Although St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue is closed to the public, it continues to help the community through its Doggie Door Dash delivery program.
The service is an extension of the shelter’s Pet Pantry and allows owners of pets in difficulty to have dog and cat food delivered to their doorstep.
Jennifer Lockwood, a humanitarian educator at the shelter, said the idea came from a suggestion from a volunteer and everyone knew it was a positive way to help the community.
“We’ve had companies that have donated and we’re asking the community if they have any extra food to bring it down and donate to the program as well,” Lockwood said.
Lockwood said they try to make the program as simple as possible and maintain appropriate social distancing with residents.
“We’ll give them a delivery time and an officer will deliver within that time and it will be a Door Dash type style where we just leave it at their door,” Lockwood said.
Many pet owners have already taken advantage of the program as a shortage of pet food has started in local stores.
“It’s very helpful that we’re here and that just means a little box to go through until they find something or if they need a big bag to feed a few dogs, we’re trying to help where we can, ”says Lockwood.
The shelter closed to the public on Tuesday in response to orders put in place by the city of Saint-Joseph. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Lockwood has said the shelter has been busier, but staff haven’t had many changes and were completing adoptions and stayed open last week. There have been concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on animals, but Lockwood said there was no evidence to prove it.
“There is no evidence that the coronavirus affects cats and dogs, and they cannot transfer it (to) people,”
Lockwood said the shelter was working quickly to try to contact the owners and get the animals home if they were impounded to help reduce its population.
It is recommended that anyone in need of food assistance call the shelter at 816-271-4877 to set a delivery time.