.