Charity making pet food available

Paws of Hope founder Nikki Marchant-Ludlow and her dog Lily love providing pet food to foodbanks....
Paws of Hope founder Nikki Marchant-Ludlow and her dog Lily love providing pet food to foodbanks. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The generosity of one pet-loving Waikouaiti resident has been reciprocated by a newly formed charity.

Progress of Waikouaiti Area Foodbank has become the first South Island foodbank to receive pet food from Paws of Hope, a charity that specialises in providing cat and dog food to human foodbanks.

It comes after a Waikouaiti woman made a donation to Paws of Hope.

Charity founder Nikki Marchant-Ludlow got in touch with the woman and asked if she would like to see the charity work with a foodbank down south.

The donor did not want her name to be advertised but loved the idea.

Having already been supplying pet food to foodbanks in the upper North Island, Ms Marchant-Ludlow was pleased to expand the charity’s reach.

"Honestly, the need is actually everywhere.

"It’s about just trying to identify where the need is the greatest."

Paws of Hope became a registered charity in October last year.

Ms Marchant-Ludlow said the goal was to make sure people could keep providing for their pets even through financial hardship.

"People are giving up their pets because they simply can’t afford to feed them and we know how beneficial pets are.

"It’s about trying to keep them with the family because they are members of the family."

While pet food is occasionally available at foodbanks, Paws of Hope provides and an "ongoing and consistent supply", she said.

There were other issues that foodbanks were running into, such as only being able to offer the pet food in bulk.

"When people are looking for emergency food, they may be living in cars or emergency housing or they just may not have space available to have a massive bag of dog food, and the bags were often quite short-dated so there were lots of issues."

While Paws of Hope only offered cat and dog food, Ms Marchant-Ludlow would love to see it expand further and offer food for other animals as well.

"We don’t do that at the moment, but in the future we would like to include small pets and maybe some flea treatment and things like that."