Help Me Support A Local Pet Food Bank During Coronavirus

You might have seen my hometown of Pittsburgh featured on the news last week. Hundreds of cars waited as long as five hours in a line to pick up supplies at the Pittsburgh area food bank. Bleak news like that is contrasted in my news feed with stories about animal shelters having unprecedented rates of adoption. Many animal shelters around the country have been cleared out and thousands of pets have been taken home.

How do these two things relate? well, one of the things I’m worried about is that many of the shelters that have been cleared out will fill back up with pets whose families cannot afford to feed them. It’s a sad reality, but if many Americans are having a hard time feeding their families, the family pet is included in that.

Pet Food Banks Need Your Help During Coronavirus

I found out that we have a local pet food bank run by Animal Friends that works with 32 partner pantries, meals on wheels and other agencies to provide families in need with pet food. The Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank serves over 20,000 families annually by providing 100,000 pounds of pet food.

I talked to Jenn Geibel, Animal Friends Director of Clinic & Community Services, about the strain on their Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank due to coronavirus. Jenn said they’ve, “seen a 60-75% increase in individuals needing support during this time. So many people are being laid off, including over 30 Animal Friends Staff members, and we are assisting them with pet food during this time if needed.”

Jenn added: “We’ve also had a few organizations who assist homeless and veterans reach out to us this week as their needs are increasing due to lack of donations coming in to support their clients.”

It would be a huge help to donate to The Chow Wagon at this time. You can make a monetary donation online or order supplies from their Amazon Wish List and they will be delivered directly to Animal Friends. I’ve also set up an additional way to support The Chow Wagon through the Wear Wag Repeat shop (keep reading)!

Animal Friends Chow Wagon

Dog Moms Unite to Help Pet Food Banks

Another impact of the coronavirus is canceled events across the board. One event that I was really looking forward to is Dog Mom’s Day on May 9th. For the big in-person celebration I had planned here in Pittsburgh, I had hired an illustrator to create a graphic for shirts, tote bags and more.

Back in January, I asked my designer Courtney Ahn to draw something that showed the diversity and positivity of the dog mom community. I feel like everyone who identifies as a dog mom is there for each other, and I wanted a fun graphic that showed this all-hands on deck attitude. I came up with the phrase “Dog Moms Day Fur All” because I feel like our community is so welcoming and supportive of each other.

When I found out that the Dog Moms Day event would be canceled, Courtney and I reconfigured the design from “Dog Moms Day Fur All” to “Dog Moms Unite”. Now, more than ever, we need to stand together and support our dog mom sisters! View the whole Dog Moms Unite collection.

dog moms unite art print

Dog Moms Unite to help pet food banks

Dog Moms Unite gear is now available in the Wear Wag Repeat Shop. There’s super soft t-shirts, flowy muscle tanks, a classic fit sweatshirt, an organic cotton tote bag and a print. A portion of profits from all of these items will support Animal Friends Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank

Your purchase from the Wear Wag Repeat Shop also supports my small business, American manufacturing (all of our shirts are digitally printed in North Carolina) and the dog mom makers that I hire to create the designs in my shop.

Pet Food Pantries in the Pittsburgh Area

One of my questions that originally sparked me to reach out to Animal Friends was, “Is pet food available at regular food banks?” In the Pittsburgh area, Animals Friends Chow Wagon has a monthly commitment to the 32 food banks and pantries listed below. If someone does not belong to one of these pantries, Jenn assured me that they can contact her personally and she will get them the help they need!

Ambridge Center for Hope
Bethany Baptist Church
Brashear Association
Brentwood Meals on Wheels
Brentwood Presbyterian
Bridge to Mountain
Brookline Christian Food Pantry
Carrick Food Pantry
Chain of Hope
Cloverleaf Food Pantry
Community Human Services
Council of 3 Rivers
Hazelwood YMCA
Henry Kauffman Neighborhood House
Holy Assumption
Homewood YMCA
Loaves & Fishes
McKee’s Rocks Food Pantry
Millvale Food Pantry
North Boroughs Food Pantry
Northside Common Ministries
Operation Safety Net
Our Lady of the Angels
Penn Hills Service Associates
Riverview Presbyterian
Riverview Towers
St. Sebastian Spark of Hope
St. Vincent de Paul of Sharpsburg
South Hills Interfaith Ministries
South West Meals on Wheels
Squirrel Hill Community Food Bank
Verona United Methodist Church
Veteran’s Leadership Program
West Hills Food Pantry

Donate Directly to Animal Friends Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank

The Chow Wagon serves over 20,000 pets annually by providing 100,000 pounds of pet food to partner food banks, pantries and more. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the food bank has seen a 60-75% increase in need.

Because we want to help this heroic effort as much as possible, here’s a direct link to make a donation to the Chow Wagon on the Animal Friends website.


dog moms unite tote bag

If you make a donation directly to the Chow Wagon, or a similar organization in your area, you will be entered to win a Dog Moms Unite organic cotton tote bag. I’ll giveaway one tote bag per month through July 2020! Just fill out the entry form below, including bonus entries, to qualify.

If you’re looking for more dog help during coronavirus, check out these posts:
Grow Your Pet Biz from Home Online Workshop
DIY Busy Box for Bored Dogs
Stuffing Trick to Make Your Dog’s Kong Last Longer!


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Tori Mistick is a blogger, podcaster and certified Canine Enrichment Specialist. You might call her a professional dog mom! Tori has a soft spot for senior dogs and loves the color pink. Based in Pittsburgh, PA.


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