Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

How About Meals On Wheels For Malaysia?

RSC is thrilled that the wonderful Meals On Wheels Association of America that brings meals and helps senior citizens so feeble and poor that they need help is now ensuring these people don't have to give up their pets for this reason. Well done! Please read article below. To learn more about Meals On Wheels go to

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Thu Nov 23

FORT WORTH, Texas - When 87-year-old Lucille Mann knits, her 2 1/2-pound dog Pepper curls up beside her or nuzzles in her lap.

"I just don't know what I'd do without her because she's my life," she said.

Realizing the two are inseparable, Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County not only delivers daily meals to Mann, but also drops off some pet food for her treasured Chihuahua.

About a fourth of the Fort Worth chapter's 400 clients receive free pet food in addition to daily meals. The chapter started providing cat and dog food five years ago after volunteers noticed a growing number of clients feeding pets from their own plates.

This holiday season, the Meals On Wheels Association of America and Banfield, The Pet Hospital are teaming up to help needy seniors nationwide feed their pets.

They hope to collect 1 million pounds of critter vittles at 575 Banfield veterinary hospitals across the country during a two-month pet food drive called "A Season of Suppers." Since the cause started earlier this month, donation boxes have been filling up quickly, so volunteers are already making deliveries.

"The holiday time is when there is a more acute awareness of people in need, especially seniors who may not have other relatives and are really more isolated than the general population," said Sandy Campbell, president of Banfield Charitable Trust, the veterinary practice's nonprofit organization.

Portland, Ore.-based Banfield and Meals On Wheels also are accepting monetary donations in hopes of raising $100,000 for the meal-delivery agency's "We All Love Our Pets" program. The pet food program already helps seniors in Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif. and the agency would like to expand into other communities.

"It's truly awesome they're doing this," said Janine Brown, program manager of senior nutrition services at the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance. "Not only do seniors not have to share their food, which isn't healthy for pets, but they can keep the limited amount of income for their medicine and electric bills."

Elizabeth Escontrias and her brother, Manuel Valle, who live in Fort Worth, said their lives are enriched by their several cats and five small dogs, including a feisty 11-year-old Chihuahua named Bad Girl whose tongue always hangs out.

But feeding them is difficult on a fixed income, they said.

"I'd have to give them away if they (Meals On Wheels) didn't help me," said Escontrias, 68. "Our animals are just like family. They're our little children."

Meals On Wheels provides food for homebound people age 60 and older. Many are low-income, although there is no minimum income requirement.

Though the priority is providing meals to seniors — four in 10 Meals on Wheels chapters nationwide have waiting lists — the agency says the pet food program improves the quality of life for its clients.

"For most of our clients, their pet is probably the most important thing in their lives. It's their family and the only friendly face they see," said Enid A. Borden, CEO of Meals On Wheels Association of America. "That's why this program is so important."


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